Women of MBS

For over 50 years, Melbourne Business School has played a transformative role in the lives of individuals, organisations and communities. We take this responsibility seriously and have been driving the diversity agenda in the Asia-Pacific Region through our teaching, research and advocacy.

The first woman to graduate with an MBA in Australia, Carmelita Salgado, graduated from MBS in 1965. Our faculty are leading research and practice in the value of diverse workforces, Indigenous economic and social inclusion, mental health in the workplace and new models of women and leadership. We believe that women have always been natural leaders but there needs to be more recognition and support in place to nurture female leadership.

On 8th March, International Women’s Day we launched the, When Women Win, We All Win campaign to celebrate the ‘Women Achievers’ at MBS.


When Women Win, We All Win

Claire Rodgers

Claire Rogers

CEO of World Vision

MBA 1995

Claire Rogers has provided successful leadership and direction within several high-profile organisations such as the Australian Council for International Development, ANZ Bank and Ridley College. Claire is an esteemed influencer and social innovator with a proven track record of delivering major change initiatives.

“My time at MBS was rich in personal growth, learning and equipping to lead organisations for impact over the long term. Now as CEO of World Vision Australia, I am thankful for the grounding I received and draw upon it daily.”


In the past 20 years Catherine has served as a director of approximately 40 companies in the government, not for profit and listed company space across financial services, resources, education, building and consumer products, medical research and telecommunications. Catherine graduated with a First-Class Honours Bachelor Degree in Law, a Master of Law and an MBA all from the University of Melbourne.


“My experience at MBS has been deep and enduring covering, not only my MBA study in my 30’s, but also approximately 20 years thereafter as variously Alumni President and then director of MBS.
The MBS experience did not just help me achieve my goals, but also encouraged me to envision aspirations and goals well beyond those that I had in my 30’s.
MBS gave me a love of life long learning, the satisfaction of contributing to causes greater than one’s own career and the opportunity to work alongside people of talent, drive and social conscience - in a word: inspiring!”

Cathy Walter

Catherine Walter AM

Non-Executive Director, Co-Founder WAM

MBA 1998


Naseema Sparks

Naseema Sparks

Director, Melbourne IT Group

MBA 1984

Naseema is an experienced top line growth director with a strong track record in strategy, marketing and branding. Naseema’s success has seen her as the director of a number of high profile organisations such as Melbourne IT Group, Australia Vintage Limited and Biennale of Sydney among others. She has driven success through her organisations with the knowledge and expertise acquired after completing her MBA Degree at Melbourne Business School in 1984.

“MBS taught me many things.. not least, the importance of teamwork, and a cohesive team culture and camaraderie - these are critical in business. Positive team culture contributes to NPAT and growth and lends a sustainability that is hard to match in a competitive environment. I remain passionate about people and culture to this day.”


Mardi was invited to serve as a volunteer paediatrician at AIC Kijabe Hospital, where she worked on improving paediatric care for 6 years including co-founding East Africa’s first Paediatric Emergency and Critical Care training program for doctors.

“In the not-for-profit health sector, business acumen is critical for assuring maximal sustained impact with extremely limited resources.  The SEMBA program not only gave me a solid foundation in high level strategic & granular operational understanding, but exposed me to a network of faculty, colleagues and friends whose non-healthcare lens continues to broaden my approach.  Doctors are well trained in clinical excellence and teaching - but creative alternatives to entrenched assumptions can be difficult to seek & find amidst urgent issues in systems that need improving at even highly resourced levels. This program has convinced me that finding seemingly impossible solutions is possible when considered from unexpected angles.”

Mardi Steer

Mardi Steere

Paediatric/Neonatal Retrieval Consultant, SA Health

Current SEMBA student

Recipient of the MBS Dean’s Scholarship for Women in 2017


Jen Day

Jen Day

Head of Transformation Consumer and Small Business, Telstra

Recipient of Telstra Indigenous Scholarship - MBA 2016

A motivated, team-orientated leader with a broad range of experiences as a veterinarian, professional athlete and business development/stakeholder manager within the not-for-profit sector. Jen Day is the co-founder of Indigenous Women in Business (IWIB) Australia, an organisation launched in February 2015 that aims to connect Indigenous businesswomen around Australia, and helps them define and achieve their own success.

“My experiences through both the MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class and Executive MBA at Melbourne Business School have afforded me the opportunity in just 4 years to successfully traverse sectors and industries and develop national and international networks that I would have never thought possible.”


Global health technology entrepreneur and Co-Founder of HealthKit - the first technology platform for doctors and patients all over the world. Alison is strategy driven and best known for her warm, engaging leadership driven to change the world.

“I heard Cathy Walter once describe what she got out of her MBA as “confidence, concepts and connections”, which has exactly been my experience. MBS taught me the business concepts that enabled me to have a diverse corporate career, and then to set up a high growth venture that is now global. I have the confidence to speak with experts across any business field and have a broad understanding of the basics of their area, which has given me the confidence to learn more about topics that interest me from a business, political and social point of view. Moreover, I have had the opportunity to meet with interesting, ambitious people in Australia and internationally. I look forward to continuing my connection with the school in years to come.”

Mardi Steer

Alison Hardcare

Co-founder and Managing Director, HealthKit

MBA - 2002


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