The question of gender balance in business has always been difficult: whereas it is beyond doubt that there are many more women now at b-schools than in all earlier years, equality is not so easy to achieve.
Average salaries for women were proved to be 20% less than their male counterparts’ even in 2016. These disparities are not likely to change soon.
According to Poets & Quants, most single female MBA students do not show their leadership qualities and ambitions in business as much as men or even married women do. This survey was based on the responses of next academic year’s class at one of the top MBA programs. The students had no idea what the survey had been for – they were told it was a study in future internship placement. Prospective MBAs had to fill in a questionnaire asking about their career before enrolling into business school and their plans after graduation.
Job preference questions touched upon places where students would like to work, as well as industries. The trick in the suggested answers was that if a student answered to show their career ambitions and professionalism, they would also admit that they would become bad spouses in the future.
Another question in the survey referred to desired amount of remuneration (annual), as well as traveling and working hours. The thing was that a part of the students knew that their answers to the questionnaire would be shown to their classmates. Others were told that only the agency providing the survey would see their answers.
The second group – which thought their answers would not be disclosed – showed no difference between single and married women. Everything – salary expectations, travel and working hours – was the same, no matter if the woman was single or attached. On the contrary, in the group where students were told that their answers will be shown to their classmates, single women preferred to describe themselves as much less employable candidates.
The desired compensation was 18,000 less for single women than for their non-single counterparts. Also, singles indicated that they did not want to travel and work as much as others did. For married women and male participants, the result didn’t change significantly in either group.
The result of this experiment seems to be that single women are trying to present themselves as someone who would prefer family to career, thus advertising themselves better on the marriage market rather than the job market – if they are told that the results would be shown to men.
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