In an effort to attract more women to its M.B.A. program the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business today announced a new fellowship program exclusively for women. Each recipient will receive $50,000 in scholarship money during their two years of study, the school said.
“Along with the financial support provided by our corporate partners and the GSB, each recipient will benefit in other ways,” said Edward A. Snyder, dean of Chicago GSB. The scholarship pairs each woman with a sponsoring company that provides a mentor and help in broadening her professional contacts.
“This program is about lowering the obstacles – both financially and in terms of career progression – for women who want to pursue an MBA at Chicago,” Snyder said.
Known as the Chicago Fellowships for Women, the program is designed to create a learning environment and culture that ensures success for women through financial support as well as programmatic components, the school said.
The first sponsor of the program was Robert W. Baird & Co., an international, employee-owned financial services firm. Deutsche Bank, an international financial services provider, also was an early sponsor.
The first recipients of the women’s fellowships will begin their studies in September 2005 as members of the M.B.A. Class of 2007.
“We enjoy a strong relationship with the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and are pleased to be partnering with the school for this important initiative,” said Paul E. Purcell, Baird president and chief executive officer.
“We believe this program will inspire more women to pursue leadership roles in the financial services industry and will enhance our opportunities to attract the top female talent so vital to Baird’s success,” Purcell said, adding that nearly 75 per cent of the firm’s salaried managers are women, one of the factors contributing to Baird’s high rank (No. 18) on Fortune’s 2005 list of the 100 best companies to work for.
Deutsche Bank has sponsored a conference for women on Wall Street for more than 10 years as part of a commitment supporting women in business. Recently their efforts have expanded to focus on women at the start of their career and during their education through this partnership with Chicago GSB.
Last year women accounted for 26 percent of entering M.B.A. students at Chicago GSB, the school said. The Chicago Fellowships for Women program is expected to help the school attract a higher percentage of women.
Included among the school’s successful female graduates are Karen Katen, vice chairman of Pfizer, Inc., Kathryn Gould, co-founder of Foundation Capital, a leading California venture capital and private equity firm, and Mary Tolan, chief executive of Accretive Health.
The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business is known for its world-renowned faculty and its innovative M.B.A. program which has campuses in London and Singapore in addition to Chicago. Current enrollment includes 3,000 full-time and part-time students.