Lecture Focuses on Workplace Flexibility
The alumnus-sponsored Ernst & Young Lecture Series continued its examination of women's issues with a presentation by Nancy Smith Salisbury '93.
The Oswego Alumni Association Board of Directors member and Ernst & Young partner spoke about flexibility and its application to all employees, including men, in her presentation "Creating Equity in the Workplace."
Gender equity has certainly not been achieved with women still occupying fewer leadership roles and making less money than their male counterparts. But, great strides have been made at Ernst & Young and elsewhere, Salisbury said.
In addition to creating support networks for working women and mothers, Ernst & Young has placed a sharper focus on work-life balance over the past 20 years.
"When I started with the firm, flexibility was not a term that we used," Salisbury said. "In fact, I would have said that public accounting was an extremely inflexible career.
"Now, I would say that public accounting is one of the most flexible careers out there in terms of the technology that we have today and the understanding, the increased awareness that the firm has gained," she said. Corporate culture is gradually accepting the positive impact of flexibility and the competitive advantage it can provide.
"We are only as good as the resources that we have in-house. And we have to keep those people happy," Salisbury said.
Flexible scheduling can apply to more than women or parents. It means something different to each individual, whether it's a marathoner looking to find time for training or a parent attempting to attend a child's ballgame, Salisbury said as two examples.
The annual series of presentations takes place 6 to 7:30 p.m. most Thursdays through April 26 in the Campus Center.
Robert Feinberg '78 and his wife, Robbi, endowed the lecture series on women and work in 2003, with a matching gift from his employer, global accounting and business advisory firm Ernst & Young. The series is a complement to the "Women, the Workplace and the Law" course, which is part of Oswego's Women's Studies program.
— Shane M. Liebler
Ernst & Young Lecture Series speaker and Alumna In Residence Nancy Smith Salisbury '93 chats with students after a classroom appearance.
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