Clifford Schorer
Adjunct Professor; The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School

Promoting Women in Business

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Cliff Schorer says to avoid the glass ceiling women should realize their potential as entrepreneurs.

Clifford Schorer

Professor Schorer is a serial entrepreneur who specializes in the start-up acquisition and development of small and mid-sized companies. He focuses on businesses with unique ideas or technologies that are in need of guidance during their initial growth phases. Cliff has been involved with companies in the high tech arena, his last position being CEO of GeoVideo Networks, a Lucent Technologies Venture. Prior to that his career included businesses in the real estate, office-supply and health care industries. During the early 1990's he spent a considerable amount of time in Russia using his entrepreneurial approach to assist in the privatization process During his extensive professional career, Schorer has lectured in numerous business and academic forums both in the United States and abroad. He has developed financial management software programs for business education through his publishing company Bized.


Question: What's being done to promote women in business?

Clifford Schorer: First of all I think a lot's being done to encourage more female business leaders. We have many, many MBA candidates and students today that definitely are- certainly are women and come with great business ideas and tremendous drive and energy, and remember right now we have — one of the top three presidential candidates is a woman. That would have been unheard of 15 years ago so there's tremendous progress and opportunities there. In our law school I think it's almost 50/50 now, men and women, so that's changed dramatically so if a woman really wants to succeed today the tools are there and I think a lot of the barriers that were there previously have disappeared. That being said, I would say that their greater opportunities are in the entrepreneurial area because there they're in control of their ship. You still have some glass ceilings in some of the major corporations and it might be subtle and I've just observed it over the years especially in other countries where at the same time if you go out and do it yourself you're in control. I think they could get a lot of better press. Look at the eBays. Look at some of the things that have emerged in this country that are totally headed by women who were women entrepreneurs so I think maybe what they could do is celebrate it a little more and push it a little more. I think that'd be great. I think that — even though I believe the political process usually lags behind everything else that's going on, I will say that if you look at our government now you're seeing quite a few women in Congress; you're seeing quite a few women in the Senate. I think these are all very, very positive signals. Also, and this may have — be kind of far afield, but I also notice that on television in the shows you're getting women in much more powerful positions and you're seeing it so I think it's coming along just fine.

Recorded on: 5/13/08