Business Schools and Women: Not a Good Match?

Posted by: Phil Mintz on August 26, 2008

Still more evidence that the efforts to boost the numbers of women in business school aren’t having much of an effect.

The Application Trends Survey published today by the Graduate Management Admission Council reports that for the last three years the number of women in MBA program applicant pools for fulltime MBA programs has been stuck at around 30%. When women do apply to programs, they tended to prefer programs that offered the most flexibility, GMAC said.

So what can be done to get more women in business school? Any suggestions?

Reader Comments


August 27, 2008 4:19 PM

here's an idea: stop assuming that trending younger is the only way to get top-quality female applicants. yes, the "old thinking" had coming out of b-school during prime family years, there are those of us who have done the family thing and are now ready for laser-focus on our careers -- but we're "too old" or "haven't had enough upward mobility" -- i am 36, with a good 30 uninterrupted career years ahead of me (vs 5 years then become a stay-at-home mom), but how many top b-schools are welcoming older female apps?

smart old hag

November 29, 2008 1:02 PM

pd, i totally agree with you. i am trying to get into a top mba full time program now that my child is grown and i am FREE to do whatever i want. is it so bad that i am choosing to educate myself and make a more meaningful contribution to our society?

has anyone experienced low quant on the gmat but still got accepted because of work and community service experiences? as an older student, we bring a lot to the table, especially time management! not sure how many execs presently work, raise a family, and attend school at the same time. going to a full time mba program will be like taking a vacation! (i'm sure that's not true, but wouldn't it be nice to only focus on one thing for a change?)... also as older women students, we are in a position to offer our younger female peers encouragement and support and to not fear the glass ceiling!


February 11, 2009 11:55 AM

it's the same question of how to get more women to study engineering.

someone has to sort out how to get women to understand that math may be a four letter word, but it's not dangerous. and can actually be quite fun. quantitative skills are invaluable in business. and until more women start getting MBAs we will forever be locked out of senior executive positions.

i'm a woman in an mba program and maybe 20% of the students are female. and i am only one of two who actively participates in our discussions.

but as an undergraduate, i studied economics--which is another area dominated by men.

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