MetLife Foundation Contributes $100,000 to Start Women in Business Leadership Program

The MetLife Foundation and The University of North Carolina at Charlotte announced a partnership to establish a "Women in Business" leadership program in the University’s Belk College of Business.

"The Belk College of Business is grateful to receive this generous support from MetLife Foundation and has been pleased to have MetLife as a new partner in the Charlotte region," said Steven H. Ott, dean of the college. "This gift will provide more opportunities to female students in the College of Business, and it reinforces our connection with a major employer in the area."

"At MetLife, we’re committed to giving back to the communities we serve and to creating a more diverse workforce," said Jim Boylan, vice president of human resources for MetLife. "This contribution by MetLife Foundation aligns with both of those goals while deepening our relationship with UNC Charlotte, a key partner of ours since 2013 when we first opened our doors in Charlotte. We look forward to working with the university to help cultivate the next generation of women leaders in business."

While much has been done to promote women in the workplace, women often continue to face more obstacles than men when it comes to securing employment and promotions for equal pay, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The goal of the Women in Business Leadership Program will be to better equip women undergraduate business students with the skills they need for career success. The program will create enhanced experiences to help undergraduate women prepare for the world of work by improving the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to confidently enter into leadership roles.

The Belk College’s Student Center for Professional Development will manage the program, to begin this year. Highlights of the program will include exclusive workshops, networking events, and speaker opportunities where students can learn from successful women leaders in the Charlotte region and underscore important topics for working women. A women’s student organization also will be created so students can apply learned skills and practice leadership among their peers. Students who participate in the program will have the opportunity to connect with mentors from the business industry and will be encouraged to complete internships to propel their careers in business. At the conclusion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of completion that can be marketed on their resume.

"We’re grateful to the MetLife Foundation for believing in the Belk College’s mission to be at the forefront of business education," said Ott. "We hope this gift – and the resulting partnerships between the college and the company – will serve as a catalyst for other companies to get involved in our effort to further women in business as well."