Online Project Showcase

MBA Access for Women Scholarships

  • Organisation:

    Deakin University

  • ABN or Auspicing Organisation:

    56 721 584 203

  • Scope of Activity:


  • Geographic Location:


  • Target Groups:

    Business Professionals
    Rural / Regional


Funding Information

  • Total Funding Required (AUD):


  • Current Funding (AUD):


  • Funding Needed (AUD):


  • Tax Deductability Status (DGR):


  • Tax Concession Status (TCC):


  • DGR Additional Information:

    Item 1 DGR

  • Other Funding Partners:


Project Information

  • Project Commencement Date:
  • 1 March 2018
  • Project Completion Date:
  • 1 March 2022
  • What issues are addressed?:
  • Women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, low socioeconomic status, refugees and entrepreneurs are significantly under-represented in senior leadership positions. Workplace gender equality is directly linked to gender equality in society and redressing this imbalance is therefore vital to achieve equality and economic empowerment. For those women who aspire to lead, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is a powerful tool for promotion to executive and leadership roles. Although women outnumber men in undergraduate business programs, fewer than 30% of MBA students are female. One of the main barriers for women from diverse backgrounds and non-corporate workplaces is the cost associated with undertaking an MBA – not just tuition, but also the costs associated with travelling to residential programs and taking time away from family responsibilities.
  • Project Description:
  • Deakin’s philanthropic goal is to establish ten MBA scholarships for women from diverse backgrounds. These scholarships will ensure that women, regardless of their personal and financial circumstances, have an opportunity to further their careers and break through the glass ceiling. We are seeking support from philanthropists to co-fund ten full scholarships for women in sectors where there are no available corporate partners or from corporate employers to co-fund female employees from a non-profit partner. Deakin Business School’s MBA provides flexibility in learning with online, on campus, residential and experiential options, which is particularly suited to busy, career-oriented women who also often have family responsibilities. These scholarships are an opportunity for visionary philanthropists to invest in the future of talented women and deliver a graduate pipeline of high quality business professionals who will contribute to the prosperity of our community.
  • Alleviating suffering / disadvantage?:
  • MBAs are expensive. In most cases students who are working in the corporate sector are supported by their workplace and can work full time while completing their qualification. This is not an option for women who are self-employed or working in the non-profit sector, for whom the time and financial cost of undertaking an MBA can be prohibitive. Many MBA programs also lack flexible delivery modes and mentorship making it difficult for a woman who is juggling work and family commitments to successfully complete the program. Several universities offer scholarships in which corporate employers nominate and co-fund female staff, but this does not address the under-representation of women from atypical paths where no corporate funding is available. Through the MBA Access for Women Scholarships we aim to attract more women, but also a diversity of women who might not traditionally consider an MBA.
  • Changing Policy, Practices & Systems?:
  • Gender equality in the workplace is directly related to gender equality in society, yet women continue to experience reduced opportunities for career success and a significant pay gap. Women comprising 47% of the workforce yet fewer than 5% of CEOs and on average 25% of all board members are women. This is the case in all sectors but is particularly noteworthy in industries where women make up the majority of the workforce such as the non-profit sector. An MBA is a valued qualification and not having one can be used as a reason to stop someone from advancing within an organisation. Women who attain MBAs have fewer barriers to advancement into board and executive leadership roles; more women in these positions can help address long standing gender equality issues such as the pay and superannuation gap, expanding visible career choices for women and girls, and normalising the role of women as business leaders.
  • Investing in or empowering women?:
  • An MBA can open doors to a more advanced career path. Having an MBA has shown to help women reach senior leadership positions and also achieve an increase in their pay at that level. Women with an MBA see pay gains of 55-65 per cent of their pre-MBA salary within five years of graduation. Eighty-five per cent of MBA graduates believe their MBA helped them to advance in their careers. Women in positions of power also act as role models for other women and help them to advance in the workplace. Deakin’s MBA is supported by a suite of student support and retention services specifically aimed at the diversity of our cohort. These include a tailored Career Development Program, an active Alumni Chapter and regular networking and professional development events and thought leadership opportunities. These types of connections are particularly helpful for women entrepreneurs and those working outside the corporate sector in non-profits and small businesses.
  • Media / Promotion?:
  • As well as opportunities to promote the stories of individual women whose MBA has helped them succeed, there are opportunities to capitalise on media stories which arise from gender equality stories for organisations such as the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Women on Boards and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. Deakin’s media team are well placed to place media stories and assist with packaging content for different media channels.
  • How is success evaluated / measured?:
  • Deakin will evaluate the success of the program two ways. First, via monitoring the educational performance of the recipients, including: • Recipient remains enrolled throughout the scholarship period. • Unit success rate (% units passed out of all units taken). • WAM (weighted average mark) above set benchmark. Secondly, students will also be surveyed to determine: • Impact of the scholarship on their decision to attend university • Ways in which the scholarship allowed recipients to give more time and attention to their studies • Ways in which the scholarship scheme could be improved for future recipients. Towards the completion of the proposed five year duration of this particular scholarship program, a review of the program will be undertaken. This will include an analysis of enrollment numbers and feedback from students to determine the success of the scholarship in attracting and retaining students to the program.

Contact Information

  • Contact Person:

    Vanessa Meachen

  • Email:

  • Website:

    Click Here

  • Phone:

    03 9246 8860