Women have made great strides in the pursuit of education, careers and leadership roles they were once denied. However, they still comprise a minority of leaders in the business world. Women hold nearly 34% of committee chairs in the S&P 500 and hold 31% of director seats, as of March 2023. Only 8.2% of S&P 500 company CEOs are women.  

Because Zonta International believes in gender equality, the Jane M. Klausman (JMK) Women in Business Scholarship program helps women pursue undergraduate and master’s degrees in business management and overcome gender barriers from the classroom to the boardroom.  The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta International offers 37 international scholarships of US$5,000. Each district/region may submit one applicant for consideration for an international scholarship. The five largest districts may submit a second applicant for a total of two applicants.  Since the program’s inception, Zonta has awarded 750 scholarships, totaling more than US$2 million, to 596 women representing 74 countries. 
This year, we are proud to have two Zonta Scholars, Women in Business, from the University of Cambridge #CambridgeWomenCan! Mansa Shroff and Shiu Jern are both pursuing an MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School.  

Mansa Shroff’s Reflections:  
Mansa Shroff is a student at the University of Cambridge, pursuing an MBA, with a focus on Healthcare. As a Microbiologist by training, the MBA will further her business skills in the digital health industry.  
Growing up, she always heard that business and leadership are not “the” place for women – how would you negotiate? How will you lead? How would you stand up in a room full of men? How will you make people listen to you? – She hopes that her Cambridge MBA trains her to answer all the above questions.  
As an Asian female scientist, she is aware that her gender and race are still a minority in many boardroom meetings and founder’s circles. She believes that the MBA programme, resources through Cambridge University and Zonta’s advocacy efforts, will empower her with the skills, global networks and thought leadership that she envisions using to catalyze unique global partnerships and accelerate innovation in women’s healthcare.  “Jane M. Klausman Women in Business champions young women around the world and has also supported my aspirations for building leadership skills and management experience in healthcare.” 
This scholarship will enable her to further Zonta International’s vision of championing women and improving their quality of life because gender equality is a pivotal force in driving progress across UN’s Sustainable Developmental Goals. By improving women’s representation in clinical healthcare research, she aims to bring a change in how women are empowered globally. She also envisions seeing this year as an MBA student to further hone her personal leadership and entrepreneurship goals and reflect on the type of leader she wants to be in the digital health world. 

Shiu Jern’s Reflections:  
The Zonta Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship holds significant personal meaning for Shiu Jern. Her practical experience leading digital initiatives in the construction industry, coupled with her supportive coworkers and her interest in sustainable development have opened doors for her in a male-dominated industry.   

As a Women in Digital international interest group member, Shiu Jern received guidance from other prominent women in the industry as a young engineer to navigate these opportunities. Similarly, she looks forward to actively contributing to supporting and sharing her experiences with fellow women in the workplace. The Zonta JMK scholarship seamlessly aligns with her goals of advancing her education and influencing environmental practices. Beyond serving as financial support, the scholarship represents an opportunity to springboard her career through her postgraduate studies.  

Since beginning her studies at Cambridge Judge Business School, Shiu Jern has eagerly pursued growth. She is excited to bring back home the knowledge gained from networking with a diverse pool of MBA classmates and participating in cross-disciplinary Environmental Breakfast Roundtables. Additionally, she has found value in the academic MBA programme which includes studying sustainable branding in Social Impact through Enterprise and acquiring practical skills in consulting within the sandbox environment of course projects. Shiu Jern continues to broaden her horizons through the experiences, made possible by the valuable support of the Zonta scholarship, that equip her to contribute to a more sustainable future. 

For more details on Zonta International scholarship for women visit our Fees and Funding pages here>

For more on women on the Cambridge MBA visit our pages here >