Spotlight on… women on the Diploma in Global Business

In March, Oxford Saïd celebrated International Women’s Day and Women’s History month. During this time, we spoke to two scholars who have come through the Diploma in Global Business in recent years – Nelia Dias and Kelly Scarante.

Scholarships recognise talent and endorse excellent candidates, ensuring that Oxford Saïd can attract the brightest and best. With the help of our alumni community, we can provide more scholarships that will encourage a greater number of talented female candidates to come through the Diploma programmes and therefore achieve gender parity.

We are thrilled that our alumni have shared their experience on and highlights of the programme, their journey since graduating, and their thoughts on navigating bias in the workplace.

What made the Diploma the right choice for you?

Nelia Dias
Nelia Dias

Nelia: ‘The way the Diploma programme is designed made it possible for me to balance my responsibilities as a mother and as a professional working in Angola.’ 

Kelly: ‘When I saw that the Diploma enabled me to live abroad and just go to Oxford for the modules, that felt feasible to me, so the ability to combine my life and my responsibilities with the programme was the main factor in deciding to go for it...The format is crucial to the success of the programme.’

How has the Diploma helped advance your career?

Kelly Scarante
Kelly Scarante

Nelia: ‘The knowledge I received at Oxford broadened my perspective and added a seal of excellence to my credentials that I felt I needed, thanks to Oxford’s reputation as a top university. Studying at Oxford Saïd has empowered me to take on projects I would never have considered previously, and to work in areas totally outside of my comfort zone.’ 

Kelly: ‘Being part of this selective group made me feel more confident and helped me position myself better for senior roles. I was able to secure the COO role in HSBC Mexico, which was a big jump in my career. It was a demanding and exceptionally busy period, but I’m so glad I pursued the Diploma because it really helped me achieve what I wanted to in my career.’

How beneficial are diverse classrooms/workplaces?

Kelly: ‘It was so interesting to hear the different takes that my peers from different industries absorbed from the same course, and the same content. It makes it so much more colourful and enriches the whole experience.’ 

Nelia: ‘It’s so important to recognise and accept that in today’s world for an organisation to be and remain competitive, and to achieve, that you need a diverse way of thinking, resolving problems and creating sustainable opportunities.’ 

How can we navigate bias in the workplace?

Nelia: ‘I think that we should celebrate traditionally feminine attributes – our difference is a strength. I’m glad that attributes that were once seen as disadvantageous are now celebrated in the workplace – for instance taking care of your colleagues and supporting their wellbeing. The growth of this culture is fostering a very positive workspace and leaving no space for abuse.’

Kelly: ‘I’m being very intentional and committed to the agenda of helping women navigate the path and challenges that they face. One thing that I’ve learnt - and I try to pass it on -  is that you don’t need to modulate a masculine leadership style to achieve. You can still build and develop your career from a place of authenticity and that’s an important thing to bring to the table.’

This year, Oxford Saïd is launching the Rewley Scholarship. Formerly known as the Alumni Annual Fund Scholarship, the Rewley Scholarship aims to increase the number of awards we can offer and ensure that Oxford Saïd can attract candidates that might otherwise not have considered Oxford, widen access, and increase diversity. Through their contributions, our alumni enable future Oxford Saïd students to benefit from a world-class education and opportunity-filled network.

You can support this initiative on Giving Day in June.