More women are interested in studying a Master of Business Administration, as global non-profit Forté Foundation recorded an almost 38% average increase in enrolments at its various business campuses.
Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of leading multinational corporations, the Graduate Management Admission Council and top business schools around the world including the US, UK and Canada.
In the last five years, women’s enrolment at the foundation’s member schools both in the U.S. and abroad combined increased to 37.8%, on average, up 4.2% from 33.6% five years ago in 2014.
“While the number of Fortune 500 women CEOs has declined in the last year, it’s heartening to see women’s enrolment in business school continues to increase, albeit at a slower pace than last year,” Forté Foundation CEO Elissa Sangster said.
“We continue to aim for 40% women’s enrolment by 2020 at our member schools as an MBA provides an economic mobility engine for women, and helps build the pipeline of women leaders. And countless research shows that having more women in senior leadership improves corporate financial performance.”
In the last five years, women’s enrolment at Forté Foundation member schools steadily gained each year. More than one third of schools – 19 of 52 schools surveyed – had 40% or more women enrolled, up from only three schools that reached this milestone in 2014.
The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business led the group and achieved gender parity this year at 52% female enrolment – the first Forté Foundation member school to do so. Three additional schools got close: Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management (46%), Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business (45%) and Imperial College Business School (45%).
Forté Foundation was launched in 2001 to address this inequity and its impact on the business landscape, and grew to 25 member schools in 2005 in the US. Today it includes 53 member schools: 39 in the US, four in Canada and 11 in Europe.
Forté Foundation has introduced numerous initiatives since its launch 17 years ago to close the gender gap in pursuing careers in business and an MBA. Examples include the Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference, attended by hundreds of women MBAs and top companies annually, and the Forté College to Business Leadership Conference, designed for undergraduate freshmen and sophomore women to introduce them to career opportunities and top companies that offer summer internships and entry level opportunities for college graduates.