Women Now Making Up 40% Of Top MBA Cohorts

    Each year more and more women are inching closer to close the gender gap at US business schools, with the class of 2017 seeing record breaking numbers of women in MBA programs.

    The Forté Foundation has recently reported women’s full-time enrollment in MBA programs at 36 US member schools rose to 36.2 per cent on average for students enrolled in the autumn of 2015. This is a 3.9 per cent jump from 32.3 per cent in 2011.

    Their research found that 12 Forté Foundation US member schools reported 40 per cent or more women enrolled compared to last year with only five schools reaching this milestone.

    “There is some evidence that earning an MBA is a ticket to the top as 41 per cent of Fortune 100 CEOs have an MBA, according to our research. While we’re asking women to lean in, we need to also consider the education gender gap at business schools,” said Elissa Sangster, Executive Director of the Forté Foundation.

    “In 2011, less than a third of MBA students were women. Today, we’re inching closer to 40 per cent in the US and working to close the gap significantly in another 5 years. Every percentage point gain is not only hard earned, but something to celebrate, and should go away in building the senior leadership pipeline at companies and on boards.”

    US Schools with 40 per cent or greater women’s enrollment include Dartmouth (Tuck School of Business, Harvard Business School, MIT (Sloan), University of Chicago (Booth School of Business), University of Pennsylvania (The Wharton School) and the Yale School of Management.

    The Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of leading multi-national corporations, top business schools in the US and abroad, and the Graduate Management Admission Council. The foundation was launched in 2001 to address the gender inequity in top business schools and its impact on the business landscape. Growing to 25 member schools in the US in 2005, the Forté Foundation today has 46 member schools across the US, Canada and Europe.

    View the Forté Foundation’s research here.

    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 (rgcmm.com.au).