The basic mechanics of business and economics can feel, well, daunting. Even the most educated women I know have told me that when it comes to debt and equity, supply and demand, debits and credits, and so on—it all seems intimidating, mystifying, and overwhelming. Sometimes, we've been living in the midst of all this stuff for years and are still struggling to understand how the business and economics of life work.
When I went to business school five years after completing my undergraduate degree in Government and Theology, I was blown away by what I didn’t know or understand of all the things that were humming around me every day. Every interaction and transaction, both large and small, are driven by these basic concepts of economics and business. And yet many of us haven’t had the opportunity to learn about the frameworks that can help us understand our world and be more effective in it.
As my MBA curriculum unfolded, I was so energized by a multitude of lightbulb moments when I finally “got” it. You know those “aha” feelings when someone finally explains something to you in a way that makes everything make sense? That experience of having something that was complex and elusive finally netted out for me in a way that I could “see” it changed everything for me. I never looked at the world the same way again and was empowered to see connections and make better decisions that weren’t possible for me before that.
That “aha” experience is exactly what we’re trying to achieve with our Women@Work(shops) One-Day MBA program. We want to empower every woman to see connections and make better decisions with their personal finances, at work, and for their futures.
When and where
Our goal is to feature this curriculum as an online, on-demand program to make it accessible to all, regardless of where you live and when you might be able to find time in your crazy world of work and life. We’re taking what can be somewhat complicated topics and netting them out succinctly and clearly, layering in all sorts of storytelling that will help you see the everyday-ness of the concepts and achieve your “aha” moment. We’re excited about using technology to achieving something new, cool, fun, and valuable with all of this—think multi-media e-books!
Beyond the online, on-demand program and content, we’re also aiming to host live Women@Work(shops) in partnership with other organizations in cities where we see the most interest. These events will feature teachers engaging with participants around the One-Day MBA curriculum and also include panel discussions on key topics that can make or break our careers, including navigating the tricky world of gender dynamics, maximizing your personal brand, and achieving work-life balance.
Over the coming months, we’ll provide more details on the virtual and live programs. If you’re interested in signing up for the online content or a live event, please join our mailing list below. And if you’re interested in co-hosting a Women@Work(shops) day with us, please reach out to email@example.com.
One-Day MBA sample curriculum
The content will include a whirlwind tour of all the most important courses that would be part of any major MBA program. For some of you, this will be just the thing you need to help you see the world differently and more effectively—both in and out of the workplace. For others, this might just be the teaser that entices you to further explore the world of accounting, finance, investments, marketing, and more! Included here is just a taste of what this program will offer.
What are supply and demand, and how do they affect the price of things like education, healthcare, electronics, and clothes? How do people and their skills get valued?
How does all this tax stuff work—income tax vs. property tax vs. sales taxes? Why are there different kinds of taxes and what are they trying to accomplish? What are other factors that influence things like how many jobs are available, whether people are getting raises, whether the value of homes is going up or down? Why does it cost less to travel to Europe this year than last year?
How do you keep track of money and assets, and how should you report on them? What are debits and credits? What’s the difference between accounting for individual people or families vs. smaller organizations vs. larger companies?
How do organizations get valued? How do you project what the economics of a business will look like over time and what are the variables that impact it? How do firms fund the initiatives they want to pursue to drive growth? What are the different types of funding (e.g., debt and equity) that they might capitalize on and why would they pursue one vs. another?
What is the stock market and how does it work? What’s the difference between a private company, a public company, and a non-profit organization in terms of ownership structure and how each person’s stake is valued? What are the various types of financial instruments that get traded in public markets? Why are they traded and how do people value them over time?
Marketing & Sales
What are the basics of marketing and selling a product or service? How do you decide who your customers are and determine how to reach them, make them happy, and build loyalty? How do you figure out how to price and package your offering the right way? What’s the best way to deliver the offering and support it over time?
Organizations & Operations
What are the primary functions of most organizations? Why do they exist and what do they do? What are the typical things that each role does? What are the strengths or capabilities you need to be effective in each role? How are different roles in an organization typically compensated? Who controls whom and what?
Navigating Men & Gender Dynamics
We’ve come a long way, baby, but men still influence our success and happiness at work. So what’s the best way to figure them out, anticipate their reactions, and hone our strategies and tactics? Is there a way to decode the vast myriad of guys out there and narrow them down to archetypes to understand how they’re wired and the best way to be effective with them? Based on the Men@Work book, this session provides an opportunity to explore the types of men who we see repeatedly and explore how to be more effective with them.
Creating a Personal Brand
Who the heck are you?! ☺ What’s your tagline? What’s your appearance and voice and content saying? Is there a disconnect between your internal ideas and values and your external persona and the way people are perceiving you? Take the opportunity to bridge the gap and become your best self, achieving an external persona that matches your internal, that capitalizes on everything you have to offer.
Balancing Work & Life
How can you make it all work? Is it worth sticking it out with your career once you have babies? What’s the right mix of time at home and the office? Is there a way to be bad at all of it and still survive? Who the heck knows, but we’ll talk through the whole thing and what’s worked or not worked for women who have been there and done that.
Leadership Keynotes & Training
Christina Van Houten is available to speak at events as part of panel discussions, breakout sessions, shorter “TED Talk” formats, or as a more expanded keynote. While her presentations are focused on providing guidance for women in the workplace, she’s also engaged with audiences of men and women on content that speaks to leadership and workplace effectiveness more broadly.
If you’d like to engage Christina in an upcoming event, please don’t hesitate to be in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.