Monday, June 12, 2017

US Business Schools Try to Boost Women Intake for MBA Programs

  • Just 37% of full-time, two-year MBA program applicants in 2016 were women. 

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 75% of full-time, two-year MBA programs with 120 students or more reported a growth in applications from women in 2016. 
  • At Temple University’s Fox School of Business, 55% of MBA students are women. 
  • At the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, the proportion was 52%.*

Yet women are still under-represented on most full-time MBA programs. And just 37% of all full-time, two-year MBA program applicants in 2016 were women.

  • Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management has experienced percentages of women on its full-time MBA program more typical of US business schools across the board – increasing slowly but steadily from 30% for 2014’s intake, to 32% for 2015, and 39% for 2016.

One major reason for the lack of women is costs. This March, GMAC released an International Women’s Day white paper based on a survey of 5,900 business school applicants.
  • 38% of female survey respondents in the US cited financial reasons as the key reason why they had not yet accepted their admissions offer to business school, compared with 20% of male respondents.

Arizona State University’s WP Carey School of Business is tackling the MBA funding problem head-on. In 2016, it launched its new Forward Focus MBA, with the university covering the entirety of all incoming MBA students’ tuition. Applications jumped from 500 in 2015 to 1,159 in 2016. 
  • As well as boosting numbers of international MBA applicants, WP Carey increased its female MBA population from a plateau of 30% to 43% in 2016.
At WP Carey, the drive to open up more opportunities for women in business comes right from the top. 
  • The school’s dean, Amy Hillman, is one of the few female business school deans in the US
  • The school’s senior leadership team is also predominantly female.

WP Carey is a member of the Forte Foundation, a non-profit consortium of leading companies and business schools devoted to promoting women in business.

Since its launch in 2001, Forte Foundation has dished out $110 million in fellowships to 5,000 female MBAs, bolstering numbers of women in business school.

At the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School, the percentage of women in the MBA class in 2000 was around 25%. Now, it’s 34%.

  • For online MBA programs, 43% of applicants in 2016 were women. For specialized business master’s programs in management, marketing, and accounting: 52%. Full-time MBA programs face competition from shorter, more flexible, more affordable programs better suited to an active family life.
At Yale School of Management, 334 students make up the total enrollment for Yale SOM’s class of 2018. 43% are women.

The current MBA class at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has more women in it than ever before. Kellogg’s latest intake was 41% female.

For more information, see BusinessBecause

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