Baroness Karren Brady Launches MBA with Arden University to Tackle Boardroom Gender Bias

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Baroness Karren Brady is launching a new MBA with Arden University to unlock the potential of entrepreneurs (women entrepreneurs in particular) and combat gender imbalance in the boardroom.

The Apprentice star, one of the UK’s most prominent businesswomen, has developed the course with senior academics to give students, regardless of their gender, the confidence and risk-taking acumen to get to the top in a male-dominated world.

The Karren Brady MBA will promote soft skills that champion a diversity of perspectives, such as personal communication, negotiation, self-development and character traits associated with emotional intelligence. This will be balanced with real-world advice on developing resilience and the strength to “speak up and be heard” among senior managers.

Primarily a distance-learning course delivered by specialist online degree provider Arden University, each of the MBA’s modules will feature a masterclass with a business leader, including Baroness Brady. She will draw on her personal experiences in a career that has taken her from top-flight football management to the House of Lords.

Baroness Brady said: “Creating a programme for people from different backgrounds, especially women, and giving them the skills and confidence to succeed in the corporate world is a vital step in improving boardroom diversity and the productivity of UK plc.

“Diversity and inclusion is crucial for successful team performance and the fact remains that there is a glass ceiling for far too many women. Our new MBA has a high degree of relevance for female managers in this country. About 30% of MBA completers are women in this country[1] and that cannot be right in 2020.”

Progress at addressing the gender gap in business has been slow. Women hold just 16.9 percent of board seats globally and 4.4 percent of CEO positions, according to Deloitte Global’s sixth edition of “Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective” (published October 2019).

Matthew Cooper, head of school, Business and Management at Arden University, said: “It’s astonishing that boardrooms in the 21st Century still lack diversity. It means businesses often miss out on the broadest range of skills including attributes of emotional intelligence. These are essential skills that can enhance business productivity, employee motivation and staff retention.”

Baroness Brady said: “The Karren Brady MBA is designed to provide students with the skills to learn confidence to pursue career goals. That is what has been missing from business education and that is why I am putting my name to this programme.”

In addition to the six modules, students will receive one-to-one career coaching on brand concepts and personal development plans and complete an entrepreneurial project during the two-year course.

Victoria Stakelum, Deputy CEO of Arden University, said: “Baroness Brady is highly respected in industry and has a wealth of knowledge in the corporate world. She will be able to give students on the Karren Brady MBA unique insights and a competitive edge as they seek to upskill and learn practical ways to develop their careers at senior management level.

“Arden University offers flexible learning and we hope the new Karren Brady MBA will open up doors to study and career progression for learners from all backgrounds, particularly women, who are under-represented in senior corporate positions.”

The Karren Brady MBA course begins in November 2020. The course will run over two years and is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute.

About Arden University

Arden University – www.arden.ac.uk – is a modern university that offers a more flexible way to study which enables students to ‘learn whilst they earn’, through either distance or blended learning options.  Blended learning combines face to face, tutor-led teaching at one of Arden’s five Study Centres in London, Manchester and Birmingham with self-study time.

Arden believes that the purpose of Higher Education is to enable everyone to further career prospects and equip them with the right skills for the workplace. This is why course content is specifically focused on furthering career progression and improving workplace potential. It’s also why Arden invites companies to sit on the university’s validation boards to continually review and iterate course content. Arden’s entry requirements and costs involved help to make it a more accessible choice especially for candidates who haven’t been in education for a while or who are now returning to education having chosen a different path after leaving school.

[1] https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/mba/women-and-mbas