Class of 2021 women MBAs at Darden

Diversity at Darden

MBA - Culture and Community - Diversity at Darden - Women


Darden women make a significant impact every day — at Darden, in Charlottesville and around the world. They are club presidents — currently leading over half of Darden's student clubs — community leaders, entrepreneurs and more. Darden is committed to recruiting women who want to positively impact the world, and empowering them for long-term success in whatever role they choose.

Over the course of two years at Darden and as a lifelong member of the alumni network, you will be able to take advantage of mentorship, alumni and career development resources, and you will develop skills critical to gaining respect as a business leader. Darden’s distinctive case method of instruction — designed to strengthen students' confidence in their communication, decision-making and teamwork skills — and experiential learning opportunities create a great learning environment for women.

darden mba women sitting in a circle in a classroom

Finding Your Voice at Darden

Meet five women from Darden who talk about the challenges they faced — and the successes they found — as they worked to find their voices in business school.

Below you will be able to meet some of Darden's female leaders, learn about the student and partner organizations that support our female students and peruse a collection of resources developed particularly for women. Be sure to check out the Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) club page for recent conversations with current students about various aspects of the Darden experience. 

  • Graduate Women in Business

    Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) 

    Darden’s chapter of Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) promotes the role of professional women by developing a greater appreciation for issues of diversity among men, women, faculty and administration. GWIB provides resources related to women’s issues in pursuing a career in business and helps students create and build their professional and personal networks.  

    On the (GWIB) club page you will find webinars with students exploring various aspects of the Darden experience. 

    Audrey Dyer
    Audrey Dyer, Class of 2022
    GWIB VP of Admissions

    Pronouns: She/her/hers

    Hometown: Fredericksburg, VA 

    Undergrad Institution: University of Virginia (go Hoos!)

    Undergrad Major: Leadership and Public Policy

    Pre-MBA Industry/Functional Area: Consulting, Health Care

    Areas of Career Interest: Health Care Innovation/Equity 

    Darden Clubs and Leadership Roles: VP of Admissions, Graduate Women in Business (GWIB); Health Care Club, Darden Outdoors Club, Darden Consortium, Darden Christian Fellowship, Pride at Darden

    Why Darden? Coming from a policy background, I sought a challenging MBA program where I could get a strong grasp of core business fundamentals. I also wanted a small, tight-knit community where I could learn from a diverse set of student experiences. Darden checked all of these boxes, and more!

    thais drummond
    Thais Drummond, Class of 2022
    GWIB VP of International

    Pronouns: She/her/hers

    Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  

    Undergrad Institution: University of São Paulo

    Undergrad Major: Bachelor of Laws

    Pre-MBA Industry/Functional Area: Law, M&A

    Areas of Career Interest: Investment Banking, Private Equity

    Darden Clubs and Leadership Roles: VP International, Graduate Women in Business (GWIB); VP International, Finance Club; VP International, Darden Private Equity Club (DPEC); Latin America Student Association (LASA); Darden Outdoors Club; Net Impact

    Why Darden? Darden offers a unique combination of strong academics and an incredibly collaborative community. I knew that the case method was an excellent opportunity to practice the communication and presentation skills required in any corporate career. And as a career changer, I hoped that Darden’s supportive environment would help me succeed in the classroom and recruitment. And I was not wrong. The support of my colleagues was fundamental to my recruitment outcome and made me feel much more confident during my first year!

  • Featured Alumnae

    Meet Darden Alumnae

    Gaelle Mawadjou Gaelle Mawadjou Tchokoua (MBA ’17)

    A native of Cameroon, Gaelle came to Darden to grow her public speaking skills and her career. Gaelle now works at M&T Bank and also plans to pursue impact investing in Africa.

    Read more about Gaelle's Darden experience



    Hillary Lewis Murray (MBA ’13)

    What does hard work, determination and a Darden MBA get you? Ask Hillary Lewis Murray, founder and CEO of LUMI Organics, who was recently featured by the Forté Foundation as a fearless leader and role model.

    Read Hillary's profile on the Forté Foundation Business 360 Blog.


    Carolyn Miles Carolyn Miles (MBA ’88)

    As the former CEO of international nonprofit, Save the Children, Carolyn models how a Darden an MBA can prepare you for a successful and rewarding career in the nonprofit sector. She recently joined the Darden community as senior adviser to the dean and executive fellow, and will serve as a distinguished lecturer beginning in fall 2021.

    Read more about Carolyn's Accomplishments



    JenniferhayesJennifer Hayes (MBA ’01)

    As partner at Bain & Company and mother of three, Jennifer's life is a wonderful story of success both in her career and at home.

    Read more about Jennifer's Accomplishments



    KatherineNeebeKatherine Neebe (MBA ’04)

    Katherine has worked with a wide range of corporate, government and nonprofit organizations. She currently works as Chief Sustainability Officer & VP National Engagement & Strategy for Duke Energy and as President of the Duke Energy Foundation. She was also named to the National Diversity Council’s Power 50.

    Read more about Katherine's Accomplishments.



  • Partnerships

    Darden and Forté

    At Darden, we are committed to women's leadership, and since its inception have proudly partnered with Forté - a non-profit working to launch women into successful and significant careers.  Through Forté's alliance of leading companies, top schools and pioneering donors, we empower women to rise higher.  All female students at Darden get Forté's Premium Access Pass membership for FREE. Forté's community of 100,000+ motivated and inspiring women is changing the balance of power in the workplace.  

    Through the admissions process, exceptional female candidates are selected to receive a Darden School Foundation-funded Forté Fellowship. Along with the prestige of receiving this scholarship, Forté fellows gain access to exclusive Forté benefits, such as skill-building workshops, leadership conferences, networking opportunities, job postings and more. 



    Forté MBALaunch members (If you have been accepted into the Forté MBALaunch program, your application fee waiver will be applied automatically upon submission of your application. You do not need to provide any further payment information.)

  • Prospective Student Resources

    Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) 

    Darden’s chapter of Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) promotes the role of professional women by developing a greater appreciation for issues of diversity among men, women, faculty and administration. GWIB provides resources related to women’s issues in pursuing a career in business and helps students create and build their professional and personal networks.

    1:1 Program for Prospective Student Women

    Darden is known for having a tight-knit community. In order to give you a more personalized introduction, the Graduate Women in Business Club and the Office of Admissions are pleased to offer the 1:1 Program for Prospective Student Women.

    The program will pair you with a current female student mentor in late summer so that you can have a one-on-one connection with a member of the Darden community. Previous participants have found that this is a fantastic way to learn about the School, the student community and the many academic opportunities and resources. 

    Mary Winston Richardson
    Mary Winston Richardson, Class of 2022


    "When applying to Darden through the Early Action round, I was excited to participate in Darden’s 1:1 program and work with my mentor to prepare my application. The admissions process can feel daunting; however my mentor calmed my nerves and provided the confidence boost I needed in finetuning my essays and preparing for my interview. Beyond the application process, my mentor shared her experiences at Darden – from the case method, social life, GWIB, and recruiting – and our conversations got me even more excited to come to Darden!"


    UVA Resources for Women 

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