With the launch of the Laidlaw Scholars Program, the Laidlaw Foundation, HEC Paris and the HEC Foundation aim to identify and encourage underprivileged women in their pursuit of an MBA.

November 27, 2023

This new partnership is set to make a significant impact by granting 10 full scholarships annually to extraordinary women with strong leadership potential, who do not have the financial means to support their dream of pursuing an MBA. HEC Paris is aware that there are many outstanding women who hesitate to consider an MBA, due to financial constraints. With the support of the Laidlaw Foundation, HEC Paris is looking to change this – with dedicated support for women across all backgrounds and financial aid. Through this collaboration, 100 percent of tuition fees will be covered with the aim of encouraging women, who may have previously believed an MBA was out of reach, to dream big, apply to the program, and become part of the HEC community.

In addition to receiving a full scholarship to cover the cost of tuition fees, an alumni mentoring program will be organized to connect Laidlaw Scholars with accomplished female alumni. Laidlaw Scholars will benefit from their guidance, career advice, and industry knowledge.

The aim of this scholarship program is threefold:

  • Empower outstanding women by giving them the opportunity to pursue a high-level MBA education, regardless of their financial constraints, to enable them to reach their full potential and make significant contributions to their organizations and to society as a whole;
  • Bridge the gender gap in leadership and build a strong network of diverse women, who will drive organizational growth and promote diversity in leadership positions by equipping women with the skills, knowledge and networks to excel in leadership positions through targeted support and mentoring;
  • Promote inclusiveness by investing in the education of talented women from underprivileged backgrounds, who will create a more diverse and inclusive business environment, helping to inspire and sponsor future generations of courageous women.

“We are committed to supporting more extraordinary women to reach the C-Suite. By partnering with HEC Paris, we know that outstanding women will have the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and networks that will propel their careers forward,” comments Susanna Kempe, CEO of Laidlaw Foundation.

Eloïc Peyrache, Dean of HEC Paris, comments: “The launch of the Laidlaw Scholars Program is all the more important to us as HEC celebrates 50 years of gender diversity this year: this scholarship embodies our commitment to supporting and promoting parity. We want to encourage talented women from all backgrounds to pursue their academic and professional ambitions while contributing to a more balanced representation in the business world. We firmly believe that diversity is a force that stimulates innovation, creativity and success, and we are proud to play a part in promoting this ideal.”

“This partnership allows us to support and empower women from all over the globe, by giving them the opportunity to join a top-ranking MBA program,” adds Olivier Sevillia, President of the HEC Foundation. “We are delighted to open this opportunity to outstanding women who possess the drive, resilience and determination to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. As an alumni of the MBA program myself, I understand the transformative impact of this program, making this initiative particularly meaningful to me.”

The first step for those interested in applying to be a Laidlaw Scholar, is to connect with HEC and tell the recruitment team about their background. A Marketing & Recruitment manager will then be in touch shortly after. Vouchers will be awarded to potential candidates to cover the cost of the GMAT exam fee. For more information on the Laidlaw Scholars Program, visit https://laidlawfoundation.com/women-in-leadership/

About HEC Paris

Founded in 1881, HEC Paris is a leading European Business School. Its ambition is to positively impact both businesses and society thanks to its three-pronged approach “Think, Teach, Act” and thus to contribute to a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world.

With 160 research professors from all around the world producing and teaching unique knowledge to more than 4,500 students from 135 different countries, the HEC Paris campus serves as a real laboratory for innovation and exchange which is open to the world’s diversity and challenges.

Inspired by its 5 core values -Excellence, Curiosity, Entrepreneurial spirit, Diversity and Responsibility- HEC Paris offers a complete range of training courses for the leaders of tomorrow: the Pre-Experience Program, specialized masters, MSc, the Summer School, the MBA, the Executive MBA, the TRIUM Global Executive MBA, the PhD, as well as a wide variety of programs targeted to leaders and managers.

About the HEC Foundation

The HEC Foundation is a recognized public-interest foundation that contributes to the development of strategic academic projects at HEC Paris and makes the institution’s outstanding programs accessible to the greatest number of people. Thanks to the support of alumni, corporate partners, and foundations, the HEC Foundation makes a decisive contribution to the development of HEC Paris and helps launch new schemes to reinforce social inclusion and international diversity. In 2022, €12.9M have been allocated to the School’s strategic projects. Today, the HEC Foundation counts over 14,000 donors (over 73,000 alumni), 40 corporate partners, a team of 15 staff and 40 volunteers.

About the Laidlaw Foundation

The Laidlaw Foundation invests in the education of the underprivileged and underrepresented to break the cycle of poverty, reduce inequality and develop a new generation of leaders. Our funding supports five core programmes:

  • Sponsoring the Laidlaw Schools Trust – a growing, Multi Academy Trust in the North East of England, providing inspirational education to transform lives;
  • Developing a new generation of diverse leaders who embrace research-based decision-making and ethical leadership through our Laidlaw Scholars Leadership and Research programme at the world’s leading universities;
  • Ensuring more women reach the C-Suite by providing MBA scholarships at London Business School, Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and now HEC Paris; and supporting women from lower socio-economic backgrounds to attend university through the Trinity College Dublin Trailblazer programme; as well as,
  • Turbocharging good businesses by investing in start-ups founded by Laidlaw Scholars through a $50m venture capital fund, Laidlaw Scholars Ventures; and
  • Building innovative and inspiring spaces in which pupils and students excel.