A digital special section of | Subscribe

Joyce Reitman

Joyce Reitman

CEO | Motionloft | Class of 1974

If memory serves, Joyce Reitman was among about 35 women in a class of 300 working toward their MBAs at the UI.

This was the mid-’70s — a different time in so many ways.

Reitman had just earned her bachelor’s in liberal arts and decided "my next step should be graduate school. At the time, I was married and had a young child — at the ripe age of 23 — and working, so it wasn’t a casual decision.

“I decided to get an MBA, instead of the predictable route of going into literature, and went to my favorite English professor, Nina Baym, for a recommendation for the MBA application.

“I was nervous, as I wasn’t choosing liberal arts as my field. She said: ‘Thank goodness you are going into business. We have enough women in literature, but not enough in business.’ She wrote me a great recommendation and I’ve never looked back.

“At past retirement age, I am running a tech company in Silicon Valley, with the average age of my team at under 35, working for Mark Cuban, and killing it.”