The Fuqua School of Business appreciates and values differences inherent within our community. As an organization, we are committed to building and sustaining an environment conducive to capitalizing on the diversity within our community as a source of intellectual, personal, and professional growth and innovation.
At Duke and Fuqua, we believe you learn the most from people who are different than you. They challenge you to identify and validate the assumptions in your perceptions, and open your eyes to other ways of engaging with the world. Our long-standing commitment to diversity in all its forms—opinion, age, ethnicity, gender, race, belief, talent—is evident in the class profile, diversity clubs, and student profiles. Fuqua is a heterogeneous community that welcomes people from all walks of life.
In addition to travelling the world to recruit the best most diverse, class we possibly can, we also have recruiting initiatives that focus on four specific communities: women, underrepresented minorities, military, and LGBT.
With an MBA, women acquire new options that allow them to have a greater impact on whatever they choose to do post-MBA. Watch now.
In business schools and the upper ranks of organizations, women are underrepresented. And, on average with all else being equal, men still out-earn women by a significant amount—a gap that has been documented as soon as a woman graduates from college and then only grows as she progresses through her career.
In general, women also face unique work-life balance issues that men, in general, do not, which can create obstacles in the workplace. We believe that the struggles women face with work-life balance will continue until women are equally represented in the highest levels of organizations—until their share of voice is truly equal. We are committed to doing our part to prepare young women for the future leadership positions they will assume.
Below are some of the ways we support women in business at Fuqua.
- MBA Recruiting Events
To help prospective students learn more about life at Fuqua and to network with current female students, alumnae and staff, we host The Duke MBA Weekend for Women (typically in early November each year). We also participate in women-focused MBA fairs hosted by partner organizations like Forté Foundation, which is committed to advancing women in business education.
- MBA Scholarships
All applicants to the Daytime MBA program are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. And, we are proud to be able to offer a high percentage of scholarships to our outstanding women every year. We also partner with Forté Foundation to offer scholarships.
- Forté Foundation Partnership
The Forté Foundation recently spearheaded a Global Board Ready Initiative that identifies exceptional women business leaders who are ready to sit on public boards. Twelve Fuqua alumnae were invited to be part of the initiative. Forté's long range goal is to reach a total of 8,000 board-ready members worldwide.
The Forté Foundation is a non-profit organization that encourages women to consider careers in business and provides support throughout their career progression. The Foundation provides information on:
- Applying to MBA programs
- Preparing for school
- The benefits of the degree
- The rewards of a business career
Fuqua and the Forté Foundation initiatives are closely aligned—both understand that a diverse MBA student body has a positive impact in class, business, and the community.
Fuqua has a long history with the Forté Foundation and has been a sponsor since 2004. Presently, our Associate Dean of Admissions, Liz Riley Hargrove, sits on their board giving Fuqua the opportunity to help shape the organization's strategy. It also lets us be on the cutting edge of issues related to a woman's pursuit of an MBA and her ensuing business career.
As a sponsor, Fuqua awards 15-20 Forté Fellowships a year to some of our most impressive female MBA students. The scholarships range from one-quarter to full tuition. In addition to scholarships, fellows receive several other benefits. They:
- Are included in a Forté-specific resume book for recruiters
- Can share their journey on a blog on Forté's website to inspire other women
- Are invited to attend and network at Forté's annual conference
- May be featured as a Forté Fellow of the Month
In turn, our Fellows give back by actively recruiting at Fuqua, especially at our yearly Weekend for Women event.
- Association for Women in Business (AWIB)
The Association for Women in Business (AWIB) is a student-led club dedicated to helping women succeed in business. They are involved in nearly all of the female-focused programming at Fuqua. They hold a key role in organizing:
- The annual Women's Leadership Conference
- Countless career, networking, and mentoring programs and events between prospects, current students, alumnae, staff, and faculty.
- The Open Doors Initiative
Women are such an integral part of business and business discourse that a cross-functional group of Fuqua administrators from admissions, marketing, corporate relations, alumni relations, and career services has come together to start the Open Doors Initiative.
Our community of alumnae, faculty, staff, and students believes that an MBA enables more choices and opens doors to better opportunities. We have committed ourselves to recruiting, developing, and inspiring women to be leaders of consequence—in their careers, in their communities, and in their lives. And we believe that all of us are stronger than one of us.
If you're interested in opening doors for women, get involved in the Open Doors Initiative.