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Stern Men on Feminism

Conor Grennan, Dean of Students

Conor Grennan, Dean of Students
Conor Grennan, Dean of Students

An ally is one who doesn’t merely empathize, but strives to understand and even feel the frustrations and struggles of others. How small a step, then, it is for me to be an ally to women, as I watch my wife daily wrestle with the frustrations of being a female executive in a successful technology start-up. Or as I watch my young daughter figure out who she is, and how that compares with what the world tells her she is supposed to be. Through them, I feel that frustration, and I feel that struggle. Some might say that makes me an ally. I say it makes me a feminist.

Dean Peter Henry

Dean Peter Henry
Dean Peter Henry

Advocating for women and their equal treatment is a professional and personal priority. At Stern, our mission is to turn challenges into opportunities for business and society. But how will this happen if we undervalue half the workforce (and more than half of today’s college graduates)? Empowering women in our schools, companies, and communities is not a zero-sum proposition: men, women, and families all benefit when we treat women equally. Personally, I grew up with an extraordinary role model for what women can accomplish: in addition to the fierce support she gave my dad and us four kids, my mother also made significant contributions in her career as a biology professor. Today, my wife Lisa brings her skills as a psychiatrist to bear on raising our four boys. It’s important to me that our sons inherit and help shape a world where they and the women in their lives— colleagues, friends, and family—have equal opportunity to build gratifying professional and personal lives.

Aswath Damodaran, Professor of Finance

I am a feminist because

Aswath Damodaran, Professor of Finance

a. I love my three sons, but I treasure my only daughter.

b. I want her to be listened to, respected and treated for who she is.

c. I would like her to be able to make her own choices, whether to be at a stay-at-home mom, politician or an investment banker, though I will try very hard to talk her out of the last choice.

d. I think that we will have a lot fewer trading scandals, if we had more women on trading floors. (In fact, I would go further. I think that the mothers of traders (both male and female) should also be hired to sit behind them when they trade, since there is no better risk management mechanism than a skeptical mom).

e. I think it is an incredible waste of brain power to not make full use of half of the world’s population.

Santiago Mijares, MBA Class of 2016

Santiago Mijares, MBA Class of 2016
Santiago Mijares, MBA Class of 2016

Feminism matters to me because I’d like to live in a world where everyone is treated the same. I was fortunate to grow up in a house with four phenomenal women (my mother and three younger sisters) and I have also been dating my wonderful wife for more than 12 years. So yes, I care about fenimism because I want them to be treated fairly, but that is not the main reason why it matters to me. It matters to me because we are all better off by treating everyone as equals and understanding the other gender’s point of view. I have seen the amazing things women can do here at Stern, work, politics and at home. Feminism matters to me because I hope everyone gets to experience life from a different perspective the way I have.

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