MBA Scholarships Promote Women In Leadership

The University of Sydney Business School’s partnership with the UN Women National Committee (NC) Australia has made it possible for six inspiring women to undertake an MBA through a full scholarship since the collaboration was launched in 2014.

The University said the calibre of recipients is a true testament to the work being done by these women to advance gender equality and make an impact in their communities through their expertise and influence.

Nancy Nguyen was the inaugural recipient in 2014. A Perth-based Commercial Manager for Woodside Energy with 11 years in the oil and gas industry, she is helping to transform the future of green energy, as well as further empower others on issues of gender diversity in the sector.

“My aspiration for applying for the scholarship was to hone my leadership and entrepreneurial capability to influence and establish clean energy options through the use of technology and innovation,” Nancy said.

“The MBA program provided an immersive experience which pushed me outside my comfort zone and helped accelerate my thinking. It has been fundamental in realising my goals and purpose.”

Senior Manager at Ferrier Hodgson, Anmol Saini, among her many other accomplishments, was influential in establishing the “Women at Ferriers” initiative to provide greater networking opportunities for female employees within her firm, as well as their clients, in the hope of breaking down gender barriers in what remains a male dominated industry.

Anmol said, “I found myself researching this MBA scholarship program after being inspired by Emma Watson’s HeforShe launch campaign speech. What I discovered was a newly created MBA focused on personal transformation, self-awareness and self-management, together with the opportunity to support the UN Women NC Australia – it was exactly what I was looking for.

“To me, this MBA scholarship has been more than just an academic qualification. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime – a chance to question, challenge and re-define who I am and who I want to be, as a woman, a professional and a member of society.”

Dr Kim Johnstone, Manager Research and Strategy, NSW Data Analytics Centre, is helping plan for the future by providing population insights. She has worked tirelessly to support women through her paid and volunteer work.

“I’ve always been an advocate for women, starting when I was 12 and wanted to do woodwork instead of sewing at school, and continuing through my work. When I applied for the scholarship I was at a bit of a crossroads in my career. The scholarship provided a wonderful opportunity to expand my skills and reframe how I used my skills in my work and volunteer roles as non-Executive Director,” Kim said.

“It is a wonderful opportunity, and for women who are thinking about doing an MBA, you have nothing to lose by applying. I also found that the application process itself really invigorating, because it made me think about my career and how to improve women’s representation at senior levels.”

A lawyer and economist with experience in international relations, Galina Barret, is passionate about making further and more effective contributions to advancing the cause of women’s economic empowerment and gender equity by making the most of every opportunity.

“The most rewarding part of the journey has been recognising change – my own and that of my colleagues – in the way we approach different problems,” Galina said.

“There are many reasons the past year has expanded my world view; it has challenged me, required me to learn new ways of thinking and problem-solving that were not previously in my field of vision, and most of all, it has inspired me to go beyond the pedestrian. So if you’re thinking of further study, consider the UN Women NC Australia MBA Scholarship – you won’t regret it.”

Adele Langton, Vice President, North America at CMAX Advisory, and former ministerial advisor, has devoted her career to improving the lives of women faced with adversity through her work in private volunteering, board representation, public policy and advisory services in the United States.

“After a decade of focusing broadly on policy, I wanted to gain insights into different business models and a better understanding of leadership, and develop frameworks for a new way of looking at the world,” Adele said.

“The calibre of the other students is incredible. I am studying with game-changers working in roles I didn’t even know existed, as well as alongside thought leaders and CEOs I had read about in the press.

“I would absolutely encourage others to apply. Make sure you park any reservations or hesitations about your likelihood of success, and also make sure to enjoy the process.”

Emma Brown, is the most recent recipient, and Finance Manager for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Emma is working in the midst of a critical and sector-defining time, with the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). She is passionate about empowering her staff through authentic, effective communication and recognition of their individual value, and preparing the way for future generations of workers.

Emma said, “I was absolutely thrilled (if not a little surprised!) to be awarded the scholarship. I will be able to draw upon a deep pool of knowledge and experience to ensure that I have the resources to make the greatest impact I can in my role. I would encourage anyone who is passionate about diversity, equality and positive social change to set self-doubt aside and apply. Regardless of the outcome, both the people you meet as part of the application process and involvement in the discussion forum will be truly invaluable.”

Applications are closing soon for Semester 2, 2017. Find out more about the scholarship, and meet previous recipients.


Cover image copyright: zimmytws / 123RF Stock Photo

SOURCEUniversity of Sydney
Brenton Gibbs
Brenton is a contributing writer to MBA News Australia. He is a director and co-founder of communications, content & creative agency RGC Media & Mktng and editorial manager of Fixed Income News Australia.