MBA programs provide women with the opportunity for learning, career development, and salary growth.
85% of prospective female candidates agree that a graduate degree will help them stand out at work and expected salary growth from an MBA goes someway to closing the painful pay gap between male and female professionals.
The Forté Foundation, which improves women’s access to business education, claims female MBA students see a 95% increase in their confidence in the workplace after graduating.
Business schools then play a key role in preparing the next generation of female leaders to succeed in the corporate world, where women occupy just 17% of seats on company boards. But which business schools lead the way when it comes to female representation?
In our list of the best business schools for women, released on International Women’s Day, we highlight the MBA programs with the highest proportion of female MBA students, based on data from the Financial Times.
Five of our top 10 best business schools for women are based in Asia and three in the USA. However, in 2021, a well-renowned European business school tops the list.
Best business schools for women | 2021
10. AGSM at The University of New South Wales, Australia
© AGSM at The University of New South Wales
AGSM is ranked 79th overall in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2021, and comes in as the 10th best business school for female representation. Notable female alumnae from AGSM include Kaoru Nishinakagawa, the co-founder of Innovation Dojo, and Emma Weston, the CEO and founder of AgriDigital. The school's MBA program is made up of 50% female students, and its faculty is 40% women.
9. Shanghai Jiao Tong University Antai School of Economics and Management, China
Founded in 1903, Antai School of Economics and Management’s MBA class consists of 50% female students, and an impressive 33% of their faculty are women. Graduates go on to earn on average a salary 159% higher than it was pre-MBA.
8. Sungkyunkwan University (SKK) Graduate School of Business, South Korea
SKK GSB’s 18-month MBA provides students with a variety of career tracks, from business analytics and global management, to brand management and entrepreneurship. Half of the school’s cohort are women. Its faculty is made up of 18% women, and the school comes in at 35th overall in the Financial Times Top 100.
7. University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business, US
Katz Graduate School of Business has proven popular among women, who make up 53% of the MBA class. With a third of the faculty being women too, Katz is focused on developing the next generation of female leaders.
©Fudan MBA Program
This Shanghai-based business school is dedicated to research and is well-regarded across the world. It boasts an impressive 56% female class, and more than a third of faculty are female. Ranked at 32nd in the FT Top 100, students graduating from Fudan’s MBA increase their salary post-graduation by around 190%.
5. George Washington University, US
With their ‘smarter business’ focus and problem-solving ambitions, the MBA program at George Washington is the fifth best business school in the world for female representation, with a cohort made up of 57% women, alongside 30% female faculty. Graduates from the school improve their salary by 111%.
4. University of California, Irvine, USA
A stone’s throw from Silicon Valley, The Paul Merage School of Business at UCI holds the promise of an 117% salary increase for its MBA graduates. The school’s MBA also boasts a cohort made up of 57% female students; faculty consists of 45% women.
Read on for our top 3 best business schools for women