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What makes a business school attractive to women?

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Gender balance in business schools is steadily improving, but we are still not looking at an equal playing ground for women. The Financial Times has analysed the reasons behind this gap and how business schools try to woo female applicants. 

Gender balance in business schools is steadily improving, but we are still not looking at an equal playing ground for women. The Financial Times has analysed the reasons behind this gap and how business schools try to woo female applicants.

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council women made up 37 per cent of applications to full-time two-year MBAs globally in 2016. The top schools are reporting higher rates though according to the Financial Times (FT). The paper’s 2018 MBA ranking showed that women made up an average 42 per cent of MBA students at the top 10 U.S. business schools. The top 10 European schools recorded 36 per cent female students whereas Asia reported 34 per cent.

A GMAC survey explained the smaller percentage with financial concerns that many women hold when looking at an MBA degree. As women often work in lower-paying sectors after university and are often affected by an additional gender pay gap they are more conscious of potential debt that they accumulate due to an MBA.

But more and more business schools offer specific help to female candidates. There are scholarships and financial aid available and some try to entice women with tailored events, special invitations and mentoring programmes.

Schools that offer full-time MBA scholarships for women are Ceibs in Hong Kong, Insead in France, SDA Bocconi in Italy, Nanyang Business School in Singapore, Iese Business School in Spain, Esade in Spain, IMD in Switzerland, the London Business School in the UK, the University of Oxford: Saïd in the UK, the Alliance Manchester Business School in the UK and HEC Paris for example.

Other business schools try to think outside the box to woo female students. According to the FT Harvard Business School (HBS) specifically contacts women who may not have otherwise approached the school. They meet with women’s groups when visiting undergraduate universities and bring undergraduate women to campus for a weekend to show these students that HBS might not be as intimidating as they think it is.

Wharton also hosts visits for female students that show interest in the school and pairs women with current students to encourage them to apply at the school.

Read more on www.ft.com

 

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