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Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Flexibility of a Business School Education Appealing to Women
They don't call it a man's world for no reason and in the white collar world of business, there's no doubt that the old boys' network is still solidly entrenched. There are just 15 female CEOs in Fortune 500's 2010 list (for those of you counting, that is 15 out of 500), and women still make somewhere around 78 cents to the man's dollar. There is however, a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel, and it is making its appearance in business school enrollment. According to a recent U.S. Department of Education report, there has been a 75% increase in female enrollment in business school over the past decade.

Specific schools are showing even more compelling numbers. Harvard Business School had a 38% female enrollment in 2010, compared with just 28% in 1995. Wharton's 2011 business school class boasted a 40% female enrollment- a jump from 32% in 2007, and NYU's Stern School of Business boasts the highest female enrollment in the country at 41%. A recent Forbes magazine article sited the failing economy and the flexibility of a business school education as the reason for the shift. (The U.S. Department of Education further reports that women receive 61% of all Master's Degrees but just 44% of Business School Degrees).

Because women bear the brunt of the juggling act of work and parenthood, business school can be a good option. It can serve as a platform for work in the corporate or non-profit world as wage earners or self-employed entrepreneurs. Though the gender gap in business school enrollment still needs to be bridged, this development is good news for women, and great news for a more diverse, well-rounded business marketplace.


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