More women than ever before are seeing business school and corporate careers as an option, according to two recent surveys of global MBA candidates.
According to the QS TopMBA.com Applicant Survey, a record 48 percent of attendees at the QS World MBA Tour in 2010 were women, continuing an upward trend that has occurred over recent years. Meanwhile the GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey 2010 shows that 40 percent of those who took the GMAT (General Management Admissions Test) were women, the actual number peaking over 100,000 for the first time ever.
David Wilson, president and CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council, which oversees the GMAT, says: “In the U.S., it seems that women are faring better in the recession than men. Men are taking the brunt of the job losses.”
He continues: “Women, figures show, are great at getting jobs they want. These involve a lot more public sector jobs, and sectors that are less susceptible to job losses — perhaps those that don’t earn such big bonuses as, say, the finance sector. This makes their jobs safer.”
Zoya Zaitseva, manager of the QS World MBA Tour, says: “In 2010, though 48 percent of applicants to the tour were women, for the first time ever there are some countries where the proportion of women was over 50 percent, and we’re looking into why that might be.”
Although the MBA scene has been heavily male-dominated in recent years, experts feel that parity will be achieved at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Florence Barkats, a London Business School student says: “Seeing an MBA as an option gives women aspirations they didn’t have in the past. It is seen as socially acceptable now, with more successful women in the workplace, and we have more role models - if she has done it, I can do it too. Women are going to business school to realize this potential.”
In support, business schools are making a significant push to attract high-caliber women to their courses, as supported by the increase in the number of gender-specific scholarships available.