Participants of the Women's MBA Leadership Program
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Stephanie Peters, Jennifer Blackhurst

The business world is at a crossroads regarding leadership development efforts for female students.

The Tippie College of Business is acutely aware of data suggesting that, decades after women entered higher education in equal numbers to men, they are still not moving the needle when it comes to their representation in business leadership or in enrollment in graduate business education.

Over the years, the college has supported several initiatives in response to these concerns, but it is clear that we must step up our game if we truly wish to make an impact – both where our students are concerned and for the longer term concerns of industry.

With a generous gift from Kathleen Dore (BBA 72, MBA 84), Keith Jepsen and Henry Tippie, we have created the Kathleen Dore-Henry B. Tippie Women’s MBA Leadership Program. This program takes a personal and transformational approach to women in the Full-time MBA Program. In order to attract the best female MBA students (in an extremely competitive market), and to truly support the leadership development and transformation of female MBA students, it requires a longer-term, personalized program.

To this end, the Kathleen Dore-Henry B. Tippie Women’s MBA Leadership Program creates a sustainable and on-going series of initiatives to be woven directly into and throughout the two-year Full-time MBA Program.

The program will include various elements to further the leadership development of Tippie’s female MBA population.

Pre-MBA Workshop

The workshop will focus on how women can effectively choose their roles in their MBA teams and succeed in these roles. It will also serve as an on-boarding experience for our female MBA students that will build community, as well as introduce them to the skills necessary to fully participate in the often male-dominated program atmosphere. This introduction will create a foundation for the subsequent elements of the leadership program.

Student Scholarships

Two scholarships will be given to those students to provide full tuition coverage as well as some additional cost-of-attendance support. Each year, a scholarship will be awarded to one first-year and one second-year MBA female student recipient showing professional leadership promise.

Mentoring Program

The program will bring highly successful, mid-career females mentors to campus for two days “in residence.” The residency periods will include opportunities for our female students to interact with mentors in small group discussions and meals, as well as in one-on-one mentoring sessions.

Skills Workshops

Special topics in leadership development will be addressed throughout the two years in 2-6 hour workshops. Some topics may include developing an authentic leadership style, body language, emotional intelligence communication skills, conflict resolution, salary/job negotiations, work-life balance, and current events discussions.  


In order to heighten the visibility of female leadership and to cement the college’s commitment to that end, awards will be given to recognize student, faculty, and staff accomplishments on women’s leadership issues.

View photos from Kathleen Dore's Q&A session with the Iowa MBA women on Flickr.