We are very proud of our relationship with the Forté Foundation and our commitment to gender equity as an official Business School sponsor. So who are Forté and what do they do?
Forté Foundation is a non-profit organisation of top companies and business schools working together to launch women into successful careers. Forté achieves this by providing women with access to business education and creating a community of successful women.
An integral part of the organisation is to educate women on the value of an MBA and increase female numbers on these programmes. This resounds with our commitment to gender equity on our MBA.
Becoming a Forté sponsor school
In 2016, Imperial College Business School became a Forté sponsor school. We joined a network of 50 top business schools around the world, recognised for our tangible commitment to gender equity.
We share the same goals of trying to empower women, get more women into leadership positions and recognise that there is gender disparity in business. We both want to see women advancing in their careers and understand the role and responsibility we have as a Business School to prepare women for their future careers.
Applying to become a Forté sponsor is very competitive, and schools have to demonstrate their commitment to supporting women in every area of their organisations – as well as the bandwidth to become an active participant in Forté initiatives. Only a few new schools are accepted to join the exclusive network each year and Imperial was one of four schools selected out of 25 who applied.
This included statements from the Dean, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programmes, the Careers team and the recruitment, marketing and admissions sides. On becoming a Forté school, Crystal says:
It’s a real honour to have been selected as Forté sponsor school because it recognises our commitment to supporting women in business. The real power of the Forté Foundation is that by coming together with other school and corporate sponsors, we can amplify the message that business education is a powerful catalyst for career progression and leadership. Our sponsorship of Forté gives MBA candidates a clear message that we are a school who cares about gender diversity.
Forté Fellowships and the MBA Women’s Leadership Conference
As a Forté school, we offer Forté Fellowships to outstanding female students joining the Full-Time MBA, with awards of up to £25,500 available for the class of 2019.
Being a Forté Fellow unlocks incredible access to the foundation. Students gain access to exclusive networking groups of Forté Fellows and Forté alumnae. They also receive e-introductions to Forté sponsor companies and a free Forté Foundation Premium Membership.
I attended a Forté event in Toronto and through there I came across Imperial. I started talking to the recruitment team at Imperial and fell in love with the school and curriculum. I said this is the school that I’m going to pursue my MBA. They (Forté) have amazing events throughout the year. There are different webinars and conferences and Imperial has also been very involved with them.
Our Forté Fellows are also invited to attend the annual MBA Women’s Leadership Conference, held this year in Atlanta on 15-16 June.
This year, nine of our MBA students are attending the conference. This includes current and incoming Forté Fellows, and female students from our Full-Time MBA, Global Online MBA and Weekend MBA.
An important part of what Forté do is the MBA Launch programme. This support network connects MBA candidates with hundreds of other aspirants, as well as peer alumnae advisors who provide help when writing your admission essays and updating your resume.
Crystal discusses how schools work together on this pre-MBA programme:
Schools work very collaboratively in supporting the MBA Launch because we all care about increasing the number of women on MBA programmes. Regardless of which Forté school a candidate ultimately enrols with, we are happy to support women in business and give them the knowledge and confidence to put together a great MBA application.
This demonstrates the real power of Forté. They have handpicked sponsor schools who work in collaboration for the wider goal of gender equity.
Natasha Lakhani, Forté Fellow & Full-Time MBA
How is Forté helping your “Power Up” for leadership in your career?
The foundation has sponsors and affiliations with so many household names of companies and universities. Regularly, there are online articles, blogs and webcasts which showcase the careers of other female leaders and how they navigated their careers to success. Again, just seeing this and the exposure to such success stories motivates me, gives me courage and powers me up to believe I can achieve my potential when I go back to the workplace post-MBA.
Toyin Ajayi, Global Online MBA
What are you looking forward to most at the MBA Women’s Leadership Conference?
I am looking forward to meeting strong and amazing women in different fields, networking and learning from their experiences. I am especially hoping to make solid connections or get ideas on how to move from where I am to where I want to be in my career and desired industry. All in all, I am excited about the amazing opportunity the conference is providing.
Claire Zhang, Weekend MBA
How do you hope the Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference will help you “Power Up” for your career?
I hope the conference will largely expand my network among the professionals as well as MBA students. I look forward to listening to the insightful ideas from the industry leaders. I also hope that I will develop a clearer direction for my future career path.