Faculty & Research
The School

Women in Saïd Business School

Women who have studied at Oxford include some of recent history’s great leaders and inspired minds. Distinguished examples include: Dorothy Hodgkin, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964, Margaret Thatcher, former UK Prime Minister (and Europe’s first female Prime Minister), Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of, Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Cornelia Sorabji, India’s first female lawyer and author Helen Fielding.

The Business School is strongly committed to continuing this tradition. Already our female alumni have gone on to work in a wide range of roles and industries all around the world. For example, Sally Fan from China is now a Vice President at Deutsche Bank in New York. Kuntha Chelvanathan from Australia is a Senior Consultant with Roland Berger in London. And Sarita James from the US worked for McKinsey, and was named a White House Fellow in 2008.

Some of our female alumni have also won prestigious awards such as, Ruthe Farmer (MBA 2007) who was named a ‘White House Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion’ in July 2013. Keely Stevenson (MBA 2004) was honoured by The World Economic Forum with its 2013 Young Global Leader (YGL) award.  And Raheela Khan (OAMLP 2012) was named a 2013 Yale World Fellow in May 2013.

Oxford is a passionate proponent of women’s entrepreneurship as a force for change and global economic growth. Reflecting this philosophy, Saïd Business School invests in a wide range of initiatives to help create a thriving community of women leaders:

Power Shift: The Oxford Forum for Women in the World Economy

In 2013, Saïd Business School launched this annual symposium dedicated to women’s economic inclusion. The inaugural gathering, which focused on women’s entrepreneurship, was attended by 200 participants, attracting attendees from a diverse range of organisations, including: ExxonMobil, Coca-Cola, the Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus, CARE International, First Book, OECD, Cartier and Goldman Sachs. Discussions centred on the challenge of how to measure, finance, evaluate, and support women in their desire to be included as equal actors in the world economy. The 2014 Forum investigated the relationship between women and the world of finance. Power Shift 2015 explored  Women and Markets, presenting new and sometimes provocative ways of thinking about women and markets and the ways that gender figures into our systems of exchange.

Power Shift 2016: Women and Leadership. The remit for the 2016 Power Shift is to create an agenda that would allow our unique audience to advance the cause of women in leadership, a very different “ask” from the inspire-and-celebrate, show-the-role-models kind of women’s leadership gala.  Thus, at the next Power Shift, we will look critically at existing barriers and get first hand accounts about new world-level breakthroughs.  We will also recognize that leadership happens in many areas of life, not just at the tops of corporations or in the highest echelons of politics. 

Power Shift 2016: Women and Leadership will be hosted at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University on May 4 - 5, 2016 in Washington D.C.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative

The Business School participates in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, a five year $100 million global initiative to provide 10,000 underserved women entrepreneurs with a business and management education, access to mentors and networks and links to capital. Collaborating with two Chinese universities, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, the School has helped to train 800 of the 10,000 women providing support ranging from curriculum design and co-teaching by Saïd academics, to mentoring and workshops run by Saïd alumni.  

Inspiring women in Leadership and Learning (iwill)

iwill is a Saïd Business School network set up to help women achieve their potential to the benefit of themselves, their families and their communities. It aims to establish Saïd as the business school of choice for women students, alumni, faculty and employees and works closely with organisations seeking women recruits.

The network connects Oxford students with inspiring role models and organises events and workshops to help talented women prepare for the challenges in their professional lives. 

Women in Business OBN

The Oxford Business Network for Women’s Leadership is a student-led group that provides a platform for students and alumni, regardless of gender, to exchange ideas and knowledge around women’s professional development and career advancement. Throughout the academic year, the Oxford Business Network for Women’s Leadership organises talks, workshops and company visits that help strengthen student-alumni relationships and create a supportive peer network.

Women transforming leadership

This innovative four and a half day programme at the Saïd Business School builds heightened self-awareness, and offers an opportunity for women to discuss and overcome personal or professional obstacles as they move through their career. It introduces powerful experiential techniques to identify and navigate through organisational challenges or bias, and builds strengths in leadership enhanced by natural tendencies women bring to the role.

The title ‘Women Transforming Leadership’ refers to a new generation of leaders: inspirational women and women of action who have the ability to transform their own organisations and the community around them.

Forté Foundation fellowships

The Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of major corporations and top business schools working together to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, opportunities, and a community of successful women. Under the Foundation’s fellowship programme, the Saïd Business School grants awards to women who submit a successful application to study an MBA at Oxford.

Scholarship for Women in association with the 30% Club

For the past two years a scholarship has been awarded to an outstanding female Executive MBA candidate based on the breadth and depth of work experience as well as past academic/professional qualification performance. 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.  In 2015 this was worth £32,318.00  towards the programme fee after deposit. In 2016 there will be one scholarship available for each iteration of the programme, both January and September.

The Oxford Women’s Leadership Community

The Oxford Women’s Leadership Community (OWL Community) is a social and professional network dedicated to creating opportunities for alumni and female students of the University of Oxford. It provides a platform for members to connect with one another across geographies, industries and career stages.

The OWL Community focuses on networking, mentoring and professional development activities that foster lifelong learning, as well as the formation of empowering and supportive relationships both locally and globally. It aims to help a greater number of Oxford women achieve positions of influence and seniority in their careers.

The OWL Community represents a diverse and dynamic membership base, and both women and men are encouraged to join.