|Operations in Action|
Students toured a facility at Exel, a contract logistics and supply chain management company. Students also visited OSU Medical Center, a Coca-Cola manufacturing facility, and a Target distribution center and store.
New Operations Course Aims to Attract More Women Into Ops Roles
Operations management (OM) professionals are challenged every day with improving processes that touch customers. Thanks to a new elective course at Fisher designed with female students in mind, a new crop of business majors are gaining a rich appreciation of this growing field.
The architects behind the course are Nancy Lahmers, senior lecturer at Fisher and director of the Women’s Leadership Initiative, and Andrea Prud’homme, assistant clinical professor and associate director of Fisher’s Center for Operational Excellence (COE).
Prud’homme said that during many COE events, most of the industry participants are men, who “tell us they’d really like more diversity in the workforce but they can’t find women to hire.”
Lahmers added that many women OM professionals expressed an interest in reaching out to female students. With that input, they designed a nontraditional undergraduate class to expose students to business operations and paired each student with a mentor. With funding provided by Target Corporation, the course debuted in spring 2011.
Mark Eberhardt, store team leader for Target, said Ohio State is now the number one school Target recruits for operations positions, with positions being filled in 76 stores throughout Columbus and the region: “Every year, our relationship with Ohio State and Fisher continues to grow and develop. We look for leadership qualities and we’ve had great success finding those leadership qualities with the young, talented women at Fisher.”
“I really enjoy mentoring students and letting them know the importance of operations regardless of the role they play. Operations managers really get an enterprise view of how organizations work.”
Rachel Lane, associate vice president of business excellence at Nationwide and a member of the board for Fisher’s COE
“Rachel was a really good mentor—at our first meeting she told me how operations works and how she loves her job. She also gave me a personality test to see if I was suited for operations. It helped me a lot to see what I was really interested in.”