Women at INSEAD
INSEAD is one of the most publicly vocal business schools in the world to support bridging the gender equality gap. Since 2007, the percentage of female MBA students at INSEAD has nearly doubled to where it currently sits at 33%. At INSEAD, the goal is to achieve even greater equality for women in business by raising the rate of women studying business up to 50%, giving women the self-assurance and expertise to succeed in, what may be for many businesswomen, a still largely driven male business world.
In 2008, INSEAD established the Gender Diversity Initiative, an expansive measure to broaden and facilitate women’s involvement in business education, collaborations, and management capabilities from around the world. With the initiative underway and backed by one of the world’s top thinkers on women in leadership, professor Herminia Ibarra, INSEAD has launched areas of research to discover how to better empower women in entrepreneurship, economic development, career management, leadership, and organizational performance. Additionally, in 2012, out of the 200 scholarships granted, 48% of all scholarships given away by INSEAD were awarded to female students—five of which were open to female-only applicants. In partnership with the International Women’s Forum, INSEAD has joined with Harvard Business School in a Fellows Program to prepare women through a 20-day training program spread across the span of a year. The program combines case studies, classroom work, group projects, and workshops to improve women’s knowledge in negotiation, global affairs, and marketing, among others while offering once-in-a-lifetime guiding support from fellow female professionals.
The year 2005 marked the launch of INSEAD Women in Business (IWIB), a women-centered club that has become one of the school’s most active organizations. IWIB not only informs people of the diversity and gender inequalities that exist in the business world, but aims to band businesswomen and MBA participants together in support of greater equal opportunity. IWIB sponsors forums on hot topics such as women in consulting, workshops such as harnessing the skills of negotiation, and panels to introduce INSEAD MBA students to successful female INSEAD alumni. In 2010, IWIB commenced its first Women’s Leadership Conference, held at the INSEAD Fontainebleau campus. The keynote speaker for the conference was professor Herminia Ibarra, who spoke about women making the transition to positions of senior management, sharing advice for women on how to overcome the odds. IWIB also works very closely with recruiting companies and INSEAD Career Services to help women gain networking connections in all sectors of the business workforce.