‘Preparing for the Workforce Panel’ Tackles Gender Roles in Business

Cal Poly’s Information Systems Association (ISA) and Orfalea College of Business welcomed alumni, industry leaders, and more than 100 students for a panel discussion called “Preparing for the Workforce” on Monday, April 27. The event, moderated by Cal Poly Provost Kathleen Enz Finken, featured female business leaders including several alumnae who shared their own experiences as leaders in the technology sector. The panelists also answered specific questions about navigating team dynamics, finding a mentor and asking for a promotion related to this year’s theme, “Being Your Personal Advocate.”

Panelists included Gina Roldan (B.S., Business Administration, 1996) of Microsoft, Avital Arora of NetApp, Christine Songco Lau (B.S., Business Administration, 1999) of Google, Jo Anne Miller of Browndog Partners, and Marina de la Torre of MINDBODY.

Small-group discussion with each panelist also helped attendees to understand personal strengths, recognize different leadership roles in the workplace and classroom, and create a strong personal network.

This is the second year ISA has hosted “Preparing for the Workforce.” Its mission is to create an open dialog about gender in the workplace, to encourage everyone — not just women — to resolve issues and promote a cohesive, productive work environment. The event was founded thanks to Roldan’s passion for the subject, which inspired her to collaborate with Professor Barry Floyd to create the forum.

The event was organized through a senior project by Josephine Le and Nathan Miner of ISA, advised by Floyd. Miner was also involved in last year’s inaugural “Preparing for the Workforce” panel.

ISA is a professional club for all students interested in the information systems field. Through weekly meetings, recruiting events, professional speakers and social gatherings, ISA aims to guide information systems students in making professional decisions, building a professional network, and finding satisfying careers.