Fletcher: Women’s successes a real knockout

Young women graduating from college absolutely knock me out. Get your mind realigned right now because their effect on me is not because of what you are thinking.

Young women today are achieving success at a level that was unknown at the time of my own college graduation. These women are dominating the Honor Student group at Alpena High School. At this year’s Rotary Luncheon for the AHS Honor Students, only 27 percent of the group were male. If this is indicative of the numbers from around the country, then women are very likely going to dominate the senior managerial jobs going forward.

My experience is that girls mature more rapidly than boys during high school years. All that is fine but take a look at some of the collegiate successes recently reported in this newspaper. First, let me say there are many outstanding success stories from which to choose so I did the easy thing and am using, as examples, just two taken from The Alpena News.

There were six young women and no young men listed in the Campus Corner May 18. I don’t know any of them personally. The first was Nikole Hampton who is fluent in Swedish and Spanish. She was graduated from Alcona High School and from University of Michigan with Honors. She’s accepted into Michigan’s Master of Social Work Program. Great job so far Nikole! Honors awards from Michigan are not given out freely.

The second graduate was Abigail Thompson. She is as fast tracked for business as anyone from any college can be. I’m talking about everyone including Harvard or Stanford business school graduates. Two bouts of summer internships with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a top notch accounting firm, coupled with taking time to teach English as a Second Language in Honduras rounded out her vacation times. She is planning on being a Certified Public Accountant BEFORE she starts work for PwC in Detroit in August. You go girl, you are on fire! Although it doesn’t say in the Campus Corner, I am assuming she is an Alpena High School graduate.

The dichotomy between these young women of today and the best and brightest of the females with whom I was graduated with at Cornell years ago is that the barriers are down for today’s females to enter business. In my graduate business school class at Michigan State University in 1968 I don’t recall a single female being in a class with me. Today that’s all changed.

Business wants the brightest people who are available and they aren’t hung up about gender. In our own business we have four female but only two male officers of the company.

I’m all for boys but the facts indicate that the competition for top business jobs is all about smart. Guys, I’ve got to tell you that since I got out of school 45 years ago the competition for top jobs has gotten twice as hard today as it was then. The women, whose presence was unknown in 1968, are here now and they are nothing if not tough. They are well educated and know how to build a resume. They don’t shy away from work and they pay attention to detail. The “good old days” when college women graduated, got married, and raised a family now has a new dimension; they also run the company for which you work. They not only got liberated, they also took over.

These young women graduating from college absolutely knock me out.