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Women’s Leadership Initiative

Inaugural WLI conference at Cambridge Judge focuses on women’s empowerment and leadership.

Women’s Leadership Initiative

The new CJBS Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) at Cambridge Judge Business School kicked off on 19 June with an inaugural conference at the School that focused on women’s empowerment and leadership issues.

“We need to make changes in thought, in word and in deed,” said Sandra Dawson, KPMG Professor Emeritus of Management Studies and former director of Cambridge Judge, who was one of the keynote speakers. “Those deeds don’t earn long-term gain unless we also change our thought, change our mindset.”

Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair of the 30% Club and Head of FIG Europe, ANZ, said the problem for women advancing in business often isn’t the much-publicised “glass ceiling” but rather a “glass wall” – in that men seem to ride smoothly up the escalator of promotion while women trudge up the stairs, and thus grow discouraged and move on. Concluding remarks to the conference were made via videolink by Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30% Club.

Christoph Loch, Director of Cambridge Judge, said the conference was timely because when it comes to women in business, “some things have changed, but other things haven’t changed so much.”

Loch made several announcements: the formal launch of a Cambridge Judge partnership with the 30% Club, a business-led group championing gender balance, which initially is sponsoring two scholarships for women students at the new Masters in Social Innovation programme at Cambridge Judge; the School’s sponsorship of a new Female Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Business Weekly publication; an increase in the percentage of female students in the next MBA class at Cambridge Judge; and the addition of six new women faculty members at Cambridge Judge in the past 12 months, including four senior women faculty.

“This Initiative has really been a fantastic collaboration between staff, students and faculty within the School and the wider community,” said Siobhan Sweeney, an MBA student and co-founder of the WLI.