USC Marshall is at the forefront of efforts to prepare the next generation of women leaders in business. The school’s commitment to empowering women and advancing their success is seen in the holistic and broad strategies implemented across undergraduate, graduate and alumni stakeholder communities. The results can be striking: As one recent example, USC Marshall was the first top business school in the nation to reach gender parity in a full-time MBA program. The numbers tell a story of a school focused on ensuring that women are able to access and leverage the full range of opportunities a USC education provides.

In partnership with the Forté Foundation, USC Marshall is helping to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, opportunities and a network of like-minded peers. Begun with a focus on increasing the number of women pursuing an MBA, in 2018 Forté expanded its outreach to undergraduate women. Its Rising Stars program, in which USC Marshall is a leading participant, assists undergraduates as they explore business careers. Forté also expanded its college conferences by launching the Women of Color Business Leadership Conference.

Data from Forté shows that only six percent of Fortune 500 CEOs and 21 percent of S&P board members are women. They also reveal that only 36 percent of MBA graduates are female, compared to 50 percent in law and medical schools. USC Marshall collaborates with Forté to address these disparities with tools and programs tailored for women at every stage—enabling them to benefit from application and GMAT preparation support, business and leadership conferences, fellowships, networking and more.

Additionally, USC Marshall is a member of Deloitte and Universities Enabling Together (DUET), a partnership between the industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory powerhouse and select universities. As part of DUET, USC Marshall is building both short- and long-term initiatives to increase diversity in the talent pipeline, including raising awareness among women about exciting career opportunities in the field.

One of the ways in which USC Marshall addresses issues of gender equity is by securing critical funds to support women as they pursue business education. Studies show that MBA programs struggle to attract women, in part because of the age at which students typically pursue the degree (their late 20s or early 30s, a time when many women begin to consider starting families). A USC Marshall scholarship for women MBAs age 30 and older—made possible by a visionary $4 million gift from alumna Marilyn Beaudry-Corbett ’53 MS ’61—seeks to even the educational playing field. USC Marshall is also pleased to offer the Leslie Adkins ’15 Memorial Scholarship in honor of the late MBA alumna. Adkins’ family’s generosity allows female students in the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, of which USC Marshall is a proud member, to pursue their education and make an impact in their communities.

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