And you thought the MBA was all about the money and the prestige?
A new study by Bain & Co. of some 1,500 MBA students and graduates found that the vast majority intend to prioritize “impact” over prestige and financial benefits in their careers. Some 66% of the women and 59% said they plan to put impact first.
When asked what success meant for them, 62% of the women and 50% of the men selected impact as one of the top three success factors listed in the survey. For women, the next top answer was “knowledge,” with 35% of the women picking that factor, compared to 32% of the men. For men, the second highest rated answer was wealth, with 37% of the guys selecting that factor, compared to just 23% of women (see chart below).
Well, this is a professional degree, after all.
MOST MBAS SAY THEY WANT TO WORK IN SOCIAL ENTERPRISE AT SOME POINT IN THEIR CAREERS
For many of those surveyed by Bain, impact may well mean working in social enterprise at some point in their careers (see chart on following page). Roughly 54% of the women responding to the consultant’s survey and 51% of the men said they would like to work in social impact. Meantime, a majority of the men—54%—also said they plan to be self-employed during their careers, while 39% of the women expressed a similar desire to become entrepreneurs.
Perhaps even more surprising, given the hard-charging stereotype often assigned to MBAs, a majority of graduates told Bain that they plan to prioritize non-work commitments over career progression in their professional lives. Some 50% of the men and 51% of the women either agreed or strongly agreed with that goal for their careers.
Julie Coffman, chair of Bain’s global women’s leadership council, told Fortune that the survey indicates that MBAs have scrapped the notion “of putting blinders on and only marching up the career ladder.” She believes that the close alignment between men and women on work/balance is a positive sign. “The more everyone shares this ambition, the closer we get to real change.”