University of Oxford: A passionate proponent of women’s entrepreneurship as a force for change

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University of Oxford: A passionate proponent of women’s entrepreneurship as a force for change

The Oxford Executive MBA class is extremely diverse, both in terms of nationalities represented and the gender balance in the class. Around a third of the class each year is composed of female students (37% for January 2016).

Oxford has a long history of educating female leaders. Among our famous alumnae are:

  • Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India
  • Dorothy Hodgkin, Nobel Prize-winning chemist
  • Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain
  • Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of
  • Susan Rice, former US Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, leader, Burmese National League for Democracy and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Business School is strongly committed to continuing this tradition.

Kathy Harvey, Director of the Executive MBA noted, ‘We are extraordinarily privileged to receive applications from some of the most talented women in management and leadership positions. Oxford Saïd offers an environment in which women can explore their leadership potential and emerge with the knowledge, skills and critical thinking required to excel in whichever field they choose. Half the worlds’ population is female, yet we have only just begun to tap into the potential of our female managers and leaders. At Oxford we intend to play our part in empowering the next generation of women leaders.’

Oxford Scholarships for female leaders

Something that has played a key role in Oxford Saïd’s success in recruiting outstanding female leaders to join the Executive MBA programme has been though offering several scholarships.There are two awards for each class for exceptional female candidates, based on the breadth and depth of work experience, as well as past academic/professional qualification performance:

  • The Alumni Annual Fund Forté Foundation Fellowships for Women
  • The Oxford Executive MBA Scholarship for Women in association with the 30% Club
Recent scholarship winners

Christine Li-Auyeung, CPA, CGMA is Senior Vice President at StoneCastle Partners, LLC, a New York based investment management firm, which specializes in the community banking sector.

Christine explained: “I am very honoured to have been awarded the Oxford EMBA Women’s Scholarship in association with the 30% Club. As a woman working in the male-dominated finance industry, I know first-hand the many challenges that women face in the workplace.

“I have been very fortunate to be mentored by many inspiring women and men throughout my career. I want to pay it forward and use the knowledge from my Oxford EMBA to empower more women in business around the globe and level the playing field for all.”

The aim of the scholarship, in association with the 30% Club, is to support female candidates of merit and to encourage an increase in women considering senior leadership roles and is worth 50% of the programme fees after deposit.

Melissa Cassar, Director and Head of North America Communications for BNY Mellon Investment Management has been awarded The Alumni Annual Fund Forté Foundation Fellowships for Women worth £15,000 towards the programme fees.

She commented: “My aspiration is to have a positive impact in the community, country and the world in which I live. I want to lead a globally minded group of individuals to accomplish meaningful endeavours that have lasting value and a positive legacy.

“I believe strongly in the alliance between the public and private sector and I know as I advance my skills I will become an asset in continuing to bring these groups together. The Forte Foundation Fellowship provides me the opportunity to progress in my career as a strong and vocal leader. It has enabled me to take part in a truly global Executive MBA and to continue to be inspired by the great political and business leaders who have attended Oxford University.”

Find out more about our scholarships at



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