Gender Equality On MBA Programs Is One Step Closer

The proportion of women applying and enrolling for MBA programmes between 2017 and 2018 increased by 1% and 2% respectively and in 2018, 39% of those applying and 38% of those enrolling on to MBA programmes were women, research from AMBA & BGA reveals.

AMBA’s annual Application and Enrolment research measured the application, enrolment, diversity and graduation figures for the 2018 calendar year at 236 Business Schools (232 of which offered MBA programmes) and compared the figures for 202 identical accredited Business Schools between 2017 and 2018.

Research from AMBA & BGA taken from its Application and Enrolment report finds that despite there being continued gender inequality in terms of MBA applications and enrolments, the proportion of women applying and enrolling onto AMBA-accredited programmes has increased by approximately six percentage points in the past five years. Meanwhile, the global application to enrolment conversion rate was two percentage points higher for men than women (40% vs 38%).

Research and Insight Manager at AMBA & BGA Will Dawes said the findings show that the representation of women in overall MBA applications and cohorts continued to be on the rise, following on from similar progress in recent years.

“This demonstrates that AMBA-accredited Schools are continuing to focus on more diverse and gender-balanced intakes,” he said.

“We should, however, remain mindful that women are still in the minority and that the good work that has led to these positive steps should not make way for any complacency in the goal of reaching gender diversity.”

Looking at all 232 Schools that responded, in 2018, 39% of those applying and 38% of those enrolled onto MBA programmes were women.

This represents a one percentage point increase in the proportion of women applying and a two-percentage point increase in the proportion of women enrolling onto programmes compared with 2017.

While this is a positive increase, women were still a minority group in MBA cohorts globally. This was most significant in India where just 16% of MBA cohorts were female. In contrast to this, the most equal MBA cohorts were found in China (including Hong Kong, China) and Asia and the Middle East where almost half (46% and 45% respectively) were women.

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (