More Women Pursue M.B.A. As Elite Schools Step Up Recruiting

As total applications decline, percentage of female students rises for many top programs. More Women Pursue M.B.A. As Elite Schools Step Up Recruiting

As applications to American business schools decline, the percentage of women enrolled in full-time M.B.A. programs continues to rise, climbing this fall to an average of 39% at more than 50 of the top programs in the U.S., Canada and Europe, new data show.

Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School came closest to an even split between male and female students, with 49% women enrolled this fall, according to data collected by the Forté Foundation, a nonprofit focused on advancing women into leadership roles through access to business education. Others with high percentages of female students include the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, which each had 45% or more women enrolled.

Altogether, 19 Forté member schools had 40% or more women enrolled, including Harvard Business School, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Yale School of Management and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Women’s enrollment in U.S. M.B.A. programs was also up compared with programs in Europe and Canada, which report average women’s enrollment of 36% for fall 2019.

Forté representatives said the rising share of women in M.B.A. programs—up from nearly 38% last year and 32% in the fall of 2011—reflects improved recruiting efforts by business schools, which have highlighted on-campus diversity and harnessed alumni networks to help female candidates envision themselves in programs they once might have assumed were predominantly male.

Last year, the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business was the first Forté M.B.A. member to report more than half of its incoming full-time M.B.A. class was female. This year, USC’s incoming class is 42% women.

Schools have increased efforts to showcase the versatility of an M.B.A.—once considered a direct path to the fast track on Wall Street or at major U.S. corporations—in entrepreneurship or tech. They have also worked to build ties with female students as undergraduates, increasing the chance they will consider an M.B.A. as part of their career-building plans earlier.

Chad Losee, managing director of M.B.A. admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School, pointed to the school’s efforts to support women as students, including a parental-leave policy and a support group for M.B.A. students who are mothers, as important factors in enrolling more women.

But he said the unique experience of attending Harvard Business School, including the residential community and a curriculum centered around business case studies, remained the main draw for prospective female students.

Mollie Breen, a mathematician who previously worked at the Defense Department, said she visited many schools that felt like a natural fit during the M.B.A. application process. But she gravitated toward Harvard because she believed the cultural and professional diversity of the students would challenge her, she said.

In 2020, Ms. Breen will be part of the first class of students to earn a joint master’s degree in engineering and business from Harvard. She plans to launch a business and said Harvard’s support for female entrepreneurs was a key factor in her decision. “I knew I wanted to be a part of a strong community of women founders every day,” she said.

More specialized degrees have proliferated across the business-school landscape as applications to traditional M.B.A. programs have languished. A strong U.S. job market has cooled interest among many prospective students. And millennials, many of them saddled with debt after earning undergraduate degrees, have been more reluctant to pursue pricey postgraduate work than previous generations, according to education experts.

Even as business schools become more savvy about recruiting, some face intractable impediments to attracting female candidates, such as a rural or remote location. These schools struggle to recruit women, said Forté Chief Executive Elissa Sangster, because it can be hard for their partners to find work when couples relocate. “There are built-in issues that are hard to overcome, no matter what kind of amazing program you offer,” she said.

Tory Voight worked at Google for nine years before leaving to pursue an M.B.A. at Harvard this fall. She wanted to prepare for a leadership role at a big tech company and to gain experience outside Silicon Valley. Ms. Voight was drawn to both the diversity she saw at Harvard Business School and the platinum roster of female alumni working at the top of the industry.

“There’s this criticism that it’s not an accurate reflection of the business world, this idealistic environment,” Ms. Voight said. “I would disagree. Maybe 20 years from now some of us will also be leading companies and changing the statistics.” More Women Pursue M.B.A.,More Women Pursue M.B.A.,More Women Pursue M.B.A.,



 

Related Articles:



Carolyn’s Natural Organic Handmade Soap

Essential Oils User’s Guide

We Now Live In A World With Customized Bar Soaps, Lotions And Shampoos

Why Interior Designers And Home Stagers Prefer Bar Soap Over Liquid

Parabens: A Cancer-Causing And DNA-Damaging Preservative Used In The Food And Cosmetic Industries

Our Facebook Page

 

Your Questions And Comments Are Greatly Appreciated.

Carolyn A.


Testimonials

Lara Smith

I really like this soap. Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift!

Lara Smith

I really like this soap. Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift!

Tina A.

Customer

Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift! I really like this soap.

Tina A.

Customer

Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift! I really like this soap.