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Women at Oxford

Women in the Oxford MBA
Women in the Oxford MBA
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The Oxford 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.

Oxford has a long history of educating women 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 lastminute.com
  • 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

Female alumnae of Saïd Business School have gone on to work in a wide range of roles and industries all around the world. They include Sally Fan from China, now a vice president at Deutsche Bank in New York, Kuntha Chelvanathan from Australia, a senior consultant with Roland Berger in London, Sarita James from the US, who worked for McKinsey and was named a White House Fellow in 2008, and Keely Stevenson from the US who now is an executive at Bamboo Finance, a global investment advisory firm specialising in financing social entrepreneurship, based in Geneva.

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, the Saïd Business School invests in a wide range of initiatives to help create a thriving community of women leaders:

The following initiatives take place at the School and aim to support women in business:

Forte Foundation

Saïd Business School is a proud member of the Forte Foundation. 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. The School offers two Forte scholarships for MBA students each year, aimed at women to enhance women access to business education.
Forte Foundation

Oxford Business Network for Women in Leadership

The Oxford Business Network for Women’s Leadership provides a forum where women can exchange ideas, share experiences and expand our networks. Whether the goal is to climb the corporate ladder, run your own business or successfully balance a career and family, the group’s mission is to create a supportive and interactive community that addresses topics specific to women in today's business world. The group organises several events throughout the year which offer an opportunity to learn from the experiences of others and to network with students, alumni and staff. Some examples of these events include, the McKinsey women as leader; panel discussions and workshops or round table discussions with Janet Riccio, Executive Vice President, Omnicom Group, to name but a few.
Oxford Business Network for Women’s Leadership

Inspiring Women in Leadership and Learning

We are committed to encouraging and developing women in their many roles in business, in both developing and developed countries. The Inspiring Women in Leadership and Learning initiative (iwill) supports this goal. This initiative combines events, workshops and research to open up opportunities to inspire women to become a significant force in their business communities.
Inspiring Women in Leadership and Learning initiative (iwill)

Powershift: The Oxford Forum for Women in the World Economy

Powershift: The Oxford Forum for Women in the World Economy is an annual symposium on women as economic actors in the global marketplace. We chose the name 'Power Shift' because we wanted to signal a progressive, active attitude–as well as to assert that, like it or not, the game is already changing.

The theme of the 2014 Forum was Women and Finance, and took place at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford in May 2014.  We built upon the success of the 2013 Forum by looking at conditions for women-owned businesses who seek capital, whether debt or equity. We expanded our scope to include other points of contact between women and the money system:  consumer credit, savings accounts, inheritance law, philanthropy, careers in finance, even pyramid schemes.  Our purpose was to arrive at an action research agenda for governments, NGOs, and companies that want to support women’s inclusion in finance around the world. 

The theme of the inaugural Forum in 2013 was Women and Finace. Our strategy was to foster an informed conversation among a group of people who, in one way or another, can affect the growing global action plan for how women can be supported in building businesses. We identified speakers who inspire, as well as those who critique; panelists with strong opinions, as well as some with strong data. We assembled a group of participants who are experienced in doing the training, financing, analyzing, investing, and organizing around women’s entrepreneurship.

More information on the outcomes of the 2013 Forum can be found in Professor Linda Scott's blog post: Power Shift: Intentions and Resolutions.

Oxford groups

There are numerous groups in Oxford that support the women community:

Oxford Women in Business: designed to empower enterprising young women of Oxford University to expand and sharpen their understanding of business and entrepreneurship.

Oxford Women in Politics: a group launched with the aim of tackling the gender disparity evident in political organisations within and outside

Oxford WomCam: a vibrant, discussion and action forum for all women in the University, both graduate and undergraduate. Oxford Women’s Network: committed to enhancing the quality of life for the community of women within the collegiate University.

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