Women MBA

Why B-Schools Struggle to Enroll More Women

Today, women are almost as likely as men to fill the seats of medical school and law school classrooms. Yet the share of women enrolled in MBA programs hasn’t risen above 37.2 percent in the past decade, according to the more than 100 schools providing full-time MBA enrollment figures in surveys by AACSB International, an accrediting organization. “There’s a frustration on the part of a lot of women, and probably men, too, that we haven’t made more progress,” says Amy Hillman, the dean at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. In August the White House convened 150 leaders from top business schools and had them sign a pledge to take steps to boost female enrollment by cultivating potential applicants early on in their education and by offering more financial aid. “When business schools are missing out on a large share of female college graduates, they are missing out on an extremely large share of the top qualified college graduates,” says Betsey Stevenson, a University of Michigan economist who served on President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and helped lead the August summit. “If they want to continue to be a relevant part of the training in the 21st century, they are going to have to make changes that will make them more attractive to women.” Deans say business schools suffer from a unique timing problem. Unlike law and medical schools, which tend to enroll students soon after they finish college, the full-time MBA program is designed for people who’ve already proved themselves professionally. Elite B-schools typically prefer that applicants have about five years of work experience, which means the average MBA student is 30 years old at graduation, Bloomberg data show. Women in their late 20s who...

From MBA To CEO: Five Tips From General Motor’s First Female Chief...

Mary Barra, chief executive of General Motors, the world’s third largest automaker by sales, is perhaps the most successful female MBA graduate of her time. The General Motors chief has presided over the tail end of a remarkable turnaround at the American carmaker, following its government-managed bankruptcy in 2009. She has sought to invest in developing luxury lines, and made an ambitious push into the electric vehicles market at last month’s Detroit auto show. Mary took the reins of GM, known for its Cadillac and Chevrolet brands, in January 2014. She has risen through the ranks at the US-based company, after joining in 1980 as a university co-op student. An MBA at Stanford GSB in California allowed her to move into a senior position within GM’s operations engineering services upon graduation, in 1990. The number of MBA graduates leading the world’s largest listed companies has nudged upwards 2% to 31% in a year. The career takeaway for Mary is that, whether you spend your career working for one company or 20, you need to hone your ability to start strong in each new position you hold. In a blog post reflecting on her first 90 days as chief executive, the MBA graduate outlined five tips she has developed while working for a company with 219,000 employees, and which produced $156 billion in annual revenue…Read full story:...

Female MBA graduates lack ambition of male counterparts, says study...

The most highly qualified female business graduates lack the ambition of male counterparts in sectors such as engineering, manufacturing and natural resources, new research suggests. Some 84% of women taking management jobs in “tech-intensive” industries immediately after gaining a master’s in business administration (MBA) aspired to a senior executive or chief executive role, compared with 97% of men, according to a global study of almost 6,000 MBA graduates by research group Catalyst. The report was released in a week when Moya Greene, chief executive of Royal Mail and one of only five female chief executives in the FTSE 100, blamed cultural and societal expectations for blunting the aspirations of many businesswomen. Greene told an event to launch the “25 by 25” campaign, which is targeting 25 female FTSE 100 chief executives by 2025: “One of the most important things to do is to help women take ownership of their ambition and aspirations. It’s still disappointing when you see how young women view their ambition – and how others view that ambition. To be a CEO it’s really hard work and you really have to want to do it. For women, even in 2014, that can be a problem.” The findings suggesting that the top female business graduates lack the ambition of males in the technical sectors contradicts findings from other areas of commerce where studies frequently show that women are just as likely to aspire to the top jobs as men. Allyson Zimmermann, a senior director at Catalyst, said: “A lack of role models is certainly one contributory factor. Only 15% of the women and men in business roles in technology-intensive industries had a female supervisor compared with 21% in other industries. Women were more than twice as likely...

No, UCLA, Gender Equality in B-School Faculty Isn’t ‘Mathematically Impossible’...

Closing the gender pay gap at U.S. business schools is “mathematically impossible,” according to a finance professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Bhagwan Chowdhry, writing in a recent Huffington Post article, asserts that data showing women are paid less than men does not “prove” business schools discriminate. Hiring more women, he argues, won’t fix the problem either, only lower the overall quality of the professoriate. His solution is one we’ve heard from other faculty at Anderson and elsewhere in business education: We need more “qualified” women in the “pipeline” for faculty positions. Chowdhry’s article is noteworthy because of where he teaches. Anderson has been under fire for its poor gender record, although Chowdhry, and Anderson, which posted the piece on its website, apparently don’t view this criticism as a matter of serious concern. Anderson positions the piece as an authoritative pronouncement on the futility of trying to close the gender pay gap in the general workforce. The article is simply a poorly framed defense of a situation that some, including members of Anderson’s own faculty, find unacceptable. Chowdhry’s argument is built on assumptions that are at odds with data from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) showing that female business school faculty are not only paid less at every level, but are leaving the field at higher rates than male counterparts and are less likely to advance. This pattern is evident in all business disciplines, but is especially pronounced in finance, where the numbers of women are smaller, the attrition rate steeper, and the pay gap greater. (Finance is where the gender imbalance is greatest, at a 10 percent female/90 percent male ratio.) The result is that over time, women remain in untenured posts while...

For women MBA students, it’s getting better...

Much has been said about MBA programs’ unfriendliness toward women, but evidence suggests female students voices’ are gradually being heard. Last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella advised attendees of a women’s computing conference that they shouldn’t ask for pay raises. Nadella retracted his comments almost immediately after they left his mouth, but not before they spurred many conversations about the at-large treatment of women in the business. A microcosm of the corporate world, MBA programs too have been subject to considerable scrutiny for their treatment of women. The New Yorker published a highly compelling case for why women should skip business school. Sparked by an article in The New York Times highlighting Harvard Business School’s efforts to improve gender equity, The New Yorker’s account warned of staggering costs, lost wages, lost time and a “frat-house culture.” Yet there are a few visible signs of improvement. In January, Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria pledged to double the percentage of female protagonists in the school’s ubiquitous case studies over the next five years. (At the time the announcement was made, only about 10 percent of those cases included women in prominent roles.) Then there’s the fact that this fall MIT’s Sloan School of Management welcomed an MBA class with a historic makeup: 40.7% of the students are women. Still, women don’t need a B-school degree to be successful in business. 63% of the women on the 2014 Fortune Most Powerful Women in Business list have climbed the corporate ladder without MBAs. So schools are working extra hard to attract and create positive experiences for female students. Professors have started tweaking their classroom behavior. MIT Sloan encourages its faculty to have teaching assistants track their patterns of calling on students in...

Will Harvard Ever Have an MBA Class With 50 Percent Women?...

The 940 students who started classes at Harvard Business School this week counted more women in their ranks than ever before. Women are 41 percent of the school’s 2016 MBA class, according to a preliminary class profile. That’s slightly higher than the 37 percent average across all North American business schools. The school may find it difficult, however, to reach full gender equality any time soon. Despite sometimes-critical accounts of its attempts to fix the campus environment for women, HBS has managed to keep its share of new women MBAs above 40 percent for three years. The school is catching up to University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, which last year admitted 42 percent women into its MBA program, marking the fifth year its class included more than 40 percent women. Fifteen years ago, the percentage of women entering the top U.S. business schools was considerably lower, with HBS, Wharton, and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business each launching new MBA classes that were 30 percent female. At the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, only one in five students were women. Back then, NYU’s Stern School of Business was the only elite program to enroll more than 40 percent women MBAs…Lea la noticia completa en...

Five Reasons Women Should Get MBAs

What’s so wrong with an MBA? Over the recent years, article after article has explained why the degree is a waste of money and time. The thinking goes, networking with your friends and reading a few books is an easy substitute. What’s more, the article authors note that if you do get your degree, you end up in debt up to your eyeballs and without much more value than when you started. Even so, for those who aspire to lead, the job outlook for business school graduates has improved, with more companies planning to hire recent MBA and master-level business graduates. And for women in particular, there are some converging competencies that we can learn in the B-school environment that train us uniquely to lead: – The “bro-ski” culture of B-school prepares you for the male executive suite: Few environments are as thigh-slapping, beer-swilling and fraternity-like as the ones promoted in most business schools. While that fact may not send you rushing to fill out B school applications, the environment does teach you how to speak up, defend your position and perhaps most importantly – not crack when you’re challenged. You’ll hone your skills ribbing the guys and you’ll get more comfortable being outnumbered by men. In short, B school gives you a much thicker skin. – It’’ll “up” your comfort with risk: Perhaps one reason that women are increasingly unenthused about law school is that law school education teaches you largely how to mitigate risk. Business school, on the other hand, teaches you that risk is constant and inevitable—and that you will always be working with partial information. As you learn to take bets on certain proposals, companies, and start-up concepts, you also learn to take bets on...

For Female Faculty, a B-School Glass Ceiling

It’s lonely at the top. That adage could be the mantra of female faculty at business schools across the country who have reached the coveted and most prestigious step of their career ladder, full professor. The number of women who’ve obtained the full professor rank in B-schools remains dispiritingly low, with fewer than one of five women business school professors employed today as full professors, according to a 2010-11 salary survey of female faculty by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), one of the leading accreditation agencies for business schools. Women may still be far from a majority at most business schools, but the overall number entering the field has been steadily creeping upwards. Over the past 10 years, the number of female business school faculty climbed from 23.6 percent of total faculty in the 2001-02 academic year to 29 percent this year, according to the survey. The uptick comes as more women are considering careers as business professors; in the 2009-10 academic year, women made up 35.4 percent of doctoral students at AACSB-member schools, up from 31.7 percent five years ago. Despite the growing number of women entering the business school world, many appear to hit a stumbling block on the path to promotion, says John Fernandes, AACSB’s president. Women make up 40.6 percent of instructors and 37.3 percent of assistant professors. As women move up the career ladder and obtain tenure, the gender gap becomes more pronounced. Women make up just 29.1 percent of associate professors and a paltry 17.9 percent of full professors. “That is a huge drop-off rate,” Fernandes says. “I see the number of women faculty members in the classroom continue to change and increase, but I’m not so sure it...