If we look at the picture of higher education in the US, we’ll learn that women are more represented than men in most bachelor’s, master’s and PhD programs. For instance, the year before last, 57% of all bachelor’s degrees and 60% of master’s and PhD degrees were obtained by female students.
This ratio has been growing even in business education – marketing, accounting and management. Nowadays, 52% of all higher education students are female.
In accordance with Poets and Quants article, MBA programs still lack a decent percentage of women students. Their enrollment is assessed to be at 40% only, both in the United States and globally. The situation in America is a bit better: there are up to 45% of female students in some schools. Still, the global percentage is much smaller: just 37%.
This difference is rather remarkable. The reasons can be multiple, so this persisting gender gap should be researched. It has been established that the female outlook on career advancement tends to be loads more practical than for their male counterparts.
According to a GMAC report on female business students, based on a survey from 2016 and including almost 6,000 business school applicants of all genders in 15 countries, there is still no parity in business programs, and it doesn’t really look like it could be achieved soon.
The progress made by women in business education is unprecedented, but still men continue to dominate these areas. Research turned out to show that the biggest problem for female applicants is the financial factor.
Because of financial concerns, many female candidates have not enrolled into business universities. Their biggest obstacle on the way to business education is money, namely the large tuition fee at most universities. Finance concerns remain the greatest challenge for 30% of women, while only 9% of men find it significant enough. Women still don’t feel secure that their education investment will return to them as a result of their career advancement.
There are, of course, several advantages for female students in the university application process. For instance, standardized tests don’t scare them as much as their male counterparts, and their tendency towards innovation is more pronounced. In terms of GMAT, it turns out to be much less stressing and difficult for female test-takers, and they are not afraid to send their results to prospective schools.
Practicality leads to a more rigorous procedure of choosing a university. For women, it’s much more important to apply to specific programs, if they are flexible enough and boast better career opportunities and prospects for their alumni. Overall, the survey showed that women mostly want to get promoted quickly and earn a larger salary. Hence, their best option for this might be something other than an MBA degree.
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