SOM Professor Teresa Nelson Visits the White House

April 25, 2016

As a member of the National Women's Business Council, Dr. Nelson was invited to speak at the White House about women's participation in the economy as business owners.

School of Management Professor Teresa Nelson leads a busy life off-campus, and it has taken her all the way to the White House. Her most recent trip to Washington found her in conversation with Julie Weeks, president and CEO of Womenable, discussing research on women’s participation in the economy as business owners.They spoke to an audience of policy makers, entrepreneurs, and service providers with the event being transmitted live via streaming media. Dr. Nelson received this opportunity through serving on the National Women’s Business Council.

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is made up of 15 professional women in a variety of leadership positions who work together to independently advise the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on issues of women in business. The NWBC is a political body, though bi-partisan. The President appoints the chair, and members turn over every three years. According to Dr. Nelson, the women on the council are incredible. Six of them, including her, hold seats on behalf of organizations. She represents ASTIA, an organization dedicated to female high-growth entrepreneurs in technology and considers herself an academic-practitioner bridge on the council. Professor Nelson believes the potential of women entrepreneurs is a significant lever for boosting the economy, and an important arena to think about gender equality. We need to be talking about issues of this nature in order to bring awareness and see change.

Dr. Nelson has visited the White House more than once. On this trip, she was lucky enough to take a swing at bowling in the White House’s basement bowling alley. She mentioned several striking things about her visits there. First, the security process to enter the White House includes a background check by the FBI before you arrive, and heavy security on-site as well. She also wants students to know that the White House is a hive of activity; an “important place where work of the world is done.” Further, many people start their careers at the White House – it’s not just a workplace for established professionals. Many people under 30 are employed there, and young people routinely start their careers in Washington, D.C. in multiple branches of government.