Women in leadership, connect, share and inspire!

Did you know that...

  • only 3% of CEOs of publicly listed companies in the EU countries are women;
  • only 1 out of 5 board members in EU listed companies is female;
  • research showed that a gender diverse board leads a company to better financial performance.

That's why we at Vlerick Business School see it as our responsibility to guide, challenge and prepare ambitious women to take up management roles within their company. Furthermore we continuously want to boost the (gender)diversity in our programmes.

Tackling the lack of female talent progressing to senior levels in organizations is something that needs a continuum of efforts. By offering a female leadership grant for its Executive MBA Programme, Vlerick Business School wants to support female candidates and encourage an increase in the number of women in senior leadership roles.

Join an Executive Programme at Vlerick Business School and gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to excel in your chosen career.

Inspirational stories of our female Alumni

Find a programme that fits your schedule

Executive MBA

Boost your managerial skills and take the lead in your career with our Executive MBA Programme. Choose the format that fits your schedule and needs. You can choose to study on weekends with our Weekend Format or decide to combine personal and professional time investment with our Combi Format.

In order to boost the gender diversity in our programmes we currently offer a Female Leadership Grant to support female candidates and encourage an increase in the number of women in senior leadership roles.

Find out more »


The 5-day Executive Programme for Women Leaders focuses on leading with authenticity & impact, strengthening your business acumen and creating a network with other female executives in mid to senior leadership roles. Participants leave with new skills, confidence, and fresh perspectives to add more value to their company. The residential nature of the programme provides a great opportunity for participants to further address the issues encountered by women in business and explore best practices. 

Find out more »

Business schools must eliminate gender inequality

Only 3 of the top 30 European business schools have a female dean. Vlerick Business School is one of them. Vlerick’s Dean Marion Debruyne takes a clear stand when it comes to gender equality and female leadership. Read more »

How did women experience the Vlerick programmes?

Dina De Haeck - CEO Syneton

Kristin Gudjonsdottir

In 2011, Kristin Gudjonsdottir started managing a boutique gym and spa in her native Iceland. It needed a complete overhaul – but she turned it around within a year. It was a great opportunity to flex her business skills – but the experience made her realise she needed to take it up a gear. Now living in Brussels with two young children, she has started an executive MBA at Vlerick.

Kristin enjoyed turning the company around. But it wasn’t without its challenges. She says: “I love to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in – and I was able to use my analytical and financial skills to really make a difference. But I realised that I lacked some of the tools I needed. Managing a team of 40 people took a lot of energy – I really had to work on my leadership skills. And I wanted to become better at making decisions – and executing them quickly and effectively. I’d seen how much my husband had gained from his MBA. To me, it seemed like the logical next step.”

When Kristin decided to take on an MBA, she was accepted into two Belgian business schools. But it was Vlerick that really stood out. She says: “I felt an instant connection with the people at Vlerick. As soon as I walked through the door, someone was there, ready to help. I had support as I went through the process. It has very much a family feel, a very personal environment.

I also love the international feel of Vlerick. I’ve lived in several different countries – and I know it can be difficult to fit in somewhere new. But at Vlerick, there’s a great mix of people. Everyone makes an effort, it’s so welcoming.

 Kristin showed so much potential that she was awarded the Vlerick Female Leadership Grant. She says: “I was looking at options to fund the Executive MBA myself but I was lucky enough to get a grant – and now I have financial support it means so much to me.

 Women in my position – with a young family – often find it difficult to devote time and resources to something like an MBA. As well as that, MBAs can be very male-dominated. So it’s great that Vlerick offers women the opportunity to really go for it, and supports us throughout the programme."

 Kristin was amazed by the many options available within the MBA format at Vlerick. She says: “For me, the flexibility of the programme is one of the big pulls. You really can tailor it to fit your work and family commitments. I’m doing the combi format – which means classes for two days every three weeks in Brussels and Ghent.

She also credits the class sizes as a huge benefit: “The class size is perfect. It’s small enough to be intimate – the professors have time to get to know you, and they’re very approachable. But equally, it’s big enough for lots of interaction and discussion. There are people from all sorts of sectors in my class – finance, engineering, medical and the arts. It’s great to have such a wide range of industries to learn from, and we’re already learning lots from each other

An Executive MBA is a big commitment – to do it you need everyone in your family to be on the same page. Luckily, my husband is very supportive. We make it work. It’s an intensive 18 months – but it’s manageable if you organise your time well. When the children are at school, I have time to study. With classes every three weeks, the combi format really works for me.

 Kristin has set her sights high for the future: “I thoroughly enjoyed running my own business – albeit on a small scale. It was great to see what I was capable of – and to realise that I could take my skills even further. After I finish my MBA, I’d like to work in an international Company, to continue learning and see how it works on a large scale."

Carolina Hennings - Product Manager Feeding Systems
GEA Group

Sophie Thiebaut - Founder & Management Consultant

Micheline Wille - VP Medical Affairs Europe

"I was really surprised by the relatively low number of female participants in the Executive MBA programme. In my opinion, as women tend to put themselves in more supportive roles, this programme is an extremely valuable tool for at least trying to overcome this so-called 'natural' tendency. You are encouraged to be assertive, raise your voice and take a stand for what you believe to be important. It is also a great opportunity for networking, sharing best practices and, without any doubt, time management. Companies should encourage - and support! - more of their female employees to step into this experience."

Michelline Wille
Semra Karsak - Product Line Manager EMEA & APAC

“The thrilling part of my Vlerick experience was the intensive group work throughout the programme. It was empowering to see the consequences of channelling the group’s power towards a common goal – and blending the strong skills and knowledge from a variety of backgrounds along the way. The inter-group discussions expanded my vision by revealing more potential. Such richness going beyond one’s professional circle is difficult to experience in the workplace.
It was an immense pleasure to improve speed and flexibility by critically analysing the group dynamics, while collectively constructing the best path in limited time. The experience-sharing among the participants was not limited to reaching the goals, but aimed at going beyond – which gave me the chance to reflect on the takeaways for my professional life.”

Michelline Wille
Veerle Van de Vijver - Entrepreneur

One of my dreams (…and I still have a lot left…) was to do an MBA. In what was probably the busiest period in my life (young children, building a house, a husband combining a full-time job and studying osteopathy, and a job requiring a lot of trips abroad…) I decided to go for it! With a little help from my friends and family, a very rigorous planning, and (above all) the strong will to succeed, I not only ‘survived’ but I experienced an extremely exciting two-year period.
The MBA programme allowed me to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge that have helped me move forward in my career. And probably even more important, it gave me the confidence to set up my own business, Tavernier & Van De Vijver. I realise now more than even how the MBA of so many years ago contributes to the successful development of my company. Finally, I would like to highlight the networking opportunities after finishing the programme – for female students too! Some fellow students have become very close friends. In a more general way, being part of the Vlerick family feels like being on the same wavelength, and it certainly opens doors and creates possibilities.”

Michelline Wille
Padma Challagundla - Head of Programme
Customer Solutions

“I did my MBA as part of my continuous education, leading to my third master’s degree. As I had to combine the MBA studies with a full-time job, it helped me to ‘polish’ my time management, priority setting, and workload balancing skills. I liked the idea of meeting, interacting and bonding with a wider range of interesting people from different walks of life. Spending a lot of time together gave me the opportunity to make very good and close friends. Friendships which have only grown stronger with time.
Now, a couple of years after graduating I can truly say that the knowledge gained during my MBA at Vlerick has resulted to be valuable in my professional life.”

Michelline Wille

Contact us

Liesbeth De Baere

Liesbeth De Baere
Customer Relationship Manager EMBA
+ 32 9 210 97 72


Rian De Buycker

Rian Debruycker
Product Manager
Executive Programme for women leaders

+ 32 9 210 92 99


Vlerick Business School - No.1 Business School in the Benelux region

7 reasons

Widen your horizons …
at an internationally recognised business school oriented to the outside world.

Develop new insights …
with our world-class training programmes for individual participants and organisations.

Expand your vision …
along with internationally recognised, enthusiastic and very approachable professors.

Strengthen your network …
through our academic alliances and business partnerships with leading world companies.

Breathe inspiration …
in our open, dynamic campuses in the heart of Europe’s most lively cities.

Experience the difference …
with our flexible, pragmatic approach combining theoretical knowledge with practical insight.

Join open interaction …
with a network of academics, executives, entrepreneurs and alumni whose goal is to develop new ways of thinking.