Local university wants to help more women become CEOs and execs

Jul 29 2020, 4:05 pm

The profound link between women’s career growth and that of the companies who employ them, and communities who surround them, has been well documented.

In fact, on a global level, research suggests that gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to be more prosperous than their competitors.

Despite this, women around the world — including Canada — are still massively under-represented when it comes to leadership roles. As of May this year, only 37 of the Fortune 500 companies are led by women.

Recognizing the impact of women on our economy and the importance of equal opportunity in the workplace, University Canada West (UCW) has launched the Women in Leadership MBA Award.


Introduced earlier this year, the Award is a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) scholarship designated for women who have demonstrated leadership potential.

Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the business-and technology-focused university is looking to do its part in advancing gender parity in the realm of business leadership.

“At UCW we recognize that the business world requires more female leaders. Our Women in Leadership MBA Award will help women who otherwise may not have chosen a formal business education to do so, and therefore step more easily into corporate leadership,” says Brock Dykeman, President of UCW.

In the past two decades, Canada’s advancements on this front have been stagnant. As such, there’s still plenty of work to do when it comes to achieving a society in which women and men play equal roles in the workforce.


Working towards this objective would not only mean attaining a more equitable society, but it would also mean adding as much as $28 trillion to our global annual GDP by 2025. All to say, a big part of achieving a thriving global economy rests on our ability to advance the careers of women.

In Canada alone, that would stack up to an additional $150 billion onto our national GDP in the next six years. That’s a lot of extra dough that could go towards funding community services, infrastructure, education, and housing (to name a few).

This is why UCW is doing its part to help develop future female leaders by providing $585,000 in awards over the next two years in an effort to support Canadian women in their pursuit of MBA degrees.

One of the main reasons it’s so important to empower women to pursue their MBAs is that it often acts as a direct pipeline towards attaining a leadership position.

Therefore, it’s suggested that an increase in MBA-certified women will lead to an influx of women business leaders.

“Many young women who are aspiring to be a CEO, President, or VP tell me that they can get the interview, but they can’t get to the next stage. When you get an MBA, there’s a language you acquire, and I believe that language can get you through more doors that lead eventually to a seat at the table,” says Cyndi McLeod, CEO of Global University Systems Canada.

Though companies with three or more women in senior management positions are significantly more likely to perform better, women in Canada currently only hold slightly more than 20% of corporate director positions. And if we continue to advance at Canada’s snail pace, it could take us up to 180 years to close this gap.

A potential roadblock towards achieving balanced leadership is the fact that women are less likely to pursue an MBA than men, likely due to recruitment tactics, lack of scholarships, and lower post-MBA salaries compared to their male counterparts.

By tapping into women’s potential and accelerating their career paths with programs like UCW’s that provide funding and flexibility, we can help narrow the gap and reinvigorate Canada’s economy.

UCW is calling on Canadian women with outstanding leadership experience or potential to apply to their Women in Leadership MBA Award for the opportunity to be awarded full and half scholarships.

The scholarship is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have shown their ability to lead through work experience, volunteer work, or community involvement.

UCW’s MBA Award is designed for working professionals and offers flexibility, so you can adapt classes to your schedule.

Leaders of tomorrow (we know you’re out there!) let your potential be known and apply to UCW’s Women in Leadership MBA Award or learn more here.

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