Fewer Women In MBA Applicant Pool

women-careerThe Graduate Management Admission Council said yesterday (Sept. 29) that the number of women applicants in 2014 fell slightly for full-time, two-year MBA programs. The proportion of women in the applicant pool dropped to 37% this year vs. 39% in 2013.

Wharton recently reported a slight fall in the percentage of women enrolled in its full-time MBA Class of 2016. The school had set a record in 2011 among the world’s elite business schools for having the highest percentage of females in an entering MBA class: 44.7%. This year, however, the percentage fell to 40%, from 42% a year ago. Harvard Business School maintained its 41% level of representation in its just-entered class of MBAs.

Graduate business schools that participated in GMAC’s just published Application Trends Survey received a combined total of 106,877 applications from women, which represents 38% of the 2014–2015 applicant pool and is consistent with proportions seen in recent years, according to GMAC.

Although women represent 43% of all GMAT exams taken worldwide, the proportion of women applying to graduate business school in this year’s incoming cycle varies significantly by program type. GMAC said that women make up a majority of students in master’s programs in marketing and communications (65%), accounting (62%), and management (54%). In master’s of accounting programs, there was a year-over-year increase of three full percentage points from 59% in 2013.

GMAC said that women also represent 40% or more of the applicants in part-time lockstep MBA programs (41%), part-time self-paced MBA programs (40%), flexible MBA programs (43%), and master of finance programs (46%).

GMAC said that testing year 2013 marked the fifth year in a row that women broke the 100,000 mark in the number of GMAT exams taken.


Source: GMAC 2014 Application Trends Survey

Source: GMAC 2014 Application Trends Survey


About The Author

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.