ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA: Empowering Women Leaders

ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA: Empowering Women Leaders

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Equality in the workplace and the growth of women in leadership positions has been an important mission for companies over the last several years, and the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA program is working to actively increase the role women play in both the executive education mission, and in their careers beyond.

Instead of merely presenting the program as a valuable tool for women, the ESSEC & Mannehim EMBA looks to provide women leaders with the education and confidence to grow their businesses and their earning potential. With more outreach, transparency, and candidate recruiting, better business representation for women can increase their visibility in an array of international executive roles.

Why ESSEC & Mannheim?

The numbers as they stand now are impressive, especially compared to other EMBA programs. The current gender ratio is 40% women, 60% men, but the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA, with its focus on social justice in the business world, promotes its women students and emphasizes how women succeed both in the program and in their careers beyond. The cohort is 80% international students, and graduates have access to a valuable network both during their studies and beyond, with an ESSEC & Mannheim graduate total of over 70,000 over the years.

With its international focus, with course tracks in both Europe and Asia, the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA knows the pulse of modern, international business studies, and women from a wide variety of backgrounds can excel and grow with their education.

Scholarship Opportunities

Talking about increased potential for women in the business world isn’t enough; ESSEC & Mannheim, in addition to its networking and mentorship programs, offers a Future Women Leaders Scholarship, offered to candidates who display specific career goals and plan to pursue new leadership paths in the future. By displaying visibility and involvement in the ESSEC & Mannheim program, as well as one’s current executive role and goals, the potential scholarship is one of many valuable tools and incentives for women considering executive education.

Student Testimonials

The students and graduates of the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA, in addition to the faculty, do not shy away from the realities and logistics of women in the business world. They acknowledge misconceptions and stereotypes head-on, and overcome those to encourage women to grow their education, earning potentials, and titles through the EMBA degree.

For example, alumna Olga Semenenko was asked about her thoughts on stereotypes attached to women executives, and she explains ” There is a stereotype attached to female leaders, that is linked to countries with male dominated cultures and traditions where women replicate male leadership style instead of finding their own towards management and leadership.”

Semenenko represents the the kind of diversified backgrounds that women bring to the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA: she has twenty years of international marketing experience, and decided to branch out into entrepreneurial consulting to help other executives and companies expand their potential and outreach. While growing and developing with one company can be one’s goal, branching out into new areas can be both rewarding and daunting, and the ESSEC & Mannheim program’s breadth and network give women the resources and tools for any new career paths they might encounter.

By addressing these notions upfront, women can break down the assumptions and forge their own paths to success, even if it means changing courses. Alumna Helene Souillard is an example of how one can shift their goals dramatically and ultimately end up on a course that benefits them. Originally planning to work in the medical field, Soulliard shifted her focus to law. Going beyond that, she tapped into a passion for international growth and social justice, moving into international legal rights and missions that empower women and children in struggling countries and economies.

And it’s not all about tackling negative assumptions; Souillard discusses the positives of women in the ESSEC & Mannheim program, how women can experience an EMBA as a way to use positive traits on the road to success: “Of course, there are many advantages of being a woman, in bringing different angles of analysis, generally having a good inclusive leadership, being empathetic and good listeners, and of course being very competent technically speaking. It is a privilege being a woman, while pursuing an EMBA.”

Women Leaders at the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA

One of the program leaders is Junko Takagi, who is the Academic Director of the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA, as well as the Chair of Leadership and Diversity. In addition to being a strategic part of the program’s inclusive and diverse goals, Takagi explains how the school’s mission focuses not just on closing the gender gap, but on ethical business practices and sustainability.

The ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA wants to promote and change the world’s business outlooks for good, and diversity combined with strong ethics will only enhance how business education and business models grow in the future.

As Takagi explains, “At a school level, ESSEC is committed to providing impactful responses to make our world fairer, more inclusive and more sustainable through our 360° ecological and social transition plan called “Together” which was launched in 2020. It aims at putting environmental and social transition at the heart of its governance, and created the position of “Associate Dean for Sustainability” within its executive committee to guarantee that environmental and social challenges are taken into account in all strategic decisions made by the school, and in pedagogical content.”

Learning More about the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA

Prospective students, especially women, are encouraged to learn more about advancing their careers on an international stage. The locations and duration of the various school locations vary,  with six day modules every several weeks on campuses in Singapore, France, and Germany.

If you’re a woman with any questions or concerns about the value and logistics of an EMBA, the faculty and staff of the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA are eager to answer those questions, and to provide information on investment returns and scheduling, with the goals of bringing in the best students to advance their earning potentials and leadership scopes.

ESSEC Business School
About the Author
ESSEC Business School

Founded in 1907, ESSEC is one of the world’s top management schools and holds the “triple crown” accreditation from EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. With 6,660 students; a faculty comprised of 163 full-time professors, 19 of which are emeritus professors, in France and Singapore, recognized for both the quality and influence of their research; a wide range of management training programs; partnerships with the world’s best universities; and a network of 60,000 alumni, ESSEC continues to foster a tradition of academic excellence and a spirit of openness in the fields of economics, social sciences and innovation. In 2005, ESSEC opened a campus in Asia, ESSEC Asia-Pacific. ESSEC’s operations in Asia Pacific, strategically located in Singapore, present the perfect foothold for ESSEC to be part of the vibrant growth in Asia and to bring its expertise to the expanding region. Additionally, in 2017 ESSEC opened a new campus in Rabat, Morocco, ESSEC Africa. ESSEC’s international expansion allows students and professors to study and understand the economic forces at work in the different regions of the world. For any additional information, please visit

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