Penn State Smeal MBA programs join Forte Foundation to support women in business

April 09, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Online, residential, and executive MBA students from the Penn State Smeal College of Business can now leverage the Forté Foundation, a non-profit consortium of multinational corporations and top universities and business schools, through a new MBA partnership.

The mission of the Forté Foundation is to change the balance of the workplace by giving women equal access to an infrastructure — business education, role models, professional networks, leadership training — that empowers them to succeed.

“Diversity at Smeal is about creating an environment that welcomes, celebrates and promotes diversity of all forms, including support for student associations such as the Smeal Women’s Network, Women in Business, Women’s MBA, and Men As Allies,” said Brian Cameron, assistant dean of professional graduate programs. “This partnership with Forté only further enriches the experience of all our students, regardless of gender.”

As part of the new partnership, Smeal residential, online and executive MBA students can now attend exclusive Forté events, gain access to the organization’s job posting and resume database, and tap into Forté’s extensive network of women business leaders.

“We are thrilled to welcome Penn State Smeal to our roster of outstanding MBA partners,” said Elissa Sangster, CEO at Forté. “An active and engaged Forté undergraduate partner since 2016, Penn State has demonstrated a commitment to furthering Forté’s mission of launching women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, professional development and a community of successful women.”

The partnership includes the opportunity to name a number of MBAs as Forté Fellows. The Forté Fellowship offers financial support to MBA candidates who exhibit exemplary leadership, represent diverse backgrounds, and demonstrate a commitment to advancing women in business through mentorship or community involvement.

“MBA Program partnerships and the Forté Fellows program have been key to increasing the number of women represented in MBA programs,” Sangster said. “By providing financial support and access to key networks and opportunities, the Forté Fellows program empowers women MBAs to change their career trajectories, their earning power and their lives. Since 2003, Forté partner schools have awarded $277 million in scholarships.”

The Forté Foundation was launched in 2001 to address an inequity found in a landmark research study, “Women and the MBA: Gateway to Opportunity,” that looked at why women are underrepresented in top business schools compared with medical or law schools. In 2005, its member schools grew to 25 in the United States, and today, it includes 54: 39 in the United States, four in Canada and 11 in Europe.

“This new partnership enhances our ability to guide our graduate students to successful careers and outcomes across all of our programs,” Cameron said. “This will benefit all women who are studying at Smeal.” 

Forté MBA sponsors include the Kelley School of Business at Indiana, Broad College of Business at Michigan State, Fisher College of Business at Ohio State, Smith College of Business at Maryland, Ross School of Business at Michigan, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, The Wharton School, Yale School of Management, McDonough School of Business at Georgetown, and Harvard Business School, among many others. For a complete list of Forté’s corporate, non-profit, business school and undergraduate university partners, visit this ink.

Last Updated April 15, 2021