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Expanding opportunities for women in business.

Critical to the success of the Broad College of Business in developing global transformational leaders is the advancement of women leaders. Thanks to a game-changing gift from a senior-level alumna, the Broad College is launching the Dashney Women’s Leadership Accelerator to provide select undergraduate students with experiential learning opportunities and coaching, preparing these DWLA Scholars to begin their professional lives with the ability and confidence to make an immediate impact.


The Accelerator’s long-term goal is to increase the number of Broad College alumnae in senior leadership and C-suite positions. In the short term, our focus is on equipping DWLA Scholars with the tools to navigate the transition from college to the business world prepared and eager to pursue leadership positions.


The Dashney Women’s Leadership Accelerator will propel its scholars on their leadership journey by building professional development skills combined with subject matter knowledge for success in career progression. Scholars will hone their skills through experiential individual and group opportunities.

Leadership is like swimming; to do it, you have to get in the water.
Alumni panel of students with Helen Dashney

What’s in the Accelerator for me?

If selected as a DWLA Scholar, you will benefit from one-on-one mentorship from DWLA Director Helen Dashney. Together, you will assess your leadership values, interests, abilities and areas for development, leading to a personal leadership development plan. Individually and together with the director, you will evaluate your progress each semester and revise and expand your plan accordingly.

Based on common goals with other DWLA Scholars, programs led by the scholars, the director and/or guests will be offered in the areas of professional communication, effective negotiation, mentor and sponsor cultivation, balancing competing demands and capitalizing on challenges and setbacks.

The DWLA will serve as a trusted resource for new graduates as they transition into the professional world. Further, these new graduates will then serve as key contacts for current DWLA Scholars. As the number of DWLA graduates increases, continued programming based on their interests will be suggested.

What’s expected of DWLA Scholars?

If selected as a DWLA Scholar, you will be expected to participate in the Accelerator’s programming and have periodic individual meetings with the director. Unlike student organizations, DWLA will not hold weekly meetings, but rather occasional sessions (likely 3–5 per semester) lasting a few hours each. Days and times will be determined based on student and program provider availability.

As a DWLA Scholar, you will share your learning and experiences with others in the Broad College. In this way the impact of the Accelerator will be multiplied. You will also participate in the recruitment and selection of future DWLA Scholars.

What credentials must I have and when can I apply to become a DWLA Scholar?

The inaugural class of DWLA Scholars will be chosen by application in November and December 2023. Applications will be open to undergraduate students who meet the following requirements:

  • Already admitted to the Broad College
  • Attained junior status (will complete undergraduate studies between December 2024 and December 2025)
  • Academic success, as shown by having a minimum overall GPA of 3.2
  • College leadership experience in student organizations, student employment, community service, etc. (Note: leadership is not defined by titles held, but by achievement in organizing others to meet a shared goal.)

Prior or current enrollment in MGT 225: Women Leadership in Business is a plus. Students will be selected for an interview with the director based on the quality of their application. The first DWLA Scholars will be selected from those interviewed.

Students not admitted in their first attempt may reapply in the next application cycle if they have at least two full semesters to complete prior to graduating.

The initial application period will open in November 2023. Before applying, plan to attend an information session to learn more. Sessions are scheduled in the Eppley Center’s third-floor conference room (Rm 301).


Interested in becoming a groundbreaking member of the first cohort of DWLA Scholars? Learn more about the Accelerator by sending an email to DWLA Director Helen Dashney.

Broad Women in Business

Sally Allen speaking to a classroom of MSU students.
Alumna Sally Allen shared how her retail expertise and entrepreneurial vision led to starting her own business.
Advancing Women in Business panelists seated at a table, speaking.
Three panelists talked about their life and career experience at the Advancing Women in Business event on March 29.
Cheryl Thompson speaking into a microphone at an event.
As the founder of the Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion and Advancement, Cheryl Thompson is making an impact.

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