Women remain underrepresented in MBA classrooms and don’t participate in the global economy to the same extent as men. Many business schools and foundations are working to address by demonstrating successful female leadership and implementing programs to empower women in business.
Babson College and the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business recently announced that Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf would address their undergraduate and graduate students during its commencement ceremonies.
About President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Sirleaf is a Nobel Laureate and the first female president of an African country. Internationally known as Africa’s “Iron Lady,” President Sirleaf is a leader in peace, justice and democratic rule. During her term as Africa’s first democratically elected female president, she has led Liberia toward freedom and peace while implementing economic, social and political change since her election in 2006.
Sirleaf is seen as a global leader for women’s empowerment. In 2007 she was awarded the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom for her personal courage and commitment to expanding freedom and improving African lives. Just four years later, near the time of her re-election, she was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in securing women’s rights.
Sirleaf’s journey is detailed in her memoir This Child Will Be Great, and an overview of her accomplishments can be found on the official Babson website.
Babson Women MBA Students
Babson offers a wide range of scholarships including the Women’s Leadership Scholarships and Forté Fellowships. These scholarships are key, considering that 38 percent of women cite financial issues as the key reason for not attending graduate school, compared to 20 percent of men.
In addition, Babson women have an opportunity to participate in a variety of forums, coaching workshops and conferences throughout the year.
The Babson Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) offers speakers, mentorship and co-curricular learning opportunities to all members of the school’s community. There’s also the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab, which provides women entrepreneurs with a network designed to help launch or transform their businesses. For MBA students specifically, there’s the Babson Association of Women MBAs (BAWMBA), a student-run group that organizes networking, coaching, and personal and professional development opportunities.
How Babson Helps Empower Women Entrepreneurs
The Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab assembled a group of top female executives and leaders to share their advice and insight with an audience of aspiring women entrepreneurs. The school's CWEL and BAWMBA resources contribute to a culture where women are encouraged to speak their minds and develop an entrepreneurial mindset within a challenging and supportive community.
For more information, see the MetroMBA article