Tichelle Sorensen on Women of Influence
Author: Rebecca Freedman
Posted: April 13, 2016

Tichelle Sorensen on Women of Influence

Click here to read the original post on the MBA blog.

For the past three years, Tichelle Sorensen has impacted the lives of hundreds of future female-leaders in her role as the academic director for the Portland State School of Business MBA program. Having already held a successful career as an attorney, Tichelle understands the challenges of male-dominated fields and preparing these women for the barriers ahead.

Early in her career, Tichelle found that being a woman led to some frustrations; the largest ones being the lack of support and female role models. However, she has not found those challenges to be present at Portland State.

“I have never been in such a supportive environment. From my peers, to the Provost, Sona Andrews, all I find is a culture of collaboration and support.”

This culture is probably the reason that Portland State has such a high percentage of women in the business programs. Tichelle noted that the new cohort of full-time MBAs is over half female, 54%. This number is striking in that Ivy League business schools such as Berkeley and Stanford boast rates of only 43% and 42%, respectively, which are the highest amongst their peers. Tichelle specifically attributes Portland State’s percentage of female students to the attractiveness of Portland State School of Business’ values.

“That culture attracts all people that are looking for values of openness and empowerment, both women and men. I’m glad that these values make our school particularly welcoming to women and the LGBT community.”

Tichelle will be the speaking at the Portland Business Journal Women of Influence Awards this Thursday. She did the same last year and has been looking forward to the sharing of information that can only occur when people gather. Her favorite part of the event is simply sitting at the physical table.

“The conversations as people sit down together are unreplicatable.”

Once the event really gets going, the stories start to flow, and Tichelle is adamant that stories are potent.

“Storytelling is the best way to bring about societal change. These women have experiences that can help us; stories about overcoming or taking an amazing path through life. When we hear stories, we can hear the similarities to ourselves and we can use lessons as a model for ourselves.”

Over all else, Tichelle hopes that the experiences that future female leaders have during their education at Portland State and at the Women of Influence event will help them to push past boundaries.

“I hope we get better at having the conversations around empowerment. For both the younger generation of women and women that are restarting their careers, it is critical that they find a place to draw confidence.”

>> Learn more about the Portland Business Journal Women of Influence Awards here.


Rebecca Freedman is a second year MBA student at Portland State and is spending her summer interning at LifeMap of Cambia Health Solutions, applying her creative and analytical talents to their website redesign. Rebecca is pivoting from a paralegal background into a career in digital marketing and communications. You can connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn and prospective students may also contact her through the Graduate Business Programs Ambassador Portal.