More Women Getting MBAs But….

Women in the MBA Class of 2010 typically sent more applications but received fewer job offers compared with their male MBA peers, according to a study by the Graduate Management Admission Council. A typical female MBA last year sent out a median 25 resumes or applications, five more than men, and received four interviews and ultimately one job offer. In contrast, male MBAs sent out five fewer applications—20% fewer resumes—yet received five interviews—25% more–and two job offers—twice the number nailed down by women.

Despite those lopsided results, more women than ever before are heading to business school for their MBAs. Last year, in fact, a record 105,900 women took the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the exam taken to apply to business school, according to GMAC, owner of the GMAT. It was the second year in which women broke the 100,000 mark in the number of GMAT exams taken.

By and large, the increase is due to recruitment efforts by business schools, which have been actively encouraging more women to apply for MBAs. Indeed, U.S. women represent the largest female pipeline to business schools in the world. Some 50,053 women—the largest number of exams taken by women in any one country—sat for the GMAT in the testing year ending June 30, 2010. U.S. women represented nearly a third of the global business school pipeline of women.

These and other findings come from a wealth of Graduate Management Admission Council studies that present a fascinating portrait of women and the MBA. By and large, the results of these studies are very positive. Even the data that shows men having twice as many job offers as women is offset by the fact that a greater percentage of women (59.3%) indicated they definitely made the right decision in the choice of their first job post-graduation compared with men (58.4%).

Women received 44% of MBAs in 2007, the latest year for which data is available, up from 39% a decade earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Education. That translates to a whopping 75% increase in the last 10 years. Despite the gains, however, women remain under represented in business graduate schools. The Department of Education numbers show that women currently receive 61% of all master’s degrees awarded, some 13 percentage points higher than the number of MBA grads who are female.

Highlights of GMAC Studies:

Women in the Business School Talent Pipeline

GMAT Examinees

105,900 – The Most Women Ever

Of the total 263,979 exams taken, the number of GMAT exams taken by women was 105,900 and accounted for  40.1% of the global business school pipeline in the testing year ending June 30, 2010 (TY 2010). The number of tests taken by men was 158,079 (59.9%). This testing year also marked the second time women broke the 100,000 mark in number of GMAT exams taken, and reflects the lowest male-female ratio (1.49) and a 3.3 percent average annual growth rate for the past 10 testing years (TY 2001 to TY 2010).

Source: GMAC Profile of Graduate Management Admission Test Candidates, 2006-2010

US Women Are Largest Female Pipeline = 50,053

The United States was the country with the largest number of exams taken by female citizens: 50,053 of the total 127,061 taken by US citizens in TY 2010. Overall, US women represented nearly 33% of the global business school pipeline of women.

Source: GMAC Profile of Graduate Management Admission Test Candidates, 2006-2010

Female Majority Greatest Among East Asian Citizens

Among 10 global regions, the largest percentages of female citizens who sat for the GMAT in TY 2010 were from East Asia (54.6%) accounting for 27,320 of 50,056 of the region’s total exams. Central Asia had the smallest percentage of women (25.1%) who accounted for 7,429 of 29,570 of the region’s total exams.

Source: GMAT Examinee Data, TY 2010

World’s Largest Majorities of Female GMAT Examinees (Five of the Top 25 countries)

For some countries, more female than male citizens sit for the GMAT exam. Among the top 25 citizen groups sitting for the exam in TY 2010, the following five had a majority of female examinees:

  • • China (second largest GMAT citizen group, 62.8% of 30,264 examinees)
  • • Taiwan (fifth largest GMAT citizen group, 57.3% of 3,951 examinees)
  • • Thailand (9th largest GMAT citizen group, 58.4% of 1,984 examinees)
  • • Russia (10th largest GMAT citizen group, 56.6% of 2,019 examinees)
  • • Vietnam (14th largest GMAT citizen group, 59.4% of 1,196 examinees)

Source: GMAC Profile of Graduate Management Admission Test Candidates, 2006-2010

About the Author...

John A. Byrne

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.