The goal of the Och Initiative for Women in Finance at the Ross School of Business is to increase awareness of and access to careers for women in finance.   

Today, despite significant advancements of women in breaking glass ceilings and becoming part of senior executive leadership across the Fortune 500, women remain drastically under-represented in the finance industry. Michigan Ross is committed to addressing the disparities in finance career paths between women and men, the foundations of which are formed in undergraduate education.

The Och Initiative is a comprehensive, research-based sequence of relevant curricular and co-curricular experiences that nurture and cultivate interest in finance careers. Programming targets BBA students as well as U-M freshmen considering the BBA program, in order to encourage incoming talent.

The Och Initiative builds on strong curricular offerings in finance for BBA students, including courses such as Making Financial Decisions, Capital Markets and Investment Strategy, Valuation, and Private Equity.

The initiative also offers co-curricular talent development activities through which students gain knowledge of the industry, practical skills for their job search, and social capital to expand their networks.


Specific co-curricular programming is determined on an annual basis. During the 2015-16 school year, the Och Initiative offered the following programming to students:

Workshops: Students build their knowledge about the finance industry generally, as well as specific sectors like private equity, corporate finance, investment management, and investment banking.

Events: High-level leaders in the financial industry speak with female undergraduate students at Ross about their careers and experiences.

Treks: Students travel to significant financial sector cities to go on tours, learn from leaders, and build their networks. Treks heavily engage Ross alumni.

Other Activities: Students can participate in programming offered by the Michigan Business Women student club, which brings together female students across the MBA, BBA, and other programs. Ross is also a Forte Rising Star Initiative sponsoring school.

Career Services: Ross Career Services encourages recruitment  in finance with a recruiting manager dedicated to the financial sector, including commercial banking, insurance, investments, financial services, and venture capital.

Future Activities

The Och Initiative is exploring a mentorship program for students, as well as other enrichment activities, including simulations to enhance understanding of financial transactions and issues.

The initiative is made possible through a significant gift by Jane C. and Daniel S. Och of Scarsdale, N.Y., through the Jane and Daniel Och Family Foundation.

Contact Information

Office of Undergraduate Programs


60 Seconds in the C-Suite

“We Need More Women in Finance”
with Carla Harris, Vice Chairman of Global Wealth Management for Morgan Stanley