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

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...


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