Recently Fortune magazine ran an piece titled “Why More Women Don’t Get MBAs.” The article was mainly an interview with Elissa Ellis Sangster, executive director at the Forté Foundation (a Veritas Prep partner), which didn’t yield a lot of big “A ha!” insights, but did offer some interesting facts and thoughts about the continued gender gap in management education.
Interestingly, although law school are medical school classrooms now tend to hold as many women as men, women still tend to make up about 30% of a typical business school classroom (about the same percentage as twenty years ago). This statistics is especially surprising given the push that so many of the top school have made to improve their diversity, the pressure that companies have applied to those schools to produce a more diverse graduating class every year, and the work of organizations such as the Forté Foundation. If all of these important parties can’t move the needle, then what’s going on?
Sangster suggested a few reasons why women are still far less likely than men to pursue an MBA:
- Women are still very concerned about the challenge of balancing home life, work, and school if they go back to school;
- There still aren’t many business role models after which women can pattern themselves;
- Many women doubt whether they have the quantitative and analytical skills needed to excel in a graduate business program;
- Their employers aren’t eager to lose them and let them go back to school.
Since 2001 the Forté Foundation (along with other, similar programs) has done a lot for women to take some of the mystery and apprehension out of business school and the MBA admissions process. But, of course, there still seems to be a lot of work to do. Veritas Prep is proud to partner with the Forté Foundation to help achieve this goal and make the business school classroom a less foreign place for women in the workforce!