Support For Women Creates Gender Balance In AGSM Full-Time MBA

AGSM @ UNSW Business School has broken the gender barriers in its full-time MBA program and now features a cohort which includes an equal number of male and female students.

The cohort is 51% female (27 out of 53 students) and includes students from 20 different countries.

The gender balance was the result of UNSW Business School’s recent overhaul in how it recruits students and provides scholarships.

“AGSM has always been a program that attracts and celebrates diversity of gender, experience and thought”, AGSM Academic Director Michele Roberts said.

“By completely recalibrating our scholarship program, we attracted the best candidates – more globally mobile, higher GMAT scores, more community experience – than ever before.

“We are delighted to offer places on our MBA program to really exceptional candidates – half of whom are women,” Dr Roberts said.

The increased interest by females in MBA programs is being felt not only by UNSW Business School but around the world. There is a significant cultural shift occurring where more women in business are choosing an MBA to help with career progression or acquisition.

In 2018, international non-profit Forté Foundation recorded an almost 38% average increase in enrolments at various business campuses.

Forté Foundation is a consortium of leading multinational corporations, the Graduate Management Admission Council and top business schools around the world including the US, UK and Canada. It found, 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.

Southern California Marshall School of Business in the US, for example, reported in 2018 its first gender balance, as its full-time MBA Class of 2020 would see more than half (52%) of its cohort made up of females.

AGSM awarded five Women in Leadership scholarships to domestic and international students and for the first time the prestigious Luminus AGSM Wharton Business Innovation Scholarship, that includes an exchange to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, was awarded to a woman.

Recipient Trisha Shastri said the Luminis AGSM Wharton Business Innovation Scholarship was is a unique opportunity for her to experience the best learning environments in both Australia and the US.

“I look forward to being actively involved in the AGSM and Wharton communities, expanding my global network and exploring career opportunities in both geographies,” she said.

Marietta Delvecchio, who received AGSM’s Women in Leadership Scholarship, said without it, she wouldn’t have been able to take the time off work to study full-time.

“The fact that we are a gender balanced cohort reflects the AGSM’s commitment to equality and diversity, and the level of support offered on a day-to-day basis feels infinite. It’s the best career decision I’ve ever made,” she said.

Dr Roberts said the AGSM Full-Time MBA cohort was the most balanced – and the most diverse – the school had ever assembled.

“We also introduced what we believe is the first LGBTI Community Leader Scholarship in an MBA program in Asia Pacific and have awarded three of them to stand-out candidates who are leaders in their communities in Australia and overseas.

“Creating an environment where future leaders collaborate with people with lots of different life experiences and wide-ranging interests sets them up to be contemporary leaders who are equipped to respect diversity of thought and contribute to a progressive society,” she said.

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 (