Professional master’s program has diversity scholarship partnership with Women of Brazil Group

Two female students have been awarded a scholarship worth up to 80% of tuition fees, based on diversity criteria.
02 二月 2024
Professional master’s program has diversity scholarship partnership with Women of Brazil Group

FGV’s Professional Master’s in Administration, the first program of its kind in Brazil, is partnering with the Women of Brazil Group, an initiative led by businesswoman Luiza Helena Trajano, to select female students to receive a scholarship worth up to 80% of tuition fees. According to the program’s coordinator, Paul Ferreira, “Increasing diversity and inclusion is a key ingredient of prosperous societies. Promoting diversity is not just a moral issue but also boosts the effectiveness of our institutions. Our program plays a strong role in this, providing more opportunities and bringing new and different perspectives to more productive and diverse discussions.” Believing in the power of diversity, the program sought out the Women of Brazil Group to nominate women to take part in the master’s selection process.

Women of Brazil Group

Regarding the partnership, the president of the Women of Brazil Group, businesswoman Luiza Helena Trajano, says she is pleased with the partnership and that the first selected women is a black person and a member of the group’s Racial Equality Committee.

“We recognize the importance of having women in leadership positions and on company boards. We also understand that the job market increasingly values professional qualifications. By promoting race and gender diversity, we are contributing to the program and to the job market, demonstrating our readiness to occupy all spaces. This successful partnership is just the beginning, and we look forward to many more in the future. We believe that joining forces makes a big difference,” she says.

The Women of Brazil Group was created in 2013 by a group of women in different sectors with the aim of engaging civil society in achieving improvements for Brazil. It now has more than 120,000 members, who are united in favor of equal opportunities across genders and races. After taking part in mentoring programs for women, Thais Santos was nominated for the selection process for the master’s program and she ended up being selected.

Alexandra Segantin, CEO of the Women of Brazil Group, is also delighted with the partnership, which provides recognition that the Women of Brazil Group represents some powerful women. “The group’s main objective is to transform Brazil through female protagonism, as well as to empower women to take on their role as leaders. I’m happy with the partnership and the result. I hope the partnership will grow stronger so that we can reach more women,” she says.

About Thais Soares dos Santos

Thais Santos has an undergraduate degree in administration, and she started work as an intern at Unilever, where she stayed for nine years, working her way up to financial coordinator, establishing a career in this field. She later worked at Avon, Boticário, Riachuelo and L’Oréal and then decided to delve deeper to understand the importance of brands and their qualitative value in the market. So, she moved into marketing and became responsible for facial products at L’Oréal.

As soon as she arrived in this position, she carried out an in-depth market study and noticed a lack of variety of products for black skin. She began to draw attention to this, urging the company to expand its range of foundation colors and thereby transform this market. “Racism created a gap, meaning there were no scientific studies on black skin, but our industry has the power to carry out research on black skin,” Santos says. She now works at drinks company Ambev as marketing director for the Beats brand.

She already had a strong desire to do a master’s degree, but the heavy workload of academic master’s programs always held her back. FGV’s professional master’s was an excellent option, as it fits in with the day-to-day routine of a market professional. Santos says, “I always knew that education would change my life. Brazil is a very diverse nation, made up of many social and geographical groups. Being able to represent some of the minority-majorities at FGV, which I believe is one of the country’s best universities, is very symbolic of the process of transformation that we are building as a nation.”

Other partnerships

In addition, Professor Paul Ferreira highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to transform the current situation and the importance of multiple, collaborative partnerships. To further strengthen this collaboration, he actively sought out other sources. In this context, he received a nomination from Nossa Praia’s CEO, Dilma Campos, which resulted in the selection of Patrícia Garrido. She is now also doing the professional master’s program, contributing to its diversity and richness.

Garrido has an undergraduate degree in marketing and she started her career in technology, working for companies such as Unilever and Whirlpool, before migrating to innovation, working for Microsoft, Facebook, Discovery Inc and Nubank. Today she is a consultant in the area of governance and social responsibility. She says she has long been a member of racial diversity committees and even set some up at companies that did not have them. “It was wonderful to have the opportunity to do a master’s degree at a time when I’m in a career transition, because it’s key to what I want to build,” she says.

Regarding the partnership, Dilma Campos says, “Giving scholarships to black women and men for graduate studies is an initiative that represents an important milestone for society. This important educational institution is helping revamp educational thinking. In addition, this is an initiative that will bring a greater multiplicity of views and experiences into the academic environment, enriching discussions, generating new ideas and making the environment more inclusive, diverse and innovative.”

The plan is for the partnership to continue for many more years. Those interested in applying for a scholarship should contact the partner organizations or the program’s Coordination Office.

Find out more about the program here.

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