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Forté Foundation Launches Men As Allies Initiative To Help Engage Male Students In Gender Equity On Business School Campuses

New Program Builds On Increased Interest By Male Students In Fostering Gender Equity

(Austin, TX, December 7, 2016) – Today Forté Foundation announced its new Men As Allies Initiative to help male students benefit from, and get involved in, enhancing gender equity on business school campuses and to take that experience back to the business world.

The new initiative leverages insights from male ally programs started on 10 business schools campuses —  including Harvard Business School, The Wharton School, and Columbia Business School — and is part of a growing movement in recent years to enhance gender equity in business and society, including the United Nations’ HeForShe initiative, Catalyst’s Men Advocating Real Change (MARC), and the White House’s Let Girls Learn.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen a surge of interest from men in getting involved in issues of gender equality on business school campuses,” said Elissa Sangster, Executive Director, Forté Foundation, a non-profit consortium of leading multinational companies and top business schools working together to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, opportunities, and a community of successful women. “Many men have felt like outsiders and did not know how to get involved. Our initiative sheds light on what male MBA students can do to enhance diversity on campus, which will create a positive ripple effect both at school and when they return to the business world.”

Sangster added, “We may have reached a tipping point as more women are pursuing an MBA and more men are interested in supporting gender equity. While we are making great progress, and getting closer to 40 percent women’s enrollment at our member business schools, initiatives like this one that foster inclusiveness, will help us get to gender parity faster.”

The initiative, designed to foster the creation of male-led gender equity groups on campus, includes a new “Men as Allies” website, which contains a toolkit for male students at business schools interested in creating their own initiatives on campus to enhance gender equity, but who need more information to move forward. The toolkit includes insight on reasons to start a group and how to do it, what activities and events are successful, and how to adopt gender-supportive behaviors and work effectively with the Women in Business club on campus.

The website also features insights and podcasts of recent MBA graduates who played a leadership role in the male ally group at pioneering business schools that have walked this road and can share best practices and stumbling blocks. The podcasts feature male allies discussing why they wanted to get involved, what they’ve learned, and what they took back to the workforce. In addition, the site contains valuable research that provides ample evidence of the positive impact of gender diversity in business.

The Forté Foundation initiative launched with help from its business school members and diversity experts, including Anne Weisberg and Lisa Levey, and thanks to generous financial support from Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper School of Business), Cornell University (Johnson School of Management), and Georgetown University (McDonough School of Business).

The initiative leverages the momentum and insights of business schools that have created programs to engage men as champions of gender equity, known as “Manbassadors” programs at some schools. These 10 business schools include:

  • London Business School – ManBassadors, started in 2016
  • Columbia Business School – Manbassadors program, started in 2015
  • New York University (Stern School of Business) – Male Allies, started in 2015
  • University of California – Los Angeles (Anderson School of Management) – Manbassadors, started in 2014
  • University of Michigan (Ross School of Business) – MBW Allies, started in 2014
  • University of Pennsylvania (The Wharton School) – 22’s, started in 2014
  • Stanford Business School – WiMEN, started in 2014
  • Duke University (The Fuqua School of Business) – Male Ambassador Program, started in 2013
  • Harvard Business School – Manbassadors program, started in 2013
  • Northwestern University (Kellogg School of Management) – Male Allies, started in 2013

“There are multiple benefits to men who join the movement to create greater gender equity,” said Sangster. “Understanding gender equity positions men ahead of the curve in school and in business. This increased awareness gives them an edge in providing support to female colleagues, and retaining them in the workplace. It also leads to greater organizational health, financial success, and life satisfaction for both men and women.”  


Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of leading multinational corporations, top business schools in the US and abroad, and the Graduate Management Admission Council. Its mission is to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, opportunities and a community of successful women. Forté is the leading organization that provides a national infrastructure for women at all stages of the career continuum to access the information, scholarship support and networking connections they need to succeed in business careers. Additional information about the Forté Foundation is available online at  


Forté Sponsor Companies: A.T. Kearney; Amazon; American Airlines; Associated Bank; AT&T; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Barclays; Boston Consulting Group; Bloomberg; Capital Group; Chevron; Citi; Citizens Financial Group; Cognizant; Credit Suisse; Cummins; Danaher; DaVita; Deloitte; Deutsche Bank; Dimensional Fund Advisors; Dow; DTCC; Eli Lilly and Company; Evercore; ExxonMobil; EY; General Motors; Goldman Sachs; Hines; IBM Global Business Services; JP Morgan; Liberty Mutual; M&T Bank; Macquarie Group; McKinsey & Company; New York Life; PIMCO; The PNC Financial Services Group; UGI Corporation; USAA; Wellington; Wells Fargo; Whirlpool Corporation

Forté Nonprofit Sponsors: 100 Women in Hedge Funds; Certified Financial Planner Board; Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

Forté Business School Sponsors: Alliance Manchester Business School; Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business; Babson College (F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business); Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper School of Business); Columbia Business School; Cornell University (Johnson School of Management); Dartmouth College (Tuck School of Business); Duke University (The Fuqua School of Business); Emory University (Goizueta Business School); Georgetown University (McDonough School of Business); George Washington University School of Business; Georgia Tech (Scheller College of Business); Harvard Business School; HEC-Paris; IE Business School; IESE Business School; Imperial College Business School; Indiana University – Bloomington (Kelley School of Business); INSEAD; London Business School; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan); Michigan State University (Broad College of Business); Mills College (Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business); Northwestern University (Kellogg School of Management); New York University (Stern School of Business); Ohio State University Fisher College of Business; Queen’s School of Business; Rice University Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business; Simmons School of Management; Southern Methodist University (Cox School of Business); University of California – Berkeley (Haas School of Business); University of California – Los Angeles (Anderson School of Management); University of Chicago (Booth School of Business); University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (College of Business); University of Maryland Smith School of Business; University of Michigan (Ross School of Business); University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Carlson School of Management); University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler Business School); University of Notre Dame (Mendoza College of Business); University of Oxford (Saïd Business School); University of Pennsylvania (The Wharton School); University of Rochester (Simon School of Business); University of Southern California (Marshall School of Business); University of Texas at Austin (McCombs School of Business); University of Toronto (Rotman School of Management); University of Virginia (Darden School of Business); University of Washington (Foster School of Business); Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management; Washington University in St. Louis (Olin Business School); Yale School of Management; York University (Schulich School of Business)