'It’s time that more Latinos take a role in the business world.'

Why Representation Matters: Wendy Dimas on Diversity and Ethics in Business Leadership

Wendy Dimas has always wanted to be a business leader. Growing up Latina in the Yakima Valley, though, it was tough to find others with similar career aspirations. “I didn’t see business leaders who look like me,” she says. “Many women of color can’t imagine ourselves in these leadership roles.”

Still, Wendy’s love for numbers kept calling. “Life might not always make sense, but the numbers do,” she says. “In accounting, for example, you know there’s a right answer out there—and having the skills to find that answer can help others plan for their future.”

She saw the impact her financial leadership could have while working for KeyBank, helping customers with investment strategies meet their financial planning objectives. There, she started picturing her future, imagining herself in retirement: “I knew I never wanted to say, ‘What if I had gone to business school?’” says Wendy. “My motto is to pursue your dreams and live your life with no regrets. I won’t wait to find out ‘what if.’”

Finding Out “What If”: The Path to a Dual Degree

For Wendy, the right answer involved a dual degree in the PMBA and MPAC programs at the Albers School of Business Economics. She was surprised, too, that she didn’t need to have a bachelor’s degree in business to pursue an MBA. Having earned her undergraduate degree in communication from the University of Washington, she could jump right in.

Initially, she began the That approach has been evident in the care she has felt from her instructors. “They aren’t just at the university for their own research. They are actively invested in our success,” says Wendy. “Whether I’m considering a career in audit or asking them professional questions about working for a Big 4 company, they’re always there to guide me.”

Wendy expected her business school experience to feel competitive and isolating; instead, she found a supportive, encouraging community. “That starts with our professors: how they speak to us, treat us, convey information, and cultivate culture within the classroom,” she says.

That care from Albers faculty also shines through their enthusiasm for the topics they teach. Wendy describes her instructors as being extremely passionate about their subjects. She recalls how central collaborative learning and real-world applications were, too: “The course material at Seattle University is always tied so well to actual business scenarios we’ll find ourselves in. We worked together to address real-world problems related directly to the lecture.”

Wendy found it helpful to be able to connect with faculty who share her subjectivity as a woman of color. “There are many barriers set up for us that others may not be able to understand,” she says. “I especially felt empowered by

Albers Schools of Business and Economics

May 22, 2023