The 30% Club and Henley Business School announce winner of Women in Leadership Scholarship

The winner Surbjit Kaur with the judging panel. (Photo courtesy of the Financial Times)

The winner Surbjit Kaur with the judging panel. (Photo courtesy of the Financial Times)

At a reception last night hosted by the Financial Times, The 30% Club and Henley Business School announced the winner of the Women in Leadership Scholarship award.

Surbjit Kaur, a Senior Supply Chain and Operations Manager at EY, fought off tough competition to win a fully-funded place, worth £34,000, on the Henley Business School Executive MBA (Master of Business Administration) programme. The programme is designed to develop senior managers, encouraging and enabling them to meet their true potential. The 30% Club’s support for the scholarship reflects the ethos of the organisation’s Balancing the Pyramid initiative which aims to encourage and increase female gender balance at all organisational levels.

To enter, applicants were asked to write an essay on “What are the key challenges to creating a gender balance at all levels in organisations?” The quality of applicants was outstanding, providing a diverse range of perspectives to the gender balance problem. The judging panel, chaired by Professor Ginny Gibson, Deputy Dean of Henley Business School, felt that Surbjit’s assessment of the challenges in the workplace were insightful and nuanced. She commented on the internal and external factors that led to the gender imbalance, including reluctance to change from middle management and lack of confidence from women to aspire to senior management roles. However, due to the high quality of entries, we are pleased to announce that three people were also offered a 50% bursary for the same programme; these were Sue Wright, Sarah Butlin and Ruth Punter

Surbjit, who began her career as an environmental scientist, moved into consulting six years ago and currently holds a Senior Manager role with EY in Supply Chain & Operations London as Transition Manager for the Energy & Assets Market. She will begin the Henley Executive MBA in October this year.

The judging panel:

Professor Ginny Gibson, Deputy Dean of Henley Business School

Dr Richard McBain, Head of Postgraduate Post Experience Programmes, Henley Business School

Ashley Arnold, Director of MBA/DBA Recruitment, Henley Business School

Peter Whitehead, Editor of FT Executive Appointments and the FT Non-Executive Directors’ Club

Pavita Cooper, 30% Club Steering Committee Member and Talent & Gender Strategy Board Adviser