❘ ❘

How Cranfield School Of Management Is Creating Future Female Business Leaders

Cranfield School of Management uses its own Female FTSE 100 study to shape a curriculum that’s driving the next generation of women in business

In this case, the adage is literal. Both Shivanshi and Kemi saw the value a Master’s degree will add to their careers. At Cranfield, they were introduced to like-minded women, and were able to flesh out their understanding of what it takes to make a success of your career. 

Working in a male-dominated industry

For Shivanshi, coming to the UK as a non-European international student made the process of hunting for work experience trickier. Before enrolling on the Master’s program, Shivanshi had never left her home in Mumbai.  

The Cranfield Career Development Service was on hand and helped her secure an internship in the security industry. The Security Institute proceeded to offer her a marketing contract, which she completed last month. Now she’s back in Mumbai, considering her next steps. 

She says the network she built in the UK has given her confidence when she thinks about her future. The People Management and Leadership (PML) module was particularly useful when she put together and presented her five-year marketing strategy to The Security Institute CEO during her internship.  

“My CEO actually took me to a directors’ meeting, where I got to present my plan to 13 other directors who work across security non-profit organizations––definitely an advantageous networking opportunity.” 

Despite working within a more traditionally male-dominated industry, Shivanshi says she never felt at a disadvantage for being a woman.  

“It’s sad to see that the number of women in security is still lagging behind,” she admits. “But the women I met throughout my internship are inspirational.  

They worked as spies and translators, even working on cracking terrorist codes for their country. I do think having more women in high-up positions that you can look up to will help motivate more women in junior roles.”

Building an all-female network

Networking is key for any businessperson––whether that’s to build brand awareness for your company like Kemi, or to have those all-important contacts in your diary when searching for new opportunities like Shivanshi 

“No one is an island,” Kemi says. “You need people around you, because they provide different perspectives. But be selective, surrounding yourself with women who are where you want to be, not where you are right now.”