Breaking the glass ceiling Since
taking her post at the Orange County Business Council, Dunn has been
instrumental in the renewal of Measure M funding, to cover the next 30
years of transportation improvements in the region.
Throughout her career, Dunn says she has often looked to Marian Bergeson for inspiration.
84, is a pioneer in her own right, becoming the first woman to ever
serve in both the California State Assembly and California State
Senate. She also served on the Orange County Board of Supervisors from
1995 to ’96, before being named California Secretary of Education, a
job she held from 1996 to ’99.
Though retired, Bergeson
currently chairs the Great Park of Irvine Conservancy Board, serves on
the state’s Transportation Commission and serves on the board of
directors for the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, among other
A Newport Beach resident since
1959, Bergeson says she has witnessed the impact effective
businesswomen have had on the region: “Women have been at the forefront
… in a county where a booming economy created a great opportunity for
She also says she thinks the days of gender discrimination are over.
is good ideas, good strategy and good judgment that push organizations
forward – whether in governments, nonprofits or in the private sector,”
Still, disparity remains in executive boardrooms.
1995, female Fortune 500 CEOs totaled 0.2 percent,” says Cal State
Fullerton Associate Dean S. Irene Matz. “In 2008, the percentage was 3
percent. We see a lot of women in mid-management positions – that
hasn’t been the problem. The problem has been the CEO positions.”
Dunn didn’t let gender stand in the way of her rise to the top, she
says she knows other women have fought double standards to achieve the
same respect and rights in the business world that men enjoy.
says that’s more about stereotyping gender roles than anything else:
“When women assert their own opinions in the board room, they can be
criticized for that, while that same assertiveness is celebrated in
Dunn never let that bother her, either.
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