In their own words: The women making a difference

London Business School has long been an incubator, transforming the potential of its people – meet six women shaping their future


Behind every woman there exists an army of people and experiences helping her achieve her goals. Whether it’s role models in the wider world, mentors, strong-minded family members, scholarships, educational institutions or inner determination, forged over decades. In celebration of International Women's Day, we meet six women connected to London Business School – from alumnae to students and staff. All are fashioning their paths in their chosen careers, and shaping their own futures, whilst supporting other women along the way. Here we celebrate their achievements – and hear their untold stories of resilience against misconceptions, overcoming self-doubt and shattering barriers. All the while, striving for success and setting positive examples to others.


AICHA JABRANI is currently studying for a Masters in Financial Analysis and when she graduates this year, intends to work in investment banking

I was born in Rabat, Morocco, in 2003. I thought I’d become a doctor like the rest of my family. But in my first year at Bocconi University in Milan, I tried everything from law to editorial, and discovered investment banking through networking. I was instantly drawn to it.

For the past year, I’ve been studying for an MFA at London Business School. It’s the best decision I ever made. London Business School puts its students first and helps them feel valued. As a north African woman, the School has given me a unique positioning – promoting my culture, my thoughts and beliefs.

Like any job, investment banking has its challenges: long hours, and the stress that comes with brokering deals. But in perspective, working hard is the only thing that makes sense. So far, I’ve secured an internship, which has helped me prioritise which path to take.

My greatest success so far is being in London, doing this MFA, at 20 years old. I faced challenges when I moved here, adapting to a new city, making friends and staying on top of my studies. I started meditation, managing my time, adopting healthy habits, pushing myself.

My grandmother is very strong. She grew up without a mom and, as a young woman, lost her husband. Today, she is the source of my best advice. She’s wise, philosophical and pushes me on a professional and personal level. My advice to other women is, when in need, reach out to your family, because they’re the first people who ever believed in your potential.


ANDREA LARA CID ANTUNEZ is currently enrolled in the Masters in Finance programme and is set to graduate this year. She is dedicated to identifying investment opportunities that enable her to effect meaningful change in the world

I don’t fit the typical mould of a finance professional as I’m sensitive and creative. I believe money has value not for what it is, but for what it represents. Through my prior experience in impact investing, I’ve learned that one can always strive to generate value for social and environmental causes, even within companies that are not impact-specific.

Before London Business School, I worked as an investment analyst at IFC, the World Bank’s subsidiary focused on the private sector. I generated new business opportunities, with a focus on achieving social or environmental impact alongside financial returns in Latin America. 

I was born in Mexico City in 1994 and since I was 12, I’ve dreamed about studying in London. Being accepted at London Business School and awarded a merit scholarship was a dream come true, and evidence that with perseverance, patience and determination, everything is possible. 

One of the best things about London Business School is the high percentage of international students – above 90%. It fosters a culturally diverse environment that allows greater personal growth and encourages more tolerant and inclusive societies.

Due to stereotypes surrounding women in finance, I’ve been underestimated because of the way I look, dress, speak, and behave. During college, many doubted my ability to graduate without having any idea about my dedication, level of responsibility, and hard work.

At the beginning of my career, I worked in a company where I was the only woman. I didn’t let the minority aspect stop me from participating, raising my voice and contributing to my fullest potential. Where the percentage of women is higher, I’ve found fewer challenges.

There’s still a misconception that women who show too much determination are aggressive and that sensitivity is a sign of weakness. The advice I’d give other women is to be brave, believe in yourself, and show compassion toward others, starting with yourself.


For the past three years, DAFNA GOOR has been Assistant Professor of Marketing at London Business School, having completing her doctoral studies at Harvard Business School

In my career, I’ve moved between industry and academia and created my own path to success. I was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. I obtained a BA in psychology from Tel Aviv University, then studied in Paris and at Harvard Business School. I worked in a mental health hospital and later worked in project management for almost a decade. 

In 2020, I became a professor of marketing at London Business School. Being in Europe brings me closer to the luxury industry, which is the core of my research. London Business School has an amazing culture and vision of leadership, bringing together different mindsets and perspectives, which feels inspiring.

I teach marketing and luxury branding to MBAs, executive MBAs and PhD students in London, Dubai and Paris. I also conduct research on topics including luxury marketing and consumer psychology. I work closely with companies such as Cartier to gain relevant insights.

It’s exciting that I have an opportunity to be part of the education of the leaders of tomorrow. I also mentor female PhD students to help them achieve their goals. Our students are destined to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our world. It is humbling to be a part of their educational journey.

There are many women I admire and take inspiration from. It doesn’t matter what they do professionally – they always move forward, are resilient and have positive energy.

I consider myself a powerful woman. My advice is to surround yourself with the right people, do things that make you feel healthy, energised and intrigued.


ROLI MAJIYAGBE completed a Sloan Fellowship in 2023 and is now exploring new opportunities in the UK’s energy sector

I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria in the late 1970s. A career in oil and gas was not something I contemplated early on. However, I found myself drawn to the industry through the natural course of my career journey. When the chance arose to join the Corporate Affairs team at a multinational company, where I could contribute to implementing CSR projects, I took the opportunity. My experience encompasses corporate affairs, stakeholder relations, and industry advocacy roles for an oil and gas multinational operating in Nigeria.

One of the biggest challenges I’ve encountered is balancing stakeholder interests amidst an evolving regulatory landscape. I worked as part of an industry group whose role is to advocate for reforms that will create an attractive and enabling environment for sustained investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. This required aligning with government stakeholders responsible for policy formulation.

My experience at London Business School has been transformative. Through the Sloan Fellowship, a rigorous Masters programme focusing on Leadership and Strategy, I’ve developed an understanding of relevant frameworks and theories that underpin leadership and successful strategy formulation. I’m better equipped to envision, implement and communicate thoughtful, innovative solutions for complex business problems.

A woman I admire is Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN. She is a trailblazer who has shattered barriers and paved the way for female leadership, particularly Nigerian women. I find her resilience, determination and dedication to impact inspiring.

I encourage fellow women to embrace their unique strengths and seize opportunities for learning and growth. Build strong relationships with colleagues and mentors, and never underestimate the power of resilience and determination in achieving your goals.


MARIE HOLIVE is an independent board member for TMT publicly listed companies and a COO. She’s been an international CFO and MD of a £0.6bn business unit for Comcast NBCUniversal. She completed an EMBA in 2013

My origins are diverse: I’m part Cambodian, Italian, and French. I was born in France, and have worked around the world for eight years and settled down in the UK in 2008. I’m married to a Portuguese man from Madeira and have an 11-year old son.

At school, I enjoyed all subjects, but ended up picking engineering as I felt it could lead to the most opportunities to support my family. I was able to get scholarships to follow this path and always aspired to complete an MBA.

Indeed, I graduated from London Business School’s Global Executive MBA programme and Columbia business school in 2013. I hold a Master of Science in Engineering, the Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma and many other qualifications including a coaching certification with the International Coach Federation.

I love designing vision and strategy, building high-performing teams, creating measurable impacts and coaching leaders. I’m proud to have transitioned from an executive career to a portfolio career, becoming one of the youngest female board members on publicly listed companies.

Being a coach is my way to give back. I coach alumni and MBAs at London Business School and INSEAD to help them build the career they really want. I coach executives to be future-ready and achieve outstanding results.

I admire many women in business. There’s Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook; Marie Curie, the female scientist and winner of two Nobel Prizes; and Christine Lagarde, French politician and lawyer who has served as President of the European Central Bank since 2019.

The advice I’d give other women is to be bold, to “dare greatly”. Follow your own path, ignore the nay-sayers, believe in yourself, get support and do not hesitate to take risks to build the life you want to live.


NINA BRIANCE graduated in 2019 from the MBA programme. She is the founder and CEO of the online marketplace for sustainable and ethical luxury fashion, Cult Mia

My parents moved from Mexico to the US, where I was born in the 1990s. I’m now founder and CEO at Cult Mia – I launched it off the back of London Business School’s Launchpad accelerator programme. I completed my MBA in 2019, with a focus on entrepreneurship.

Cult Mia was set up to be values-driven. With the growth in our business and scaling of our team, my role has evolved into a more traditional CEO mandate, which includes setting the vision, high-level growth strategy, investor relations and fundraising. Staying focused on our NorthStar goals is a current challenge, given there are so many growth opportunities in sight.

As much as you make long-term plans, sometimes you have to rip up the playbook. As a woman, I navigate many challenges, including having my first baby last year. As a founder in the middle of closing an investment round, maternity leave was not a viable option.

When I started in investment banking, my manager was an inspiration: she had three children under 10, yet was always one step ahead. She wrote my recommendation letter for the London Business School MBA, where she’d attended, and invested in Cult Mia’s first round. I hope every young woman starting her career gets taken under the wing of a woman like Lina.

London Business School has brought immense value to my career and fundamental to our success: whether sourcing employee talent, accessing investor networks, or remembering notes from classes such as managing change – every connection and experience comes into play in my entrepreneurial journey.

The support networks available are vast: you have to know where to look and not be afraid to ask for a helping hand. And if you’re in the position to help, to extend an arm in return.

Each of the six women who have shared their story here found a springboard at London Business School to help them take the next step on their career trajectory. They’ve found inspiration in the classroom, in the skills they’ve learnt and the people they’ve met, from professors to peers. Now these women are transforming that knowledge into energy for the future, offering a helping hand to other women around them, and changing the world for the better. For, as we know, behind every woman is a solid network of knowledge and experience to light the way…

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