In 1967, the March 8th celebration of International Women’s Day was adopted by the feminist movement. The same year, INSEAD welcomed women into its prestigious MBA program, and they have been pushing limits ever since. To mark International Women’s Day 2021, INSEAD’s Limitless Campaign celebrates women entrepreneurs and role models who conquered obstacles and cast aside barriers to achieve success. INSEAD launched the Limitless Campaign as part of its Gender Initiative toward advancing gender balance.
Meet three INSEAD alumnae who exemplify the spirit and determination of women in business, using their education, experience, and skill to remake the business world in their image.
Alda Kule Dale is a finance and consulting professional and an associate with Kearny. Raised in Nairobi, Dale moved to Paris in 2002. She graduated from INSEAD’s MBA program in 2018, the first female Congolese to do so. She teaches master’s finance classes in France and is a co-founder of TinGamma, a pro-bono digital startup and SME accelerator that offers turn-key support to selected startup companies and SMEs in Congo.
“I applied to INSEAD because of the school’s higher return on investment given the 1-year program, more mature MBA students with greater pre-MBA experience, and diversity with no one single nationality representing more than 11% of the MBA cohort,” Dale says of her experience in the program. For Dale, the key lesson she took from her time at INSEAD was empathy, built through the challenge and opportunity students have to work in groups with people from different backgrounds and cultures. “A typical INSEADer,” Dale asserts, “is an interesting global citizen.”
Soraya Dankoro is the CEO of CorpFocus, where she runs business transformation programs as a consultant. Originally from Benin, she is a 2014 graduate of INSEAD’s MBA program. “My parents were doctors who wanted us to outperform them. But fundamentally, I am the most ordinary woman who aims at achieving great things and making her people proud. I am a woman, I am black, I am young in a field of male, white, senior dudes, and it doesn’t prevent me from interacting productively and achieving.”
Dankoro chose INSEAD because she knew that she would be treated like everyone else at a school with 80 nationalities represented. “I signed up with INSEAD because, apart from the excellent curriculum, I personally needed – for once – to not be regarded as the foreigner.” Her takeaway from the INSEAD experience was both humility and credibility. “What I fear the most,” she states, “is to settle with circumstances and surrender to difficulties. I want to live up to my family heritage and my INSEAD background.”
Sophie Normand is a mother of three, a self-described serial entrepreneur, and venture builder. Growing up in Morocco and France, this 2010 INSEAD MBA graduate studied telecommunications and electronics to become a hardware engineer. Normand has co-founded several successful businesses over her career. Her most recent organization Videoblast.io provides creative video production for social media content marketing.
“My INSEAD experience was quite unique as I had two young boys who were four and two years old at that time,” says Normand. “I really enjoyed the academic experience as I learnt so much across various topics, as well as meeting so many people of different backgrounds and personalities.”
Stay tuned for more INSEAD Alumnae Spotlights to celebrate Women’s History Month.