Irina Rhatz Wins Women in Business Scholarship 2019

Irina is in her first year of graduate school of Business at CSU Northridge. She will be receiving her master’s in Professional Accountancy in August of 2020. She has won various prestigious Educational Achievement Awards in Accounting and has been on the Dean Honor List several times.

She was motivated to go into accounting when she moved from Russia to the United States. She received her undergraduate degree in business from Santa Monica College.  She began teaching General Office and Bookkeeping classes at Community Educational College, an accredited non-profit vocational school. She was the first teacher for the program that had created a variety of instructional materials for the accounting and QuickBooks courses. Her experience as a teacher made her fall in love with accounting. After raising her family, she went back to school to seek her masters.  Her goal is to become a CPA and continue teaching accounting to underprivileged students.

Irina Rhatz, our Club awardee was not able to attend our Award Event because she is currently finishing a project and preparing for finals. She will have the opportunity to be considered for a $2,000 award at the District level and potentially progress to ZI for consideration of one of six awards at $8,000 each.


Application Process

The application process must start with a Zonta club. All application materials must be received at a Zonta club by the deadline printed on the application. If you download the application from the Zonta International website, you must contact a Zonta club for deadline information.

Zonta clubs each select one application to send to the Zonta district/region. A district/region evaluating committee reviews the applications and selects one applicant per district/region to submit to Zonta International Headquarters. The Zonta International Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship Committee recommends six international recipients from the district/region applicants to the Zonta International Board. After approval by the Zonta International Board, the Zonta International Foundation provides awards and certificates to the district/region and international recipients.


Applications are posted in January. Applications must be completed and presented to Zonta clubs according to the club's assigned deadline. A club recipient is selected, and the application is presented to the governor/regional representative by 15 August or deadline determined by the district. The district/region recipient is selected, and the application is presented to Zonta International Headquarters by 15 October. International recipients will be contacted by their Zonta club leader in January.


Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarships are made possible through investment income generated by the Klausman bequest, and by generous contributions from Zontians, Zonta clubs and friends of Zonta to the Jane M, Klausman Women in Business Scholarship Fund.

Jane M. Klausman

Women in Business Scholarship/Award


Women have made great strides in the pursuit of education, careers and leadership roles they were once denied. However, they still comprise a minority of leaders in the business world. According to a December 2019 list from Catalyst, 21.2 percent of S&P 500 companies’ board seats are occupied by women, and just 5.2 percent of the companies' CEOs are women.

Because Zonta International believes in gender equality, the Jane M. Klausman (JMK) Women in Business Scholarship program helps women pursue undergraduate and master's degrees in business management and overcome gender barriers from the classroom to the boardroom. The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship program was established in 1998 from a generous bequest by Jane M. Klausman, a member of the Zonta Club of Syracuse, New York, USA, and the 1990-1995 Zonta International Parliamentarian.

The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta annually awards up to 32 scholarships of US$2,000 each at the district/region level and six international scholarships in the amount of US$8,000 each.

Since the program's inception, Zonta has awarded 602 Scholarships, totaling more than US$1.4 million, to 460 women representing 57 countries.


Women of any age, pursuing a business program with major field of specialization in accounting, economics, finance, business management, marketing, operations management, human resources management, international business, or entrepreneurship at an accredited university/college/institute, who demonstrate outstanding potential in the field and are living or studying in a Zonta district/region, are eligible. Online students are also eligible to apply if enrolled at an accredited university/college/institute.

Students must be enrolled in at least the second year of an undergraduate program through the final year of a Master's program at the time the application is submitted to the local Zonta club. Applicants must be in school at the time the scholarship funds are disbursed and must not graduate before December 2020. Previous International Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship recipients may not apply to renew the Scholarship for a second year.

Classified members (club members and individuals with direct membership with Zonta International) and employees of Zonta International and Zonta International Foundation, and their family members (ancestors, descendants, adoptees, siblings, nieces or cousins, and those of their spouse or co-habiting partner), are not eligible to apply for the Scholarship.

Golden Z club members may apply.

Note that applicants from geographic areas within a Zonta district/region where no clubs are located will be considered and are eligible to apply for the district/region and international awards.

We will not be offiering this scholarlship in 2020. Watch here for information about 2021 application