Giovanna Santaniello is the former Women in Leadership Club President, and recipient of the Forté Foundation Scholarship. The HEC Paris MBA Program awards this scholarship to exceptional women who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills, and a commitment to women via personal mentorship or community involvement. The aim of the scholarships is to improve leadership opportunities for women in business.
“I have always considered women’s economic empowerment as a driving force for the achievement of not only gender equality, but also of overall economic growth and poverty reduction. Before joining the HEC Paris MBA Program, I worked in Egypt for four years, where I put my expertise in the areas of financial and advisory services to use in supporting companies and female entrepreneurs.
At HEC Paris I started consider gender diversity from a new perspective. This time, it was focused on business and leadership rather than on women’s empowerment as a means for development. Receiving the Forté Foundation scholarship has encouraged me to continue to contribute to the efforts of the organization to improve leadership opportunities for women in business. I’m convinced that, at a business level, diversity is a critical factor in improving not just the quality of a company’s leadership and decision making, but also its overall financial, environmental, social, and governance performance, and ultimately, the company’s sustainability.
In my future career in the corporate world, I will aim to balance the current emphasis on short-term profit maximization with a broader focus on long-term sustainability goals. Being part of the Forté Foundation’s network of current and prospective women business leaders will help me to achieve these goals.”
Giovanna Santaniello, HEC Paris MBA, Class of 2015
What is it like to be a student at HEC Paris MBA? Student Voices is a student contributed section where current students share their first-hand experiences of life on campus and beyond.