Women's Initiatives

Several years ago, students in the Carlson Consulting Enterprise undertook a study to analyze how Carlson could achieve the goal to advance women in the business community. Their research led to a recommendation for a three-pillar strategy that is the foundation of the Carlson School Women’s Initiative.

Those three pillars are Access, Empowerment, and Progression.



Getting more women into business education is a top priority for the Carlson School. Programs such as the Business Innovation Academy for undergraduate students and Camp Emerge for graduate students open doors for women to get a world-class business education. 

The Carlson School also increases educational opportunities for women through: 

  • Forte Fellowships that help women finance their MBA.
  • Making the student experience easier by reducing the sacrifices women need to make to earn their MBA through online and flexible offerings to better fit the demands of young professional women. 
  • Increased scholarship opportunities exclusively for women. 


Throughout each of the various stages of a woman's career, the Carlson School has programming, mentorship, and networking opportunities so you can build your career no matter where it takes you. 

As a woman at the Carlson School, you'll take part in: 

  • Enterprise classes where you'll gain real-world experience by working with real companies. 
  • Internships that will help your resume stand out. 
  • Case competitions where you'll help solve some of the world's biggest business challenges. 
  • Corporate days on campus when top businesses from the area come to the Carlson School to recruit. 
  • Mentorship programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. 
  • Conferences designed specifically for women in business, such as the Women's Leadership Conference, Women in Entrepreneurship Conference, Women Innovators Conference, and Carlson Women Connect.


As a result of the talented faculty at the Carlson School, academic research around women and workplace issues has been a top priority.

Research has been conducted by Carlson School faculty that helps improve working conditions for women including: 

  • Structural issues that can impact women in the workplace.
  • How women juggle the conflicting demands of work and family.
  • The use of flexible work practices that affect a woman's career prospect.
  • How early career decision can widen the gender pay gap. 
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Women's Leadership Conference

Learn how to harness your unique power at the 15th annual Women’s Leadership Conference, “Surge: The Power of Women.” No matter where you are in your career path or stage of life, you have the potential to build momentum from the ground up. Surge will give you the tools you need to reach new heights and to inspire others to embark on a similar journey.

MBA Candidates take on Female Leadership

As part of the Women's Leadership Conference, we asked seven MBA candidates from the Carlson School of Management what female leadership means to them.