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NAWMBA History

The National Association of Women MBAs  was founded in 1978 as the National Network of Graduate School Business Women by the Women’s Association at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.  These women believed that an organization dedicated to addressing the issues women face in business was critical to their future success.

The Wharton women met with a group of women from Harvard Business School at which time they realized the need to organize a national organization. The first annual conference was convened in 1978 and attended by 120 women from 38 MBA schools.  As a national association, the headquarters of the organization rotated from business school to business school under the leadership of female MBA students.

In 1994, the women at the Darden School of Business recognized the need to have a permanent and central administrative leadership base for the organization.  They proposed that a National headquarters be established at the Darden School of Business. As a result, the National Network of Graduate School of Business, sometimes referred to as (GWIB), was headquartered at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia until May 2002.

In 2002, the GWIB National Headquarters was rotated to the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.  During the time at Rice University, GWIB’s name was changed to the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA).

In 2006, NAWMBA recognized the need for women who have completed their MBA programs to have continued access to leadership development programs, to continue to enhance their business skills, and to create a strong national network of like-minded women.

In 2017, NAWMBA joined the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) to further enhance our relationship with their accredited schools while helping to fulfill our mission.