Oxford Offers New Scholarship For Women EMBAs

It’s no secret that when it comes to business school, women are almost always under represented. Most full-time MBA programs have little more than a third of their student population female. But when it comes to Executive MBA programs, the percentage of women is even lower. Women make up only 16% of Wharton’s San Francisco Class of 2015 EMBAs. They represent 20% of the current Executive MBA class at Oxford University’s Said School.

That’s why an organization called the 30% Club today (May 14) announced that it has partnered with Oxford to hand out scholarship money to encourage more women to apply and attend the school’s EMBA program. The school said the aim of the scholarship is to support “female candidates of merit and to encourage an increase in women considering senior leadership roles.” The scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding female candidate based on the breadth and depth of work experience as well as past academic or professional qualification performance. The award is worth £32,000 towards the cost of the EMBA program. The successful scholar also will have access to mentoring and advice from both Saїd Business School and senior members of the 30% Club community. http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/programmes/degrees/emba/fees-funding/oxford-university-alumni-scholarships.

Scholarship money for EMBA programs, which are among the more expensive MBA degree offerings, is rare. In comparison to full-time MBA programs which often award fairly sizable grants to promising applicants, most schools have no money at all to offset the cost of an executive program.

“Awareness of the opportunities business schools offer women is a critical part of the story,” says Kathy Harvey, director of the Oxford Executive MBA in a statement. “Business schools  are not getting the MBA message across sufficiently clearly to high potential women in business, and I am therefore delighted to partner with the 30% Club to raise awareness of the benefits of a business education for aspiring women leaders. An MBA can create a bridge to the kind of boardroom performance which should be within the grasp of many high potential women managers, and not enough of them are taking advantage of this opportunity.  That’s something I’m determined to change.”

Helena Morrissey CBE, CEO of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30% Club said: ‘The 30% Club is delighted to partner with Saїd Business School on this Scholarship. Tackling the lack of female talent progressing to senior levels in industry is something that needs a continuum of efforts – and not just within companies but at all levels of education. Having such a prestigious business school tackle this head on is key to long term change being achieved.’

A growing body of research shows that women excel in precisely the traits necessary to address the challenges currently facing many large organisations – providing key inputs to enhance corporate performance.  “Skills such as corporate diplomacy and greater competency around global risk are ever more important.  All the more reason why women – and their organisations – should be considering how an MBA can boost their performance and accelerate their careers,” says Kathy Harvey.

“Many of our female alumni have achieved great things as senior executives in large corporates or as entrepreneurs leading their own companies.  But the continuing low numbers of women in leadership positions globally indicates that companies and individuals have still not found a way to utilise the skills and insights which women can offer. We hope that by working closely with the 30% Club, we can break through to women, and their employers, around the world, and convince them of the benefits of investing in their business education. It is not enough to exhort women to “lean in”. Women need access to the knowledge, insights, resources, networks and mentoring which world-class business schools like Oxford are well placed to provide.  At Oxford, women have an opportunity to argue their case, debate future solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems, and to emerge confident in their ability to make difficult judgements.  An Executive MBA, which allows participants to combine study with a demanding job, is also an opportunity to reflect on leadership style and to build a professional and personal development plan to manage career acceleration up to board level.  Through this scholarship we hope to attract some of the best candidates for senior leadership positions globally.”

Oxford said a second scholarship for women is also available: The Oxford Forté Foundation Fellowship for Women. Saïd Business School is a proud member of the Forté Foundation. Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of major corporations and top business schools working together to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, opportunities, and a community of successful women.

All female candidates who apply for the Executive MBA by Monday 15 September and receive an offer for the class commencing in January 2015, will automatically be considered for this award. This is worth £15,000 towards the programme fee after deposit. This award is not open to candidates who defer entry. Early application is advisable. http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/programmes/degrees/emba/fees-funding/oxford-university-alumni-scholarships

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.