Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 12pm

Student Enrollment Shows Gender Equality Remains Elusive: MBA News

Gender equality at business school remains elusive

Enrollment figures for female MBA students last year show that, while exceptions can be found, business schools are still failing to achieve gender equality on their programs.

From The Economist’s latest list of the top 100 MBA programs available around the world just one school - the International University in Monaco – admitted more female MBA students than male in 2013.

The overall median proportion of female MBA students was found to be 32%, a figure that matches the average for intakes featuring in QS’s 2013/14 Global 200 Business Schools Report, but one that has shown very little improvement over the past decade according to The Economist.

Economist posts best and worst proportions of female MBA students

Posting details of their top 10 schools for enrolled female MBA students, The Economist has The School of Management at the University of Bath, which achieved almost perfect gender equality, coming second to the 58% female students admitted to the International University in Monaco’s MBA program.

With 49% female enrollment, The University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Business and Economics was the top-performing school in Asia for gender equality by placing third. Meanwhile, Brandeis International Business School had the highest female enrollment rate in the US at 45% – ahead of Wharton with 43%.

The worst offenders for lowly female enrollment rates were named as being Spain’s IESE Business School, India’s IIM Ahmedabad and South Africa’s University of Cape Town – none of which admitted proportions any higher than 20%.

You can compare The Economist’s top-performing schools with the numbers reported by those featuring among QS’s latest global 200 here, as well as reading about one Canadian school’s pride in admitting a majority of female MBA students last year here.

While percentages can change substantially with each passing year at each school, it is the averages found worldwide that continue to reinforce the argument that gender equality at business schools is not progressing as fast as one might hope.

The QS Applicant Survey 2014 recently found that prospective female MBA students worldwide numbered 40% and that, in the US & Canada, they outnumbered their male counterparts for the first time ever – but whether or not this translates into higher enrollment rates this year remains to be seen.  

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Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).