BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Celebrating (Misbehavin’) Women’s History Month

Posted by gansie on March 16, 2010

As an organization proud of its legacy of supporting working women, Business and Professional Women’s Foundation honors today’s trailblazing women as they lead the way.

This Misbehavin’ interview is one in a series as BPW Foundation commemorates Women’s History Month.

Name Sheila Barry-Oliver, Ed.D.

Title Part-time Faculty

Organization Trinity Washington University and University of Maryland University College (UMUC)

Dr. Barry-Oliver spent 28 years in the corporate world (24 in IT and management consulting as a technologist and business leader and 4 in diversity management) and the last 11 years teaching adult learners in graduate management programs. Barry-Oliver is also a member of the BPW Foundation Board of Trustees.

My favorite woman in history is Grace Hopper because of her pioneering work with computers.  I had the opportunity to meet her twice and am in proud possession of a “nanosecond:” a piece of colored wire 11.8” (30 cm) long that demonstrates visually how far light travels in a nanosecond. This colored wire was important in helping people understand how fast computers were in that era.  My husband was one of those who worked with her and I still enjoy hearing his stories about her.

Women have helped me succeed in my career by… sharing their experiences and providing moral support.  Joining the workforce in the 1960’s meant there were few opportunities for women to be mentors or role models in my field or at my employers but those I encountered in other fields were always supportive and encouraging.

I support Business and Professional Women’s Foundation… because of their research into issues of importance to working women and employers.  I am a strong believer that it is critical to understand something in order to improve it.  My goal is gender equity in the workplace, which benefits women, employers and society as a whole, and I hope that my work on the BPWF Board helps in achieving that goal.

I’m proud to be a Misbehavin’ Woman by… being a role model, taking on new challenges (such as learning new software) and continuing to challenge uninformed assumptions and stereotypes about women.

You too can celebrate a woman in your life by making a $50 donation in her honor to BPW Foundation.


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