Notre Dame MBA joins Forté Foundation

Author: Carol Elliott

Forté Foundation

The University of Notre Dame MBA, a leading graduate business program located in the Mendoza College of Business, has joined Forté Foundation, a consortium of leading multinational corporations, the Graduate Management Admission Council and top global business schools.

The Forté Foundation is the leading organization that provides a national infrastructure for college and business school women to access the “real world” information, scholarship opportunities and essential networking connections they need to succeed in business careers.

“Just as the Forté Foundation strives to significantly increase the number of women business leaders, Notre Dame seeks to be a gateway for the thousands of bright and talented young women the University graduates each year,” said Carolyn Y. Woo, Martin J. Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College of Business. “I believe our alliance will prove quite powerful in advancing the careers of women in business.”

In seeking membership in the Foundation, Woo pointed to Notre Dame’s strong commitment to diversity in its student body, faculty and staff, as well as the University and the Mendoza College’s longstanding missions of supporting human development and community. Mendoza has awarded nearly $1.4 million in fellowships to women in the classes of 2011 and 2012.

As part of the new partnership with the Forté Foundation, the College will now offer a minimum of $60,000 in fellowship dollars each year to fund no fewer than four Forté Fellows. These prestigious fellowships will be awarded to the top female admitted MBA students and include an array of benefits, including exclusive access to Foundation events.

The membership will have additional benefits for Notre Dame business undergraduates and alumnae as well, such as networking events, professional development tools and access to premium content on the Forté website.

“Forté Foundation welcomes Notre Dame, with its proven leadership in educating women in business, as a vital partner in our mission to increase the number of women in business leadership positions,” said Elissa Sangster, executive director of Forté Foundation.

Forté’s membership of 39 schools includes: Chicago Booth, Harvard Business School, INSEAD, The Johnson School of Management at Cornell, The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, London Business School, Ross School of Business at Michigan, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, USC Marshall School of Business, Wake Forest (Babcock), The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Yale School of Management.

“The University of Notre Dame and the Mendoza College of Business are honored with our membership to the Forté Foundation,” said Brian Lohr, MBA director of admissions at Notre Dame. “This membership is extremely important in our continued commitment to support and promote women in business. This promise is central to our University’s mission and the mission of the Catholic Church.”

The Forté Foundation was founded in 2001 to address a significant under-representation of women in leading business schools compared with medical or law schools as revealed by a landmark research study, “Women and the MBA: Gateway to Opportunity.”

Forté Foundation enables its corporations and business school members to effectively reach, recruit and retain top female talent. Forté’s agenda to reach college-aged women, MBA candidates, and MBA alumnae will build on its founding commitment to increase the number of women in the early business pipeline, and will create partnerships with academic and advocacy groups, as well as its own corporate sponsors, to retain women in the workplace.

Since its founding, the foundation has built an online community of more than 60,000 women, reached thousands of MBA prospects through its Forté Forums educating women on “The MBA Value Proposition,” supported more than 750 MBA candidates with nearly $30 million in scholarships through the Forté Fellows program, driven the corporate recruiting dialogue through Corporate Best Practices Summit and Network of Women’s Networks events, and provided hundreds of MBA women at Forté sponsor schools with professional development workshops through its annual MBA Women’s Conference and Company Expo. To learn more about Forté Foundation visit

Mendoza College of Business

The Notre Dame MBA at the Mendoza College of Business enrolls approximately 340 students annually in its one-year and two-year programs. The program is designed to sharpen students’ analytical and problem-solving skills, enhance their leadership ability and increase emphasis on ethical decision making. Students have the opportunity to study the complexities of global business through international immersions in Asia, Latin America and other locations.

During the week-long Interterm Intensives, the MBA students analyze, investigate and offer solutions for real-life problems presented by executives from large global organizations. The Notre Dame MBA is ranked 24th among U.S. business schools by Bloomberg Businessweek, and No. 5 in the Aspen Institute’s 2009-10 Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey and alternate ranking that indicates the school’s success in integrating social, environmental and ethical issues into its program.

Contact: Brian Lohr, director of admissions, 574-631-8488,