Business School scoops diversity prize at Edinburgh Chamber awards

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The University of Edinburgh Business School has been recognised as the most diverse organisation at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s sixth annual Business Awards.

The award recognises its position as one of the most gender-balanced and internationally diverse organisations in the sector.

At a ceremony at Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel, judges acknowledged the Business School’s efforts to achieve gender and international diversity not only in the makeup of its communities but also in the way it nurtures and programmes for open environments.

According to the Financial Times latest Top 100 Global MBA Ranking, the Edinburgh MBA now offers the most ‘gender-balanced programme’ in the United Kingdom, with 41 per cent of the faculty and half (49 per cent) of its latest cohort being women.

The programme also includes activities focusing on women in leadership roles, including an annual trip with MBA and Executive MBA female students exploring the challenges and opportunities for women in business. During the 2016 trip, students had presentations by Mrs Moneypenny (aka Heather McGregor of Financial Times) and author and CEO Natalie Reynolds.

The programme is also ranked second in the UK and 15th globally for international experience, thanks in part to the School’s work to create opportunities and visits with large corporations and social enterprises in India and Colombia. Collaborations with Johnson & Johnson have resulted in students travelling to Tanzania to develop business plans for the College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa.

Meanwhile, postgraduate programmes continue to attract students who are looking for an international experience, with more than 61 different nationalities enrolled for 2016/17 – 65% of whom are women.

And in 2016, it held the first edition of the Executive Women’s Leadership Programme, the first of its kind in Scotland, and one of only three such programmes in Britain. The programme came in response to the UK Government’s Womenomics report published in 2015, which highlighted not enough is being done to help women advance from middle to senior management positions.

Offering a combined curriculum of taught modules, delivered by the Business School’s Chairs in Leadership, and a range of high-level guest speakers. 2016 guests included CEO of Bank of Iceland Birna Einarsdóttir. CEO of Go Airlines Barbara Cassani, Vicky Jack, the oldest Scottish woman to conquer the 7 summits; Annette Barnes, Managing Director of Bank of Scotland and Nicola Gordon, VP Cost Leadership and Continuous Improvement, Shell plc.

The programme is co-directed by Professor Susan Murphy, Chair in Leadership Development at the University of Edinburgh Business School and Judy Wagner, Director at executive recruitment firm FWB Park Brown and member of the School’s International Advisory Board.

Professor Wendy Loretto, Dean of University of Edinburgh Business School, said:

“We are proud of the diversity of our MBA programmes, reflected in the recent FT MBA rankings and pleased this and the gender and international diversity across the wider student cohorts has now been recognised by the 2017 Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Business Award.

“We are dedicated to nurturing and programming for open environments throughout the School, so it is fantastic to be recognised in this way.”

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