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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School

About Us

"All of our women are eager to learn in order to lead. That's why they came to the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School."

Dr. Bernice Ledbetter

Director of the Center for Women in Leadership

External trends point to a need for more women in the workforce in positions of influence. The Pepperdine Graziadio Center for Women in Leadership has been established to educate and empower the women of our community through mentoring, skills development, research, and our contribution to an ongoing dialogue.

We continually develop programs that serve all of the women of Pepperdine—our students, our staff, and our faculty. As such, we are one of the few comprehensive centers that exists solely to serve women.

Our Mission

The mission of the Pepperdine Graziadio Center for Women in Leadership is to position Pepperdine as a university of choice for women students, staff, and faculty.  In addition, we seek to continually engage with our alumni and additional external stakeholders. The Center for Women in Leadership will enable Graziadio women achieve this by educating and empowering them through key initiatives. Some of the key initiatives include mentoring programs, skills development, research studies, and an ongoing dialogue. The foundation of the center is rooted in collaboration. Thus, these specific initiatives are carried out in partnership with career services, alumni relations, human resources. They also serve as external organizations to prepare women to succeed in their careers, helping them to feel competent, confident, and ready to lead.

Women in Leadership: A Pepperdine Story

Carmen Landra and First Pepperdine Graduates

At Pepperdine, we pride ourselves on a long tradition of welcoming women. This began when we opened our doors with the very first graduating class of 1938. In just the cohort of four, Carmen Landrum - a woman - was in the graduating class. 

Supporting women is not only part of our history, it is integral to our values and our business school vision to develop Best for the World leaders. In acknowledgment of and inspired by this robust population of bright and ambitious women, Bernice Ledbetter asked herself, "Are we doing enough?"

Dr. Ledbetter is a faculty member at the Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School. A significant part of her impetus to establish the Center for Women in Leadership is her students, many of whom come to Pepperdine from places like China, Saudi Arabia, Europe, and South America.

female student at Pepperdine University

  • How can we build leaders in our international women students who face unique challenges back home?
  • What research initiatives can we further among our female faculty?
  • How do we close the "confidence gap" and elevate the profile of women in the workplace and around the world?

The Center for Women in Leadership aims to unite and expand our community of women thought leaders through engagement, development, and participation in an important dialogue.

As Dr. Ledbetter says: "Now is the time. Tomorrow is too late."

Read a message from Dr. Bernice Ledbetter