Women@Dior blog author Victoria Graham alongside logo of the programme

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Women@Dior is an international mentoring and educational programme that coaches and encourages thousands of young women across the world to reach for their career destiny.

The programme is built on five core values: self-awareness, autonomy, inclusion, creativity and sustainable development. Over 200 participants are selected from the best business, engineering, art and fashion schools spanning more than 25 different countries such as France, China, Kenya, Brazil, Iran and the United Kingdom to name a few.

Throughout the year-long educational agenda, the mentees are trained by inspiring Dior leaders and stakeholders on several key themes such as gender equality and women’s leadership for a sustainable future - all focused on developing the talented female leaders of tomorrow.

Joining the programme

Prior to joining the MSc Strategic Marketing programme at Imperial College Business School, I became aware of the Women@Dior programme and was eager to join the upcoming cohort. I discovered the programme via the Business School’s online blog, I read stories by previous participants and was inspired by the experiences they shared.

The opportunity to be mentored by a Dior leader (individually paired based on common and complementary strengths), who would guide me throughout the year, alongside the chance to network with like-minded women from across the world, Women@Dior was a programme I wanted to be a part of. Not to mention the exclusive opportunity to attend an event with Dior in Paris at the conclusion of the programme.

An invitation-only programme, Women@Dior participants are selected based on three criteria: talent, ambition and generosity. To apply, students are first asked to submit applications directly to their university - lucky for us, Imperial College Business School is a Dior Partner University.

The Careers team at the Business School invited students to send an initial CV and cover letter outlining our motivations for joining the programme. Preliminary selection was then carried out by the university and successful applicants’ details were forwarded to Dior’s HR team.

Next, a 20-minute video interview was held with two team members at Dior. A week later, I was formally invited to join the programme - I was elated! A milestone achieved; I am excited for the year ahead.

This year, eight Imperial College Business School students were selected across a range of programmes – the largest group to be selected in a single year!

Dream for Change Global e-Conference

Emmanuelle Favre of Christian Dior Couture speaks at Women@Dior conference Screenshot from the conference

On 31 March 2021, participants were invited to celebrate the launch of the 2021 UNESCO and Women@Dior: Women Leadership & Sustainability programme. In 2021, Dior has joined UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition in a unique collaboration to address the serious educational crisis spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This collaboration has also allowed Women@Dior to expand and reach a new public of young women from a number of nations including Niger, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. 1000 young women from 25 countries attended this e-conferences as a unique opportunity to spread the power of sisterhood around the world by giving inspiring voices a platform.

This event provided an insight into the year ahead whilst also presenting an opportunity to hear from prominent Dior leaders, the Director-General of UNESCO, and other female trailblazers as they stand to empower women and advance women’s education.

The year ahead with Women@Dior

Over the next year, I am looking forward to collaborating with my mentor and learning about their experiences and perspectives to empower my future. Following the theoretical coursework component of the programme, we are able to put what we have learned into practice by developing a “Dream for Change Project” by creating a local and concrete project that supports the empowerment of young girls.

The most impactful projects are presented to Dior leaders and will be eligible for support from Dior and the LVMH Group. An amalgamation of the entire year’s learnings, I look forward to what my team puts forward to support young women.

A rare opportunity, I am excited to be part of this year’s cohort and look forward to building confidence, a wider network of strong women, and launching my career as a future leader of tomorrow.

Victoria Graham, MSc Business Analytics, student at Imperial College Business School

About Victoria Graham

MSc Strategic Marketing