Foster Difference Fund helps launch new diversity initiatives at the Foster School

This post was written by Steven Hatting, Associate Dean for Advancement for the Foster School of Business. 

At the Foster School of Business, we embrace diversity as one of the foundations of both successful business strategy and a world-class educational experience. This year, the Foster Difference Fund (generously supported by friends of Foster and alumni), enabled us to launch new initiatives and partnerships that builds on our values of inclusiveness and respect.

students attned conference

Foster MBA students and staff attend the 2016 Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference

Thanks to the Foster Difference Fund, Foster is now a member of the Forté Foundation, a non-profit consortium of leading companies and top business schools working together to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers. For first-year MBA student Jorie Kirschbaum, Foster’s Forté membership “signaled to me that Foster is truly committed to advancing women in leadership and developing a community that supports, motivates, and galvanizes MBA women.” As a Forté fellow, Kirschbaum was able to attend the 2016 Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas. Reflecting on her experience, she says, “The Leadership conference allowed me to enter my first year of business school with a heightened sense of purpose and commitment to my values and my career. I left with a notebook full of real-world advice from executives, academics, and peer MBAs for succeeding in the classroom and in the job search. I also loved building connections with other women MBAs from my school and across the country.”

Similarly, the Foster School was able to join The PhD Project, an organization committed to helping African Americans, Hispanics Americans, and Native Americans become business professors. We also were able to register students to participate in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Minority Banquet and the UWAA MAP (Multicultural Alumni Partnership) Bridging the Gap Breakfast.

As always, the impact of the Foster Difference Fund extends far beyond these examples. Covering these needs meant other resources could be used in hiring teachers, providing student services and scholarships, maintaining facilities, and developing new programs such as our coming one-year master degree in entrepreneurship. We are grateful for all the opportunities Foster Difference Fund support affords our school as we continue to pursue our goal to become the best public business school in America.

The Foster Difference Fund provides the Foster School of Business unrestricted resources to develop and deliver programs that are not covered by state funding. Contact us for more information.