Twenty-nine women have been awarded a Curtin scholarship through the Women in MBAs (WiMBA) program, which actively encourages more women to study a Master of Business Administration.
The women have been identified by their organisation as potential future leaders of the company. Each scholarship from the Curtin Business School is worth up to $20,000, with the corporate partner contributing a further amount of support including a minimum of $10,000 per recipient.
With only 4.4 per cent of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies being female*, Dean of the Curtin Graduate School of Business Professor Milé Terziovski says the WiMBA program could have a significant impact on increasing the number of women completing MBAs and moving into leadership roles later in their careers.
“MBA programs can be a springboard to senior leadership positions,” says Professor Terziovski. “They provide worthwhile, purposeful skill learning that women can apply to their workplace.”
WiMBA also helps to remove obstacles faced by women who want to improve their job prospects. Current scholarship recipient and Curtin MBA student Claudia Jackson says the program not only made it possible for her to both work and study, but also eased financial pressures.
“I’m really proud to be a Women in MBA scholarship recipient,” she says. “Having financial support as well as the assurance that my employer will support me through my study has removed two of the biggest barriers to achieving an MBA.”
Scholarship recipients have come from a variety of industries, with nearly one third from the public or not-for-profit sector, and a number from the mining and engineering and the professional services sectors.
The women have the support from their employer to attend classes, take additional study and group work, and complete assignments.
Through the MBA they will gain a range of skills applicable to their current employment, including the ability to approach projects from a functional standpoint, communicate well, and pitch solutions to problems.
They will also receive guidance and advice from in-house mentors and will be assisted with developing a post-MBA career pathway.
If you are interested in applying for a WiMBA Curtin scholarship, your employer must first agree to support you by contributing $10,000 towards the cost of completing the MBA. Your employer must also outline your leadership potential within the organisation and make a case for supporting you through the WiMBA program. As a starting point, we recommend speaking with your line manager or HR team about the initiative and your own leadership goals.
For information on the scholarship eligibility criteria and to apply, please visit the Curtin Scholarships website.
* fortune.com 2015.