Women

The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is committed to providing exceptional educational opportunities for high-potential women to build successful careers in business.

Women's MBA Enrollment

Women in Smith programs

Reaching 50% Female by 2020

The 50/50 by 2020 Initiative is Smith’s pledge to achieve gender parity in our MBA programs within the next five years. The date coincides with the hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage and represents our commitment to close the gender enrollment gap and inspire and support high-potential women in their career goals.

Business schools exist to develop talent – the leaders who will one day go on to transform their companies, communities and corporate cultures. We believe women should be fully represented in this talent pool.

Smith & Forté Foundation

Forte FoundationSmith is a proud partner school to the Forté Foundation, a non-profit consortium of leading 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. Forté provides numerous life-long benefits to Smith MBA women.

 

Women of Smith

Carly Fiorina Becky Eisen Brenda Freeman
Carly Fiorina, MBA ’80
First woman to lead a Fortune 20 company
“If we do not fully tap human potential, then we do not solve our problems. And women are the most underutilized resource in the world.” Read more...
Becky Eisen, , MBA ’12
Customer Product Manager of Alternate Channels
“Many people helped me along the way. In return, I tried to open as many doors as possible for myself and my classmates.” Read more…
Brenda Freeman, MBA ’92
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for National Geographic Channel, mother of three
“I remember sitting in the chair of a student when I was younger, and I certainly asked lots of questions and was interested in the stories of women who were a few steps ahead of me.Read more…
Stephanie Graf Donna Blackman Terry Iannaconi
Stephanie Graf ’14
Business Technology Analyst for Deloitte, Fulbright Scholar
“Some women today already are tearing down barriers without even knowing it.” Read more…
Donna Blackman, EMBA ’10
Senior Vice President of Finance and Controller for BET Networks, mother of two
“I want to have a seat at the table. I want to be the person who is helping to shape the direction of the organization.” Read more…
Terry Iannaconi, MBA ’78
KPMG Partner (retired), mother of three
“You still see board rooms with only one or two women.” Read more…
Stella Liu Cara Weikel  
Stella Liu, MS ’13
Financial Analyst for GroupM
“… We are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve our goals.” Read more…
Cara Weikel, MBA ’12
Senior Consultant for First Annapolis Consulting
“Having a support network makes a difference. This includes connecting with others and helping them discover their strengths.” Read more…
 

Clubs & Activities

Smith School Women’s Society (SSWS)
The Smith School Women’s Society supports a robust community of undergraduates, alumni, professionals, and faculty within the Robert H. Smith School of Business to help members explore different business fields while developing their skill sets.

Smith Association of Women MBAs (SAWMBA)
The signature club for Smith MBA women focused on celebrating the advancement of women in the business world, fostering relationships inside and outside the University of Maryland community, and creating professional, academic and personal resources for Smith women.

Smith holds annual events each year for women. Learn more.

Smith Women’s Advocacy Group

Advocacy Group

At Smith, our aspirational gender diversity goal of 50/50 by 2020 for graduate programs necessitates a focused effort of a dedicated committee of Smith alumni and staff. The Smith Women’s Advocacy Group’s mission is to provide objective input, ideas, and expert advice regarding the pipeline, programming and placement of female applicants, students and alumnae.

Current members include:

Gina Adam, EMBA ‘13 Lisa Anders, MBA ’95
Donna Blackman, EMBA ’10 Kristie Bradford, MBA ‘05
Andrea Bordy, ‘87 Sylvia Bugg, EMBA ‘12
Lorena Diaz, MBA ‘04 Lanta Evan-Mott, ’86, MBA ’88
Brenda Freeman ’87, MBA ‘94 Christine Lemyze, MBA ‘85
Carolyn Merek, MBA’87 Juanita Russell, ‘95
Carta Weikel, MBA’12 Kristen Welch, ’90, MBA’96
Chauvanne Wills, MBA ‘15 Kristie Zobel, MBA’09

Smith’s Office of Women and Diversity Programs

The Office of Women and Diversity Programs supports gender, diversity and women’s issues.  We collaborate with Smith School centers and departments to create all-inclusive women and diversity programming. We develop relationships with industry, foundation, non-profit and government partners to increase and strengthen resources to support outreach recruitment and retention efforts at the pre-college, undergraduate and graduate levels for women and under-represented minorities.

Sharon Strange Lewis

Sharon Strange Lewis is the senior director of women and diversity programs at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. She is responsible for creating Women Leading Women, an event designed to celebrate the professional successes of female Smith School alumnae. Prior to launching her career in higher education, she was responsible for several award-winning campaigns in her role as Vice President of Creative Services for Black Entertainment Television. During her tenure at BET, Strange Lewis was part of the inaugural News and Creative Services teams, she was also instrumental in launching BET Jazz and BET International, in addition to creating international programming and syndication opportunities for BET Jazz and BET International. She received her Executive MBA from Smith and her undergraduate degree from Howard University.  

Sharon Strange Lewis, EMBA '05
Senior Director, Women and Diversity Programs
The Office of the Dean
Robert H. Smith School of Business
2307 Van Munching Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1815
Phone: 301-405-9285
Email: slewis@rhsmith.umd.edu