Home Blog Faculty spotlight: Dr. Jennica Webster, Associate Professor of Management

Faculty spotlight: Dr. Jennica Webster, Associate Professor of Management

December 23, 2021
Faculty Spotlight Jennica Webster headshot

From her undergraduate studies as a psychology major, to her current role as an associate professor in management in the Marquette University Graduate School of Management, Jennica Webster, Ph.D., has always been interested in people and the way they interact with their surroundings. As a leading researcher in the field of industrial and organizational psychology — and specifically in the subtopic of diversity and inclusion— Dr. Webster and her work in and outside of the classroom are a prime example of how Marquette blends its holistic, ethics-based mission into its management curriculum.

The intersection of people and work

Dr. Webster’s research focuses on creating more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces, overcoming disadvantages faced by women and other underrepresented groups and the stereotypes and biases that thwart a sense of belonging for workers and the ability of organizations to truly leverage diversity.

Both Webster’s research and course curriculum are informed by her background in industrial and organizational psychology, a specialty that focuses on understanding individuals, groups and organizational behavior and applying that knowledge to the solution of problems at work. “Looking at the world around us, I saw the effect work in organizations had on people and the effect people could have on organizations,” Webster explains. “I was interested and concerned about both.”

As Webster explains, work can have a positive effect on people beyond just a paycheck, “Think about the times when you’ve left work feeling great, from a sense of accomplishment or the camaraderie of your coworkers. Your company probably benefited from those times as well. Now think of the times, and we’ve all had them, when you left work feeling exasperated or exhausted. These times probably weren’t the best for you, and they probably weren’t good for your company either. As I was choosing my career, I knew I wanted to help people and companies achieve more of the former experiences and fewer of the latter.”

With the coronavirus pandemic sending waves of change through the economy and daily life, a number of important issues surrounding work have bubbled up that will have a big impact on future business leaders. Webster explains that the pandemic highlighted some of the inequities between men and women’s division of labor and that those inequities can lead to bias against women at work and has led many women to leave the workforce altogether. “The pandemic also highlighted disparities between those workers who are typically in high paying jobs that were able to work remotely and those workers who could not,” says Webster, “It surfaced and exacerbated disparities in healthcare, as well as economic disparities in employment and housing security. We take up all of these issues in the diversity, equity, and inclusion course that I teach.”

Recognized excellence

2021 proved a winning year for Dr. Webster as she was named the recipient of two distinguished awards related to her impactful work in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion and as a member of the Marquette community.

As a recipient of the 2021 Award for Responsible Research in Management, Webster was recognized by two of the leading management organizations in the world, the Fellows of the Academy of Management and the Community for Responsible Research in Business and Management, for her critical research on gender identity in the workplace. Her winning study examined courageous acts that involve taking a risk by opposing policies or behaviors that are unfair, derogatory, or discriminatory toward stigmatized groups. “Generally, we found that those kinds of courageous acts had a tremendous positive impact on the people who witnessed them,” Webster says, “Specifically in this study, workers with a transgender identity felt these acts conveyed a strong message regarding their value as organizational members resulting in higher self-esteem, job satisfaction and wellbeing.”

Dr. Webster also received Marquette’s 2021 Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award which is bestowed to faculty and staff who demonstrate exemplary leadership and manifest the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion into practical action. In other words, Webster doesn’t research the topic, she puts it to work in her classroom, in organizations and in her everyday life. Webster was nominated for the award by students and fellow faculty members who wrote recommendations that the professor described as “heartwarming and humbling.”

“I think as professors we hope to make a real and lasting impact on our students,” says Webster, “The types of compliments that came in supporting me for the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award reminded me that we can have an impact that goes beyond student learning, to affecting how they personally operate in the world and progress in their careers long after a class is done.”

The Marquette difference

Dr. Webster’s deep involvement in the Marquette community and dedication to living her values through all of her work is representative of the business school faculty as a whole. Webster serves as Co-Director of Marquette University’s Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL). The IWL conducts, sponsors and promotes research and hosts educational workshops and webinars on topics such as women’s suffrage, pay equality, women, money and investing, and women’s entrepreneurship along with research socials and other community building and networking opportunities. As Webster says, “Here at MU, we have a deep commitment to equity and social justice. It is baked into our DNA. Students experience it with their faculty and classmates, and it cuts across the courses in the curriculum.”

“That idea of cura personalis, which means caring for the whole person, is part of everything we do here at Marquette,” says Webster, “It comes through in our daily interactions with students and coworkers. It’s in the success stories we tell and conveyed by symbols around campus. We don’t just talk the talk here; we strive to live up to it every day.”

Become an inclusive, inspiring and effective leader

One of the programs for which Dr. Webster teaches, the online Master in Management (MiM), offers a uniquely principled approach to graduate business education. “Without people there is no business,” Webster explains, “The MiM views managing human capital: people, as equally important to achieving organizational success as areas like finance, information systems and marketing.”

In Marquette University’s online MiM program you’ll take courses such as Diversity and Inclusion in Global Organizations, Concepts for Ethical Business Practice, Leading Innovation and Creativity, Character-Driven Leadership and Managing in Turbulent Times. In the online MiM program you’ll build a powerful mix of contemporary analytics skills and timeless management strategies to advance your career.

Why choose a Master in Management for your graduate business education? “If you are someone looking to advance your career, wanting to take on broader responsibilities, or move into a leadership role, the MiM provides the skill set to do just that,” Webster says. “The MiM provides students with a set of skills that are in-demand in the workplace. Skills that can’t be replaced by technology. This is true whether you are just starting your career or if you’re an experienced professional looking to expand your opportunities.”

To find out more about other faculty members, the curriculum, or anything else about the online MiM, schedule a call with an Admissions Advisor. If you’re excited to learn more from Dr. Webster and ready to take the next step in your career, apply today.

  1. Retrieved on December 15, 2021 from apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/industrial