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Mills Joins Innovative Organization To Promote Women In Business

Oakland, CA–June 20, 2008.The Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College has joined the Forté Foundation, a consortium of major corporations, top business schools, and influential nonprofit organizations directing talented women towards leadership roles in business.

Members are selected for their commitment and innovative work in promoting women in business. It is the only organization with a national infrastructure to support women at all stages of their business careers. The group includes companies such as Avon, Goldman Sachs, Intel, and institutions such as the Harvard Business School, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the London School of Business.

The Forté Foundation was created in 2001, the same year as the Mills MBA Program, after the release of the research study, "Women and the MBA: Gateway to Opportunity." This landmark study identified the reasons why fewer women attended schools of business than schools of medicine or law.

"Our mission and the Forté Foundation's mission are parallel," said Mills Dean Nancy Thornborrow. "We both saw a need to prepare women for business leadership and created programs to meet that need."

Thornborrow said membership in the Forté Foundation provides Mills students with an excellent opportunity to attend professional conferences, find jobs, pursue professional development training, and network with successful women throughout their careers.

The Mills MBA Program—the first in the West for women and one of only two in the country specifically designed for women—recently broke ground on a new 28,500-square-foot building. The facility will house the growing program, expected to reach more than 100 students in the next few years. The environmentally sustainable building is anticipated to attain a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating.

Thornborrow said more business schools are realizing the importance of serving female business students, especially when women still comprise only two percent of CEOs and less than 16 percent of the corporate officers in Fortune 500 companies. In California, 30 percent of 400 surveyed companies had no women executives or board members and only 13 of them had a female CEO.

Whereas most business schools struggle to enroll more female students, typically peaking at about 35 percent, the Mills MBA Program enjoys a strong and diverse predominantly female student body since it began in 2001.

Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity to approximately 900 undergraduate women and 500 graduate women and men. Since 2000, applications to Mills College have more than doubled. The College ranks as one of the top colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report and one of the Best 366 Colleges by the Princeton Review. For more information, visit https://www.mills.edu/.

Quynh Tran
Media Relations Manager

Last Updated: 8/24/09