For Marie-Claude Boudreau, Women’s History Month is important to celebrate, not only because of the influential women in her life, but also because of the contributions she hopes to achieve through making the male-dominated field of management information systems more accessible to women.
Boudreau is an associate professor at the University of Georgia and department head of the Department of Management Information Systems in the Terry College of Business. Boudreau said the women who have inspired her are her mother and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Women have achieved so much and these accomplishments should not be overlooked. We should celebrate them, let them inspire us so that we, in turn, can aspire to become agents of change ourselves,” Boudreau said.
The first woman who inspired Boudreau was her mother. Boudreau said her mother inspired her to aim high in life and to stay strong in the face of adversity.
A part of that mantra from her mother seeped into Boudreau’s educational aims.
“As a first-generation college graduate, I know that I owe it all to her respect and deference for learning and education,” Boudreau said.
Boudreau has a doctorate in computer information systems from Georgia State University, a specialized higher education diploma from the Grenoble School of Business in France and a master’s degree from Laval University in Québec, Canada.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve in the U.S. Supreme Court, also inspires Boudreau.
“I could single out Ruth Bader Ginsberg for giving me rights that I now take for granted,” Boudreau said.
There’s a Ginsburg quote that is especially important to Boudreau.
“[I want to be remembered as] someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has,” Ginsburg said.
Boudreau said although she may not be able to achieve the level of transformation Ginsburg had, she thinks a life well-lived is one where such goals are kept front and center, which is what she strives to do.
As an educator, Boudreau said she realizes she has the ability to instill confidence in young women who may be hesitant to enter a field that has a predominant male presence. She said this is especially important because more women are needed in the management information systems field.
Boudreau has done just that in her own work in energy informatics, where she has inspired other women to pursue paths “at the crossroad of technology and sustainability,” which is an area which needs the creativity, critical thinking and emotional intelligence of young women, Boudreau said.
But Boudreau says there is still work to be done.
“Violence against women is still a major issue — so are inequalities to education and employment opportunities,” Boudreau said. “Women and men need to work together to rectify the imbalance and bring a stop to abuse in all its forms.”