Women are a powerful presence at Leeds. They’re advancing careers, moving the needle in research, leading companies and launching startups. And there’s Sharon Matusik, Leeds’ first woman dean, who is determined to work toward ending the gap found in almost every business school (and boardroom) in the country.
We’re shifting the landscape for women in business, starting in the classroom and extending all the way to the C-suite.
— Dean Sharon Matusik
In fact, we’re shifting mindsets even before women hit college—starting with high school. Through outreach, summer programs and leadership conferences, we’re dispelling preconceived notions about business, illuminating career options and instilling confidence. Early results of this initiative are promising—this year, Leeds received 24% more applications from high school girls than in 2018.
Carrying significant momentum, Leeds continues to prepare the next generation of women to impact the world of business.
Women’s Programs & Events
Women’s Empowerment Initiative
The New Face of Business
Women in Business Case Competition
MBA Women’s Business Leadership Weekend
Women in Business Leadership Day
Women in Business clubs
Closing the Gap
Female Enrollment 2015-2019
Power in Numbers
MBA Women’s Weekend: an inspired immersion into the world of business
Last spring, 37 women from all over the country arrived to join the Leeds community. At the inaugural MBA Women’s Business Leadership Weekend, newly admitted MBA students networked with a powerful group of women CEOs, heard TED-style talks, and met Leeds faculty, staff, alumni and future classmates.
It gave incoming women a firsthand experience of the programs and opportunities Leeds creates for students and the broader community. Within weeks, 35 of the 37 committed to join the incoming cohort this fall.
“I loved how empowering women in business was intertwined in almost every aspect of the weekend. I am so excited to get started at Leeds,” remarked a participant.
Through the variety of programming, participants improved their knowledge about how gender plays a role in the business world.
Jane Miller, CEO and founder of Jane Knows and CEO of Lily’s Sweets, revealed personal lessons learned through leading a Fortune 100 and launching a startup. COO Joan Bleacher and directors at Sterling-Rice Group, a local powerhouse marketing firm, gave an on-site tour and examined the creative brain in business.
A session called “Making Sure Your Ideas Are Heard” provided tools for those faced with unconscious bias in the workplace. An interactive session on emotional intelligence shed light on the advantages of durable skills. And female executives from McKinsey, Noosa, Smith Capitol, Zayo Group and Crocs led exercises on real-world business problems—giving participants a taste of the MBA curriculum and a chance to work with women executives who solve these problems on a daily basis.
By the end, participants commented on Leeds’ palpable dedication and commitment to women’s success. One incoming MBA summed up her experience: “I felt empowered, hopeful, excited and connected.”