Professor Alex Frino, Dean of the Macquarie Graduate School of Management has recently announced a $4 million investment towards helping up to 100 women complete their MBAs.
The investment is a part of the Women in MBA (WiMBA) program in which MGSM is hoping to tackle the MBA global gender imbalance after findings showed that not one business school in the top 100 around the world had equal numbers of men and women undertaking an MBA.
In partnership with corporate and government organisations, MGSM have encouraged employers to identify their top female employees and help support them through their MBA. Through the fund, MGSM will match dollar for dollar (up to 50%) the contribution made by the employer, with a minimum $10,000 investment.
Professor Frino believes both the monetary and time costs of undertaking an MBA are the biggest barriers, and addressing these through a close partnership with employers will hopefully increase the numbers of women completing their MBAs.
“MBA programs are the breeding ground for tomorrow’s leaders. They are the finishing school for middle managers gunning for senior leadership positions. They are also the place where the national stock of leadership capital is being developed,” said Professor Frino.
“In Australia today, 20,00 students are currently passing through the 65 MBA programmes delivered by Australian universities and other educational institutions, but less than one-third of this pool of aspiring leaders are female.”
As a part of the program, not just a financial contribution from employers is required, but also adequate practical support for participants to study and attend classes as well as in house mentors/sponsors to provide support throughout the course of their MBA.
With a number of large Australian organisations such as Johnson & Johnson, Qantas and the Royal Australian Navy already signed up, Professor Frino believes the program is just the beginning, hoping that universities around the world will start following suit.
“We went to market with this scholarship program just two weeks ago and the take up has been incredible with almost 25 per cent of the available scholarships claimed by our first six partners.”
“It goes to show the significant interest and demand from women, as well as the commitment from corporate and government organisations to overcome gender inequity and take a leadership role on this issue.”
For more information about the WiMBA scholarship visit: http://www.mgsm.edu.au/mba-and-graduate-programs/women-in-mbas-program