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Bloomberg: Most B-Schools Still Lacking In Women Representation 

Women still lag behind men in filling MBA seats.

A new Bloomberg study finds that women secured fewer than 40% of MBA spots at the 84 U.S. schools included in the study. In 27 schools, women made up one-third or less of the class.


College of Charleston School of Business in South Carolina had the highest proportion of women out of the study’s B-schools with 66% of its cohort being women. North Carolina State University’s Jenkins School of Business came in second with 65% of its cohort being women.


When compared to law school and medical school, where women have achieved the 50% mark, MBA programs as a whole still lag far behind. Just 38.5% of full time MBA students are women, according to the Forté Foundation.

While female representation at MBA programs has improved over the years (in 2001, overall women enrollment was at 28%), many say that there is more that needs to be done to reach true gender parity.

“If a woman goes into a classroom and she’s walking out of graduation with 42% or 45% women in her class, that’s pretty equitable, and we’re not going to say that’s not good enough, but the problem is so many business schools aren’t over that hump yet,” Elissa Sangster, CEO of Forté, tells Fortune.

To truly increase women representation across B-schools, experts say that MBA programs need to not only recruit for female applicants, but also ensure that they can retain them.

“An organization can be successful in recruiting more women, but if those women are not thriving and not getting advancement opportunities, they’re not going to stay,” Shari Hubert, associate dean of admissions at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, tells Fortune. “It’s not enough to just bring in underrepresented populations; they also have to come in and feel as though they can thrive.”

Sources: Bloomberg, Fortune, Forté Foundation

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