MBA Resources for Women


Updated March 7, 2024 · 2 Min Read

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Our guide explores resources for women in business, including mentorship programs, professional organizations, and publications. Use these tools to achieve success in the business world. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Women make up 42% of business school students in the U.S., according to a 2023 report from the Forté Foundation. Despite this, women hold just 52 CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies as of 2023. For many women, an MBA marks the first step to business leadership, offering opportunities to expand networks, compete for executive positions, and master complex business concepts.

Many women face challenges when considering an MBA. Some worry about financing. Others are concerned about finding mentors or forging new career paths. The resources on this page can direct women toward scholarship opportunities and mentoring organizations as our society strives toward gender equity in business.

Overcoming Gender Disparities

Women made up the majority of enrollees in medical programs and law schools in 2023, but MBA programs struggled to match these metrics. This problem is partially related to societal views of business-focused women, including expectations surrounding how women in business should balance motherhood with a career.

Various resources are available to address this gender disparity. Financial aid programs, including loans specifically for women entrepreneurs, aim to increase the number of women in business. Professional associations provide opportunities for learning, relationship-building, and access to top corporate jobs. Additionally, publications and mentorship programs educate and empower women in historically underrepresented fields.

Business Mentorship Programs for Women

This program from The Venture Center matches new women entrepreneurs with seasoned executives across Arkansas. The goal is to help women flourish in business. Mentors and mentees meet at least one hour a month for a year.

WE Connect Mentors, a program offered through the New York City Department of Small Business Services, matches women entrepreneurs with women executives across all five boroughs of New York. The program accepts applicants with demonstrated success across a variety of industries, backgrounds, and business life cycles.

Women Venture is a training and support organization for women business owners. In addition to a one-session preparatory course, the organization offers aspiring entrepreneurs a small business essentials class. This course includes a mentoring component where mentors hold at least three one-on-one meetings with their mentees.

Woman to Woman Mentoring offers three free mentoring programs for women in the Frederick, Maryland, area. The STEM mentoring program serves women under 30, while the core program serves women 18-35. The mentoring circles program offers a workshop-based approach and serves women over 35.

In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE offers a plethora of programs for women entrepreneurs. The organization provides mentoring, workshops, and templatized resources.

Business Associations For Women

National Association of Women Business Owners

NAWBO, founded in 1975, offers training, advocacy, and conferences for members. The organization maintains local chapters in 23 states, representing 12 million women-owned businesses across the United States.

Women's Business Enterprise National Council

A network of 14 regional partner organizations, WBENC administers a certification program for women-owned businesses. Certification validates that women operate at least 51% of a business. WBENC offers access to suppliers, a support network, and marketing tools.

WSS Executive Search

The women-owned WSS Executive Search recruits and places women in executive positions at corporations across the U.S. and around the world. The firm reviews resumes, coaches job-seekers, and matches qualified women with senior-level leadership positions. WSS Executive Search also offers a newsletter.

Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration strives to direct at least 5% of federal contracting dollars toward women-owned small businesses annually. The program provides assistance in competing for funds set aside for the program.

American Business Women's Association

Founded in 1949, ABWA offers education and networking support for women business leaders. The organization hosts over 5,000 business and networking events across the U.S. annually. ABWA also partners with the Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund to offer scholarships.

Noteworthy Business Publications for Women

Drawing inspiration from Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In, this organization runs several programs to provide women with peer mentorship. Over 80,000 women in 183 countries participate in Lean In circles. The organization also researches women in the workplace to provide data-driven recommendations for improvement.

Girlboss provides a place for women to connect, ask questions, and share ideas. Girlboss members include entrepreneurs, executives, and freelancers. The media outlet offers a podcast, newsletter, blog, and job board.

Released six times each year, Harvard Business Review specializes in presenting original ideas and classic strategies on leadership and business. Online subscribers can access reading lists, webinars, podcasts, and case studies relevant to business leadership. The publication began in 1922 and now has a circulation exceeding 340,000.

Minda Harts, a professor at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, published this book in 2019. The text equips women of color with the skills they need to overcome the unique barriers they face.

Former Popeyes CEO Cheryl Bachelder helped transform a struggling restaurant franchise into an industry powerhouse. This book, with a revised second edition published in 2015, tells her story. Bachelder's message focuses on how focusing on others as a leader can transform an organization.

Ruth Umoh compiles this weekly newsletter for Fortune. The raceAhead newsletter approaches business news through an intersectional lens, exploring race and gender issues.

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