1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Women and the MBA

By

Business Woman in Conference Business Woma...
ferrantraite/E+/Getty Images


Whether you are a man or a woman, business school can help you achieve your career goals. An MBA can open doors that you never knew existed.

Men vs. Women

Currently, almost half of the people who take the GMAT are of the female persuasion. Unfortunately, women only account for 30% of enrollment in MBA programs. Though this is a significant increase over the last 25 to 30 years, it still proves that there is an imbalance within the world of MBAs.

This imbalance has led to new and more enthusiastic recruiting methods. Graduate business schools are constantly seeking more qualified female applicants and have become more aggressive in their attempts. They have even begun to adapt their programs and clubs to make them more appealing to business women.

Why Women Should Enroll in MBA Programs

When you earn an MBA degree, it opens up doors all over the business world. An MBA is extremely versatile and will be valuable to you no matter what industry you decide to enter. MBAs work in both large and small corporations, non profit organizations, health care fields, government establishments, and many other types of business settings. Many MBA graduates have also utilized their degree to start their own business.

An MBA will give you a general management education and increase your chances of moving into senior-level positions. An MBA degree can also help the pocketbook. MBA graduates are often the highest paid employees within the US.

Why More Women Don't Enroll in MBA Programs

When surveyed, most female MBA graduates have positive things to say about their business school experience. So, why don’t more women enroll? Here are the most common complaints and misconceptions:
  • Many women mistakenly perceive business school as a place where they will not be welcome by the male-dominated population.
  • There are not enough women role models and business leaders.
  • There are not enough female professors. The faculty is often male-dominated.
  • MBA programs are inflexible and/or not compatible with personal goals.
Choosing a Business School

Before choosing a business school, make sure that you consider both the learning environment and the campus culture. You will find that some business schools are more supportive of female students than others. To learn more about the school, try talking to the admissions office, current students, and alumni.

Some schools are so eager to acquire more women candidates that they offer special scholarships and financial aid programs to female candidates. Make sure that you evaluate all of the options before making a decision.

Scholarship Resources for Women

Many schools have scholarship opportunities that they make available to women applicants. Women can also pursue scholarships that are offered by these professional women's organizations:

C200
American Business Women’s Association (ABWA)
Business Professional Women (BPW Foundation)
American Association of University Women Education Foundation

Online Resources for Women

There are many different resources available to women who are interested in pursuing an MBA. Here is just an example:

National Association for Female Executives (NAFE)
Catalyst
Forte Foundation
Women for Hire

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.