As part of the welcome programme for its record number of nearly 300 scholarship recipients for this academic year, London Business School (LBS) last week hosted the official launch of the Laidlaw Women’s Leadership Fund.
The inaugural cohort of scholars came together to meet and hear from Lord Laidlaw, Chairman and Susanna Kempe, CEO of the Laidlaw Foundation as well as LBS Dean François Ortalo-Magné and Susie Balch, Associate Dean of Advancement.
Lord Laidlaw spoke about his career and what inspires him to support women in business. Susanna shared her aim for the LBS/Laidlaw Foundation partnership together with the scholars and future generations of scholars to empower women in leadership. “Our vision for this programme – and for the Foundation – is to create systemic change by propelling extraordinary women into the C-Suite so that you can change the world for the better,” she said.
Scholar Asih Wulansari shares that vision to address the global imbalance of women leaders. She hopes to inspire other Indonesians to venture out and make their mark in the global market, and to help improve living conditions for women and children in developing countries. “I wouldn’t be here at LBS without the support of the Laidlaw Foundation,” she said.
At the launch, scholars shared their stories and post-LBS ambitions, and Lord Laidlaw and Susanna answered questions on their own careers and inspired the scholars to strive for success, even in the face of failures. They exhorted the scholars to help lift other women up and be a force for positive change. “Prove to us your scholarships make a difference to yourselves, those you work with and your companies and countries,” said Lord Laidlaw. “Getting a degree from a school like LBS is a very important weapon in our scholars’ arsenal to break the glass ceiling.”
Through the generous support of the Laidlaw Foundation, the Laidlaw Women’s Leadership Fund provides 20 scholarships per year for three years to women from socially-economic diverse backgrounds to pursue a degree programme (Masters in Management, MBA or Executive MBA) at LBS.