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Press Release

Michael B. Laffin

For immediate release:
September 7, 2004

Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon Joins International Foundation Dedicated to Recruiting Women to Business School

PITTSBURGH—The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University has joined the Forté Foundation, an international consortium of top business schools, major corporations and nonprofit organizations dedicated to increasing the number of women leaders in the business world. This partnership will result in scholarships, networking and mentoring opportunities for women at the Tepper School of Business and increased efforts to recruit women to pursue an MBA at Carnegie Mellon.

"The Tepper School is committed to a diverse educational community and workplace," said Kenneth B. Dunn, dean of the Tepper School of Business. "Collaborating with the Forté Foundation underscores our dedication to ensure that women assume more leadership roles in business. We believe that focused attention, investment and progress of women are essential to the well-being of a global marketplace."

The Forté Foundation, founded in 2001, seeks to decrease the gender imbalance in the corporate world where, according to the 2002 report Catalyst Census of Women in Corporate Offices and Top Earners, women account for only 15.7 percent of officers in America's largest 500 companies. Another research study, Women and the MBA: Gateway to Opportunity, cited that only about 30 percent of business students are women, while a significantly higher number of women pursue degrees in medicine and law.

"Women currently represent only 21 percent of our current full-time MBAs. While this is in keeping with trends at many other schools, we aim to significantly increase this percentage in the next few years," said Laurie Stewart, executive director of admissions at the Tepper School. "Being one of 20 member schools of the Forté Foundation will help us leverage resources to achieve this goal."

Researchers at the Forté Foundation found that most women perceive business careers as inflexible and unrewarding and the education too expensive. "Our members understand the urgent need to battle these debilitating perceptions and stem the ensuing loss of female talent from business schools and the workforce. That's why we have banded together to demonstrate more effectively to women that business careers can be intellectually challenging, financially beneficial and socially useful," said Executive Director of the Forté Foundation Elissa Ellis.

The Forté Foundation helps women see that business degrees can be flexible and provide an education that prepares students for careers beyond traditional options of investment banking. Today many people with MBAs follow diverse career paths, blending industries and disciplines in continually evolving ways. This flexibility also translates well for women who seek to change careers or are re-entering the workforce.

The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon is a pioneer in the field of management science and analytical decision making. Its groundbreaking curricula are the basis for many business and academic models throughout the world, especially those committed to interdisciplinary collaboration and technology. The most recent example of this is the new MBA Tracks program that allows students to pursue areas of study that cross several disciplines and involve other Carnegie Mellon schools, yet maintains Tepper's traditional focus on the intersection of business and technology.

The school's notable distinctions include a faculty that consistently produces ground-breaking research published in leading academic journals; a unique contribution to the intellectual community including four Nobel prizes; and a consistent presence in the top tier of national and international doctorate, master's level and undergraduate business school rankings including three consecutive top-10 placements in The Wall Street Journal's annual survey of business schools. More information on the school and its programs can be found at


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