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Mills College Selected by Goldman Sachs as Educational Partner in 10,000 Women Initiative

Oakland, CA—April 17, 2009. The Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College has been selected as a partner to participate in the Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women initiative, a global philanthropic program designed to increase the number of underserved women receiving a business and management education.

As a part of 10,000 Women, select Mills MBA students will receive financial support, mentoring, and professional development opportunities from Goldman Sachs. Students who demonstrate academic excellence, financial need, and leadership potential will be selected.

Research has found that expanding education opportunities through developing entrepreneurial talent and creating a managerial pool—especially among women—is one of the most direct ways to reduce inequality and to ensure more shared economic growth.

This partnership comes when women, especially from underserved communities, continue to be underrepresented in management and education and employment. According to Quick Takes, a 2008 report published by Catalyst, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding women’s opportunities in business, 57 percent of Latino women and 61 percent of African American women were in the labor force, yet less than four percent and only 5 percent, respectively, were employed in management, professional, and related occupations. 

“Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women initiative signals the importance of moving women into business leadership to create a more equitable and sustainable world economy,” said Mills College President Janet L. Holmgren. “In keeping with the Mills pioneering spirit, we are very proud to be one of the first U.S. partners in a truly innovative global initiative.”

In 2008, Goldman Sachs launched the 10,000 Women initiative with the goal of providing business and management education to 10,000 women in five years. Internationally, Goldman Sachs has partnered with universities such as Columbia Business School, Harvard Business School, and Oxford University, to provide education.  10,000 Women includes more than 50 academic and nonprofit institutions, including seven of the top 10 business schools in the world.   

10,000 Women is designed to open opportunity and stimulate economic growth by investing in women as entrepreneurs, managers, and leaders for the future,” said Dina Habib Powell, managing director and global head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs.  “In Mills College we found an institution that is specially qualified to open doors to women in business.”

Twelve current Mills MBA students have been selected to receive these Goldman Sachs opportunities. The students reflect the typical diversity of background and interest of Mills MBA students. Some have come from as far as Slovakia, Hong Kong, and El Salvador. Others were professional dancers, engineers, and mental health managers. They aspire to careers as broad as healthcare administration, finance, and economic development.

10,000 Women scholar Jamie Almanza represents the type of student that the initiative is designed to support. A Latina student with two children and full-time director of administration at Fred Finch Youth Center, an Oakland-based social services organization, Almanza said that MBA skills are much needed in the nonprofit world. During her 10-year tenure of providing services to troubled youth, Almanza daily saw the potential loss of opportunities to the nonprofit sector because of lack of business training in key staff positions.

For example, the center owned several real estate properties throughout the state but did not maximize their earnings potential. "From what I learned at Mills, I took these properties, accessed fair market value, drafted new leases, and created revenue for my organization," she said. "The Mills MBA allows me not just to create a strategic plan for our nonprofit, but to implement it and save the organization on the bottom line."

Other scholarship recipients include:

  • Eva Maribona who is helping her sister improve her plus-size women’s clothing store and wants to develop micro-financing for women;
  • Flor Melara who plans a career in African economic development;
  • Kathrina Miranda, who aspires to guide companies in socially and ethical decisions and policies;
  • Dolores Molina who is inspired by Barack Obama to work in government;
  • Jessica Mosqueda who is a Mexican immigrant and wants to give back to her community;
  • Peggy Ng, a former engineer who wants a new career in the healthcare industry;
  • Keely Rogers-Free who wants to combine her music background with business;
  • Chavon Rosenthal, a former ballerina who wants to focus on sports medicine healthcare management;
  • Jenny Ryu who was most inspired by her mother and wants to balance a career in accounting with her family life;
  • Dominique Simpson who believes the MBA is a perfect stepping stone for any career; and
  • Alexandra Zburova, who grew up in socialist Slovakia and believes capitalism can be used for good and wants a career in finance.

Nancy Thornborrow, dean of the business school, said the scholarships will help fulfill the Mills MBA program’s mission of advancing women in business.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative,” she said. “This partnership offers the financial support, mentoring, and professional development opportunities that are needed to succeed.”

The partnership will also allow all Mills MBA students to benefit from Goldman Sachs mentoring programs and career workshops. The first jointly sponsored professional development event will be held at Mills College on April 24 with San Francisco-based Goldman Sachs executives. Goldman Sachs professionals will share their career stories, provide networking training, and conduct mock interviews with Mills MBA students.

Started in 2001, the Mills MBA program was designed specifically to help women advance in business. The program has grown from twelve students in its first year to a current 75 and expects to surpass 100 students after a fall 2009 opening of a new state-of the-art environmentally friendly building.

More than 150 women have graduated from the program, entering in diverse fields such as environmental land management to international merchandising to publishing.

Learn more about the Mills MBA program at www.mills.edu/mba.

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 950 undergraduate women and 500 graduate women and men. Since 2000, applications to Mills College have more than doubled. The College is named one of the top colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report, one of the Best 368 Colleges by the Princeton Review, and ranks 75th among America's best colleges by Forbes.com. Visit us at www.mills.edu.

Quynh Tran
Media Relations Manager

Last Updated: 4/17/09