Texas McCombs to Launch Women Who Mean Business Program to Address National Decline of Women in the Workforce

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Pioneering businesswomen Gay Gaddis and Lynn Utter collaborate with alma mater to help women navigate career leadership.

Lynn Utter and Gay Gaddis

Lynn Utter (left) and Gay Gaddis (right). Photo courtesy of McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin

One of our goals at McCombs is to foster principled leaders and this program will address a crucial need in the market. What’s even greater is to have two esteemed alums returning to campus to give back in such a meaningful way.

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin is debuting Women Who Mean Business — a Texas Executive Education six-month leadership development program designed to equip high-achieving women with tools and mentorship needed to navigate rapid career acceleration.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the pandemic has forced 2.5 million women to leave the workforce. The data also confirms that women are three times more likely to sacrifice their careers for family. To address the ever-changing market, the Women Who Mean Business program will offer an immersive curriculum and mentorship courses, teaching women how to find their unique leadership style, hone their personal power to make decisions, improve their communication and negotiation skills, gain life-long strategies to support on-going leadership development and more. Through tactical solutions and hands-on training, this program answers the challenge many organizations face in offering meaningful and specific ways to support their female employees.

The program will be led by two powerful Texas female CEOs, Gay Gaddis and Lynn Utter. Their unique and holistic perspectives will offer real-world experiences to help women learn how to navigate complexities and unexpected blind spots in business, whether in an entrepreneurial or corporate environment. Gaddis, the founder of T3 advertising agency and author of Cowgirl Power, brings an entrepreneurial lens, and Utter, a serial C-suite executive, looks at advancement and the critical needs of businesswomen within a corporate environment.

“Partnering with Lynn and Executive Education at Texas McCombs will make this program a true game-changer for businesswomen on their way to the top,” said Gaddis. “If we can buck the trend of women losing ground in the workplace, and give them the confidence and tools to soar, then this will all be worthwhile for generations to come."

“I hope that Women Who Mean Business serves as a secret decoder ring to help more women successfully navigate their career journeys,” added Utter.

The fully in-person program will be hosted at the University of Texas Executive Education Center over four, two-day sessions and will be limited to 50 members of the cohort.

“One of our goals at McCombs is to foster principled leaders and this program will address a crucial need in the market,” says Lillian Mills, Texas McCombs interim dean. “What’s even greater is to have two esteemed alums returning to campus to give back in such a meaningful way.”

The Women Who Mean Business program launches in September 2021. For information about the program visit here.

About the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin
Texas McCombs is a premier business school at a world-class public research university. We are a community that fosters lifelong engagement with our students and alumni. We cultivate principled leaders and develop ideas that will advance our economy, improve lives, strengthen our communities, and create new knowledge for future generations. Through high-quality instruction, experiential learning, and the pursuit of relevant, groundbreaking research, we are shaping those who will shape tomorrow and solve our most challenging problems.

About Program Instructor, Gay Gaddis:
T3 Founder, Author, Artist and Entrepreneurial Trailblazer
Gay Gaddis is the founder of T3, an innovative digital and marketing agency that grew into the largest woman-owned independent agency in the U.S. Under Gay’s leadership for 30+ years, T3 rose to national prominence developing digital solutions for Fortune 200 companies, until its acquisition by Lieberman Research Worldwide (LRW) in 2019. Today, through her speaking career, author of Cowgirl Power, board work and through custom leadership training, Gay is focusing her always-on energy to empower entrepreneurs and the next generation of business leaders to take big leaps in their careers and lives. http://www.gaygaddis.com

About Program Instructor, Lynn Utter:
Independent Director of WESCO International, Lincoln National, NextEra Energy and Vista Outdoor; Operating Partner, Atlas Holdings, LLC
Lynn Utter climbed the corporate ladder in distribution, supply chains industrial spaces as a C-Suite executive of First Source LLC, Knoll Office, Coors’ Distributing Company and PepsiCo/Frito-Lay. Recently she’s transitioned to corporate board service actively serving on four publicly traded companies including WESCO Distribution, Lincoln Financial, NextEra Energy and Vista Outdoor. Lynn has also served on a myriad of not-for-profit boards within The University of Texas, The Aspen Institute and United Way; and recently co-chaired the Stanford GSB's Task Force on Women.

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