Professor Paola Dubini introducing the Italian Centre for Gender Cultures, in Milan

The perfect curriculum to learn how to survive in a male-dominated environment and how to build a career making "family-wise" choices

Professor Paola Dubini introducing the Italian Centre for Gender Cultures, in Milan

Claudia Astarita


The Financial Times regularly interviews smart people working in the business sector. A few weeks ago, they chose Paola Dubini, associate professor in business administration at Università Bocconi as well as SDA Bocconi School of Management (Milan).

At Bocconi University Prof. Dubini is the director of the bachelor of economics and management in arts, culture and communication, a position she has been actively exploiting to create in Milan an Interuniversity Centre for Gender Cultures aimed at protecting female rights and dignity.

Asked to comment about the success rate of this initiative, Prof. Dubini said she "fights rarely, but when I fight I fight to win". Although confirming like many other professors that she loves her job because being with students forces her "to stay young inside and be forward looking", while being an academic she enjoys the pleasure and the freedom of satisfying her "intellectual curiosity" any time she wants to.

Today, she is proud of having contributed to "building a curriculum and set up a degree in management for the arts, culture and communication", as 15 years after it was scheduled for the first time, this program keeps on confirming that "the intuition of leveraging the arts as a source of knowledge in a management curriculum was right and fruitful".

Thanks to this curriculum, many young women realized how smart they are and how many professional opportunities they can find in the global market. Prof. Doubini really seems passionate about teaching her students not to underestimate their potential, and that it is never too early (or too late) "to go out and get whatever experience [they] feel they are prepared to take", remembering to make "family-wise" choices that fit their personality as well.

Finally, asked about how to help women to deal with a male-dominated environment, Prof. Doubini admits it may be better, at least at the very beginning, to work in areas that are not particularly crowded, as in the world""there are tons of interesting things to do".

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