Woman stands at table presenting graph data to other women.

Women’s College launches Executive Women’s MBA

Aug 12, 2019
Kristen Bowman

The Women’s College of Brenau University recently announced the first graduate degree program in its 141-year history: an Executive Women’s Master of Business Administration.

The Executive Women’s MBA is designed to catapult the careers of talented, driven women who are currently successful in the workplace but looking to advance to the C-suite. With its first class beginning January 2020, it will be provided through a flexible platform that combines online classes with three weekend residencies at the most significant financial and commercial centers in the world.

Brenau University has extensive, high-quality graduate programs in business, education, health sciences and the arts, but the Executive Women’s MBA is the first program exclusive to The Women’s College.

“This program was designed very intentionally to meet the needs of professional women,” said Juli Clay, assistant vice president for executive programs. “The online format of the coursework, speaker series and author talks allows women to fit the class time in to their busy schedules, which often include demands from work, family and community responsibilities.”

In keeping with the personal career goals of its future students, the Executive Women’s MBA will feature courses, content and conversations that address the gender-specific challenges facing their careers woven into the rigorous coursework that has become the hallmark of the excellent MBA programs for which Brenau is known. Stressing the application of course material to actual case studies and real-life situations, the professors and guest speakers are women who have lived as examples of success in their fields.

Brenau is working closely with industry leaders to form partnerships and develop corporate sponsorships, especially with those companies that have a track record of women in the C-suite. Suzanne Erickson, dean of the College of Business & Communication, said Brenau is uniquely positioned to offer this degree.

“The heart and soul of our university is The Women’s College with its mission of empowering women to be successful in life,” Erickson said. “Meanwhile, the College of Business & Communication has been a pioneer in both adult education and online education. Our faculty has been offering quality online MBA programs for 20 years. This new Executive Women’s MBA allows us to combine our heritage with our expertise and offer a one-of-a-kind program aimed at executive women.”

The program’s three weekend residency experiences will be powerful events in which students will network and learn from successful women in a variety of business sectors — an opportunity only available through this residency program.

“The intensive residency program has been scheduled to allow for ample time between out-of-town requirements,” Clay said. “It is our hope that the all-inclusive tuition structure, book delivery and flexible format will allow women the opportunity to advance their educational credentials, broaden their professional network and prepare for their lives in the C-suite.”

Students will also connect with authors, speakers and facilitators through a book and speaker series providing opportunities for access to industry experts on a small-group basis. Finally, each Executive Women’s MBA student will develop a personal advisory board to help them navigate to executive management positions and to provide a supportive network throughout and beyond the program.

A 2018 study by McKinsey & Co. found that more than half of entry-level financial services workers in North America are women, yet fewer than 20% are in C-suite roles. The same year, only 4.8% of Fortune 500 CEOs were women, and that was down from 6.4% in 2017.

“There is a long way to go before we can celebrate gender equity in corporate America,” Clay said. “The Women’s College of Brenau University is committed to providing the tools necessary to prepare women to step in to these roles. We know that this is not something we can tackle alone, and we have been thrilled by the response from organizations and individuals who want to come alongside us to offer this program.”

Candidates for the program are women with a minimum of five years management experience who are looking to advance to the C-suite. Applications are now open and opportunities for partnerships are available. Contact Clay at jclay1@brenau.edu or go to ewmba.brenau.edu for more information.