Throughout the 1990s, women’s labor force participation continued to grow and reached an all-time high in April 2000 at 60.3%. Although the number of women in many male-dominated fields increased, workplace equity remained elusive, particularly in senior management positions. As more women began to view work as a financial necessity, working women became increasingly concerned with receiving equal pay for their work and maintaining balance between their careers and their families.
During this decade, 1992 was dubbed “The Year of the Woman” in politics, as more women won seats in Congress than in any previous decade. Twenty-four women were newly elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, comprising the largest number of women elected to the House in any single election thus far. The number of women in the U.S. Senate also tripled that year from two to six.
Below are excerpts from the women featured in the book and Georgetown highlights from this decade. To continue reading their full stories and view additional images, order your copy today and receive immediate access to the digital edition. Click here to order.
Jennifer (Thackaberry) Ziegler, BSBA 1990
Jennifer Ziegler started her career in litigation consulting and then returned to school for both a master’s degree and a doctorate. She was a professor of organizational communication for 15 years before moving into administrative roles.
Amy Fong, BSBA 1992
From her roots in Hong Kong to her journey to D.C., Amy Fong kept optimism close and her spiritual roots closer. Despite being a young woman in predominantly male-dominated industries, Fong’s ability to combine experience with civility launched her into leadership roles all over the globe. In banking, consulting, the nonprofit world, and private equity, she has built strong and successful teams while staying present and without fear.
Julia Cullen, BSBA 1993
Julia Cullen started at Big Four accounting firm KPMG after graduation, and has spent nearly three decades with the company, moving up from associate accountant to partner. All the while, the Georgetown values of serving others and serving the community have stuck with her.
Melissa (Donovan) d’Arabian, MBA 1993
One of the youngest members of her MBA class, Melissa d’Arabian came to Georgetown after spending a year singing and calling bingo on cruise ships. She worked two jobs while in school, but loved the opportunity to learn and fully embraced the MBA experience. After graduation, she worked as a consultant and financial professional for the Walt Disney Company. After having four daughters in two years, she began speaking in her community about family financial management and healthy eating. A video for local moms eventually became her audition tape for television’s “The Next Food Network Star,” which she won in 2009. She has followed with a wide range of projects, including her own television show, “Ten Dollar Dinners”; a 2012 New York Times best-selling cookbook; and her most recent book, “Tasting Grace” (2020).
Dasha Smith, BSBA 1995
Dasha Smith became chief administrative officer of the National Football League after earning a juris doctor and working in the law, financial services, and entertainment industries. In the hedge fund and private equity industries, she was one of few senior women; throughout the rest of her career, she has devoted her talents to increasing both ethnic and gender diversity across many organizations. She brings this expertise back to the business school as a member of the McDonough Board of Advisors.
Natalie (Wolf) Barth, BSBA 1996
After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown, Natalie Barth went on to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School. Barth was the founding partner of Barth Advisors, a boutique advisory consulting firm, formerly served as vice president at Morgan Stanley, and was an investment banking analyst at CIBC World Markets/Oppenheimer. Barth is president of the Board of Park Avenue Synagogue, one of the largest conservative synagogues in the country, and is on the McDonough School of Business Board of Advisors.
Katherine Buck, BSBA 1996
From a middle-class background in Davenport, Iowa, Kathy Buck pursued her business career after Georgetown McDonough at Fidelity as a small-cap portfolio manager. She enjoyed a long career in the investment industry, successfully navigating the male-dominated finance world with the help of sponsors before retiring.
Florence Jewell, EMBA 1996
Florence Jewell was part of the first cohort in the Executive MBA (EMBA) program at Georgetown McDonough. In addition to her service in the U.S. Army Reserves, she has had a progression of increasingly large responsibilities at AT&T. She was awarded AT&T’s 2016 Women of Color STEM Award for her outstanding contributions as a global business leader and for her commitment to inspiring and motivating others in her community.
Wendi Norris, MBA 1996
After working as a management consultant for four years, Wendi Norris earned an MBA. Degree in hand, she went to work at a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company and later at a data storage company. In search of greater fulfillment, she changed paths to pursue her passion. Now a gallerist and leader in the art world, Norris has built an internationally renowned arts program that champions important modern and contemporary artists.
Lucy (Reilly) Fitch, EMBA 1997
Lucy Fitch was part of the second class of Executive MBA (EMBA) students at the McDonough School of Business, and took classes every other Friday and Saturday to balance her education and her career. An award-winning journalist, she began to work in business development, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and communications at major global aerospace and defense companies. Fitch continues to stay engaged with the program, signing on in 2016 to mentor Executive MBA students as part of their mentorship program.
Jennifer Sheehy, MBA 1997
Jennifer Sheehy combines the knowledge from her MBA experience, her customer service skills, and her personal experiences to spread awareness and create disability policies. She has served on the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities and as associate director in the White House Domestic Policy Council. Before she joined the task force, she was vice president of the National Organization on Disability and director of its CEO Council.
Lisa Mayr, MBA 1998
After earning an MBA, Lisa Mayr broke into the world of corporate finance. She has combined her passion for international development and working for a cause with her talent for finance throughout her career. Mayr has served as the chief financial officer at multiple technology companies, including Blackboard and EVERFI. She is active on the board of STEM for Her, helping middle and high school girls pursue STEM careers.
Kate (Eberle) Walker, BSBA 1998
After graduating with a dual degree in finance and accounting, Kate Walker launched a career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. She spent nearly five years at Goldman before leaving to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School. Her next move was to the Washington Post Company, where she found her niche, in education, with the company’s Kaplan division. Nine years later, Walker moved to IAC, where she served in multiple executive functions at its education division before becoming CEO of The Princeton Review. Today, she leads PresenceLearning as CEO and serves as a board member for several education organizations. She is the author of “The Good Boss: Nine Ways Every Manager Can Support Women at Work.”
Julie (Shaffner) Brawn, BSBA 1999
From a career in investment banking and Wall Street, Julie Brawn pivoted back to where she began when she was 10 years old — jewelry. A mother, wife, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, she runs a successful global jewelry design firm and keeps close to her roots.
Continue reading the full story today with complimentary access to the digital edition included when you order your book now.