Forté Foundation Announces New Initiative with US Business Schools and European Commission to Increase the Number of Women on Corporate Boards

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European initiative expands to US with Forté Foundation’s involvement, leveraging its relationship with 33 US member business schools

The Forté Foundation, a consortium of major corporations, business schools and non-profit organizations that directs talented women towards leadership roles in business, today announced a new initiative to increase the number of women on corporate boards in the US.

The new US initiative follows Forté Foundation’s collaboration with its five European business school members and the European Commission, which recently published a repository of 7,000 vetted and board-ready women including European business school alumnae, faculty and board members. The successful European initiative led by EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding inspired Forté Foundation to approach Commissioner Reding to expand the call for board-ready women to the United States. Forté plans to release a separate list of US-based board-ready women at the end of this year.

Forté will ask each of its 33 US MBA partner schools to supply at least five board ready women. As the European schools have done, a point of contact at each participating school will be identified to reach the full list of board ready women from that institution. In addition, Forté will consider self-nominations from its membership database of 60,000 professional women.

“Qualified board-ready women do exist, and we are using our unique relationship with US business schools to make these accomplished individuals visible to decision makers,” said Elissa Ellis Sangster, executive director of the Forté Foundation, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. “As the only organization that unites top business schools around the topic of women in business, we consider it our responsibility to take concrete steps to promote gender parity in corporate boardrooms.”

Forté Foundation announced this initiative at its annual Sponsor Meeting in Los Angeles today, June 28. The event included a panel, “Corporate Boards: Where are the Women?” that discussed the latest research on board representation, shared information on global programs to increase female board membership, and offered strategies on how companies and schools can identify, train and advance women to corporate boards.

To recommend women for the US board-ready list, and in addition to its initiative with its US business school members, Forté will partner with corporate governance consultant Intrabond Capital, the Watermark community for female executives, and the Women on Boards 2020 campaign to expand the list of board-ready women.

About Forté Foundation
Forté Foundation is a consortium of leading multinational corporations, top business schools in the US and abroad, and the Graduate Management Admission Council. 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

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Lisa Westlake Chen
Forté Foundation
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Michele Vana
Fleishman-Hillard Inc.
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