In recognition of International Women’s Day, we are thrilled to highlight the Women@Darden initiative, as well as two student-led organizations that create opportunities to further gender equity and champion professional development of women MBAs.
Learn more about the International Women’s Day organization, whose 2022 theme is #breakthebias. “Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.”
Through Women@Darden, Darden and the Darden School Foundation are actively working to expand opportunities and access for women through scholarship, innovation in the MBA experience, a network that connects faculty, alumnae, and students and amplifying cutting-edge thought leadership from the School’s women faculty members.
When Women@Darden was formally announced earlier this year, The Darden Report cited, “Across key industries, women remain dramatically underrepresented in leadership roles, with roughly 6 percent of S&P 500 company CEO positions held by women. Business schools like Darden can be change agents, helping companies drive greater diversity and resulting in better business outcomes.”
“Too often, women do not envision their path into business,” said Darden Senior Associate Dean for Professional Degree Programs Yael Grushka-Cockayne “No matter your background, Darden is a phenomenal place to gain expertise in general management, deepen one’s understanding of business, and learn and grow into a leader. Women@Darden efforts aim to ensure women from around the world see a place for themselves in the business community in general, and in the Darden community specifically: as a student, learner, or faculty and staff member.”
Student Leadership and Advocacy
Darden’s women-focused organizations play an integral role in the journey to gender parity and inclusivity.
The Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) have been extremely involved in conversations around gender equity, including kicking off a case audit, which helped to diversify Darden cases by over 7 percent. Learn more about Pam Fischer’s (MBA ’21) work on the “Case for Inclusivity” and why representation in business continues to be a challenge.
GWIB promotes the role of professional women by developing a greater appreciation for issues of diversity among men, women, faculty and administration. This organization led by women in the Full-Time MBA provides resources related to women’s issues in pursuing a career in business and helps students create and build their professional and personal networks. In addition to partnering with many other clubs throughout the year for gender conversations and allyship events, GWIB hosts an annual leadership conference with keynote speakers, networking, workshops and panels – and this year, an entrepreneurship fair featuring some of Darden’s women founders.
On why she chose Darden, GWIB president Natalia Alvarez Diaz (Class of 2022) commented: “Coming from a non-traditional background, I wanted a rigorous academic program that would prepare me to be an effective and socially -conscious business leader. I also wanted to two spend two years at a school with a strong sense of community and with world-class faculty who are passionate about teaching.”
The Network of Executive Women (NEW) plays a pivotal role in empowering professional MBA women to reach their full potential by:
- Creating an inclusive community and a sense of belonging among women in the Executive MBA program
- Connecting female students and alumni through professional development, career support and networking opportunities
- Advocating for an understanding around issues of gender equality, specifically related to women executives
2021–22 NEW president Sarah Powell (Class of 2022) shared, “For me, the mission of NEW is both deeply personal and inspiring so I knew fairly early on that serving in a leadership role in the organization was something I wanted to do. I was particularly drawn to the fact that NEW was an organization that can live on in a meaningful way for its members beyond their time in the EMBA program. It was very exciting to me to be a part of an organization that has so much longevity and applicability for the women of the program throughout their lives and careers.”
Connect and Learn More
Full-Time MBA Prospective Students:
- Attend a virtual coffee chat and Q&A with members of GWIB on 25 March | Register here
- Schedule a women’s recruiting chat with Darden Admissions | Register here
Executive MBA and Part-Time MBA Prospective Students:
- Attend a webinar hosted by NEW, which will feature insights into balancing work, life and school as an MBA student | Register here
- Schedule a women’s recruiting chat with Darden Admissions and current students | Register here
University of Virginia Women’s Center Events (free and open to all)
- The Ground She Walks On: Women’s History Month at UVA: Building on recent work to commemorate milestone anniversaries of UVA’s journey to full co-education, the Women’s Center is excited to share a full slate of events offered by a wide range of offices and student organizations for this first Grounds-wide observance of Women’s History Month. Learn more here.