March 23, 2020 | By Patricia Hoopes | Back to blog

Female student standing in a long hallway

It is well established that diversity of all kinds in the workplace fosters innovation and creativity.

Having women in the diversity mix, in particular, is good for business. Women in management tend to have strong soft skills and high emotional intelligence that impact their leadership and staff mentorship. Women encourage different perspectives and ideas that foster innovation—adding particular value to industries largely driven by female consumers.

However, women continue to be underrepresented in top leadership positions. McKinsey & Company in partnership with LeanIn.org published a study in 2019 that showed some growth in women at the C-Suite level (17 percent to 21 percent since 2015) but notes that gender parity remains out of reach. “Women—and particularly women of color—are underrepresented at every level. And without fundamental changes early in the pipeline, gains in women’s representation will ultimately stall.”

The Wisconsin School of Business: helping close the gender gap

The Wisconsin School of Business sponsors Forté—an organization focused on helping women in their careers by providing access to business education, professional development, and a community of other successful women—and selects MBA student leaders like Jenna Herr (MBA ’19) and Rebecca Schulenburg (MBA ’20) to welcome and mentor new members.

As a Forté ambassador, I was able to meet many women who were admitted to the Wisconsin MBA Program or were prospective students to tell them about Forté and life in the MBA program. It was a great opportunity to connect with these women early and assure them that the Wisconsin MBA Program was a great choice.

Rebecca Schulenburg (MBA ’20)

Expanding opportunities to lead in business

Jenna, who was named a Poets&Quants MBAs to Watch 2019, experienced the value of Wisconsin’s Forté sponsorship as well as other leadership opportunities available during her time in the MBA program.

“The commitment to these program opportunities,” said Jenna, “makes a statement about our leadership as a School and opens another avenue … for the women in our program to have access to opportunities that we might not otherwise know about. The social issues that are important to us, the financial issues, the current topics, all those things that are coming up today, are problems that current students are in charge of tomorrow,” she added.

“Being a Forté sponsor school is an extension of our long-held commitment to gender equity, diversity, and inclusion,” says Director of MBA Admissions and Recruiting Betsy Kacizak. “Forté and the Wisconsin School of Business are both dedicated to making sure that there’s gender equity in MBA programs and the corporate world.”

With the Forté sponsorship, Wisconsin Full-Time MBA students can attend exclusive Forté events, gain access to the organization’s job board, and most importantly, tap into Forté’s extensive network of women business leaders.