Guide To European MBA Scholarships For Women

mba scholarships for women

Guide To European MBA Scholarships For Women

James Brown once crooned that this is a man’s world – but, oh, it would be nothing without a woman or a girl. He’s right. But while some companies are working hard to address the gender imbalance in high-ranking executive positions, far too many are still overlooking female candidates, especially here in Europe.


The imbalance starts at business schools: Women earn less MBA degrees than men. While men account for almost 65% of MBA’s earned around the world, women account for 36%. This seems unfair when everyone surely deserves a fair crack at investing in their future, and making a positive contribution to the world.


Cautious Optimism

There are reasons to be cheerful, though. In 2012, the number of female MBA students was just 29%, which means there has been a leap of 7% in the space of four years. When you consider that it doesn’t seem all that long ago when even the idea of a woman owning her own business would draw heckles and sniggers from crowds, this is a leap of titanic proportions.


Here is another reason to be mighty cheerful: Business schools across Europe are offering fantastic MBA scholarships aimed specifically at women in an effort to address the gender divide. It’s a great initiative that is catching on, with more women than ever before studying at top business schools that are preparing them for successful careers in business.


Why Apply For A Scholarship?

Scholarships are exciting. They encourage more women to work towards getting an MBA and fulfilling their business potential by cutting the cost of studying. Indeed, besides finding it hard to break into male-dominated industries, college fees are a major turn-off for women who are considering an MBA.


Competition for scholarships is tight, and it’s easy to lose out. The key is getting your application in early. Searching the Internet for MBA scholarships is a time-consuming, lengthy and often stressful process that could leave you flustered – and behind your peers in the application process. To cut to the chase, let’s take a look at some of the top European scholarships for women who want to advance their careers and make a significant noise in business.


HEC Paris Foundation Rainbow Bridge For Women Of Colour

This scholarship is offered to women from Asian or African nations who have been affected by drought, famine or any other type of natural disaster.


Acting as a leg-up to ambitious young women who want to pursue a career in business, but who would otherwise find it tremendously difficult, the scholarship was inspired by Muriel Dargent, a 1988 HEC graduate who believes everyone should be given the chance to enlarge their academic background, no matter how many obstacles they face – or where they were born.


To be eligible, candidates must demonstrate a professional pedigree that is backed up by community work or charity engagement. The core requirement is that candidates are committed to working on economic and social issues that are blighting their countries.


An essay question forms part of the application, as well as a personal financial statement. The amount awarded is up to €20,000 per year.


ESADE (Spain) Women Of The World Scholarship

The scholarship offered by ESADE business school MBA is available to outstanding females who have intercultural perspectives and strong international exposure that makes them useful assets for the business school.


All nationalities are considered, and the award will contribute 15% of your full-time MBA tuition fees while studying at ESADE. Other factors that influence the award include academic merit and financial need.


The money is pooled by alumni, donors and the business school’s own well of funds.


IMD’s Nestle Scholarship

Working in partnership with Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle who sponsor the scholarship, IMD business school offers a Nestle Scholarship.


“Like Nestle, IMD strongly believes that there should be more women in management, and one way that we can contribute is by giving more women the opportunity to study at top business schools,” said Jim Pulcrano of IMD.


The criteria for the scholarship includes financial need and academic brilliance.


Past scholarship holder Rachna Dayal said that the scholarship helped her to grow and develop her skills as a manager.


“I believe that IMD is doing an excellent job in preparing us for challenging careers.”


The scholarship has been running since 1997, but each year there is only one winner. Competition is thus fierce and applicants are advised to plan early.


INSEAD Alumni Fund Women’s Scholarship

INSEAD business school MBA’s scholarships for women make up over 10% of the school’s total funding. This means there is every chance you will be a successful applicant if you meet the criteria, which includes financial need, professional expertise, leadership qualities, nationality and academic merit. Up to 15 awards are offered to each class, with the funding maxing out at €15,000.


Should you be successful, the exact amount you are awarded will be dependent on various factors.


INSEAD have a strong commitment to getting more women into their classrooms, and actively encourage burgeoning young female students to apply for funding.


Fellowships At The Forte Foundation

The Forte Foundation has partnered up with leading business school and companies in Europe to help women get their careers on track, giving them better quality access to the right education and the right opportunities.


The Forte Foundation have scholarship schemes in over 20 business schools in Europe, but as well as the scholarship, the Forte Foundation works alongside women every step of the way, from educating them on the value of an MBA to motivating them to prepare for a successful career in business.


These are just a few of the MBA scholarships for women available at top European business schools. There are also scholarships awarded by collectives similar to the Forte Foundation Fellowships. If you are serious about getting your MBA don’t let finances stand in your way. Apply for scholarships early and don’t forget to check out websites such as Scholarships For Women for even more scholarship ideas and resources. Good luck!


This post is written by Gretchen Shaw. Gretchen is an author, blogger and entrepreneur with a penchant for baking. She is passionate about communication, continued learning and connecting people. You can follow her on Twitter: @shawgret


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