In the field of business, commerce and economics, very few female students are registering for studies, with regard to MBA programs. This is in contrast to the close match, between men and women, in terms of enrollment in undergraduate business programs. Women still do account for less than 30% of existing US-enrolled MBA program candidates.
Factors influencing the Trend
Some of the factors generally associated with the aforementioned trend of low women uptake, in terms of MBA studies include pregnancy and nurturing situational contexts, and the lack of adequate economic capacity to pay and continue in higher education studies. Furtherance is the aspect of existing workloads and family life, and the prevailing social perceptions that some jobs are inclined more to the male gender (Finn).
Approaches towards Tackling this Trend
Several schools, the University of Toronto, Pepperdine University and DePaul University, have initiated special MBA programs, with the target being stay-at-home mothers. In addition, there is the program initiative of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Mejia, Balkin and Cardy 154).
Under the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, the institution offers two types of full-time MBA programs, providing customized and individualized MBA experiences. The first, Accelerated MBA Program, reserved for students with the ability and preparation that allows them to join the study program. The second is a Flexible MBA Option, which enables students to have a choice of a quarter-by-quarter basis of either evening or morning classes. These are provided at different campus locations for greater convenience. Admission is reserved for those that have scored an average GMAT score of 567, with a GPA score of 3.55. The latter is drastically higher than the existing average for existing Graduate Business Schools. Average work experience of an MBA student, before admittance here is 4 years. Women enrollment is at 34% to the average 66% for men.
Through the MBA Women International program, women are empowered in addition to being propelled into leadership positions. Other benefits include the opportunities of networking with MBA Women members and Pepperdine alumni across the US through the annual career fair and national conference. In partnership with the National Association of Women MBAs, women students are propelled into leadership positions, within the business sector. This is through forging of partnerships with corporations and universities; offering of support and resources through the existing strong national network of business women, and developing and empowering women through high quality leadership development opportunities.
The program enhances its female MBA student enrollment through stressing on the need to network among such students, the faculty and existing female executives (active in corporate management). Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management offers the option of online, person or both (blended program), with regard to studies. The online course enables students to pursue their studies without relocation or taking some off time from their schedules or career. The online and blended program options enable students to work at their own pace, if they are able to complete their studies within 4 years. Gender distribution, with regard to full-time admission is 43.1% women, to 56.9% male enrollment.
The institution is committed towards offering access to education for both US nationals and international students. Resources are availed towards enhancing and enriching their networking and leadership skills. Through various alumni and student organizations, women students are interconnected with the existing alumni and women's leadership networks. The Mothers at Booth (MaB)’s main objective is to empower student mothers to work towards their academic and career goals. This is through a balance of studies without ignoring their family life; the organization achieves this through the provision of community resources and support. It is founded on the belief that greater information and visibility about motherhood aids in promoting good perspectives and career choices.
The Wharton MBA Program attracts more women globally, both local and international students. The gender ratio stands at an average of 45% female students to the 55% male populace. It provides both an enriched academic environment, in addition to the experience of opportunities regarding the development of leadership skills. The WWIB program is open to all female MBA students there, as it acts as both a social and professional organization. This is through its spearheading of efforts regarding alumnae outreach, admissions, recruiting and professional development. The Forté Foundation further enhances women studies and welfare through scholarships, extensive outreach efforts and business enterprises.
Finn, Widget. Flexibility Key for Women. The Guardian [News: Education-MBAs]. 2010, July 20. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
Mejia, Luis Gomez, Balkin, B. David and Cardy, Robert L. Managing Human Resources (7th Ed.). New York: Pearson Publishers, 2012. Print.