New Deakin Business School scholarships support women to study MBA

Media release
21 November 2017

A new Deakin University scholarship program is addressing the barriers that can put studying an MBA out of reach for some women.

Lifestyle commitments, family responsibilities and socio-economic issues restrict women’s access to study, with women making up only 30 per cent of students studying MBA courses in Australia, said Deakin Business School researcher Dr Andrea North-Samardzic.

”Being a woman should not be a barrier to further education,” Dr North-Samardzic said

“An MBA is an internationally recognised degree for people with work experience and it provides the opportunity to develop leadership and management capabilities, along with networking opportunities to progress careers.

“Women should be able to benefit as much as men from the career opportunities of having an MBA yet they are underrepresented in these courses with the two biggest barriers being time and money.

“Work-life conflict is more pronounced for women than men. Adding an MBA into an already complex and full schedule is a hurdle that many women have a hard time overcoming.

“We know the pay gap between men and women exists, which can lead women into a less prosperous financial position to self-fund an MBA. This is a particular concern for women who work in the non-profit sector as well as women in organisations with significant pay gaps such as STEMM industries.”

To encourage access and limit barriers to entry, Deakin Business School has partnered with corporate sponsors and philanthropists to provide 10 co-funded gender equity scholarships.

“These scholarships address the time and money barriers to study,” Dr North-Samardzic said.

“In terms of time, the flexible nature of the Deakin MBA and its reputation as the number one online MBA in Victoria, and top 20 in the world (Quacquarelli Symonds Distance Online MBA Rankings), means we appreciate and understand the constraints people face and can develop tools to help students manage their time and learning effectively.

“The scholarships are also designed to directly address the money concern, by financially supporting women who would like to do an MBA with us at Deakin by offering a 50 per cent reduction on course fees.

“We welcome applications from all women but are particularly mindful of women who experience disadvantage in the workplace, such as women in STEMM, women in non-profits, where salaries are significantly less, and women working in small and medium size enterprises, where funds for education are not always available.”

Further information and how to apply is available at

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