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Survey Reveals Women Favor Sustainability In Business School Curriculum

Female applicants place a higher on value social impact at business school than men, according to early insights from the 2024 GMAC Prospective Students Survey

Thu Mar 7 2024

Women who plan on enrolling at business school to achieve their career goals value sustainability as an integral part of the curriculum, according to early insights from the 2024 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Prospective Students Survey. 

Women made up 42% of the 4,105 respondents who participated in the survey. As many as 74% of them told GMAC that sustainability is either important or very important to their study experience. That compared to 64% of the men who took part in the survey. 

When integrated into the business school curriculum, sustainability covers an array of topics which are often taught through a combination of core and elective modules. Common subjects include corporate social responsibility, sustainable finance, and green energy.

In total, 28% of the women surveyed stated that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a must have in their ideal curriculum, compared to 17% of men.

Top business schools including the likes of Copenhagen Business School and London Business School incorporate CSR as a core component of their MBA programs. Schools aim to guide students to think of CSR from the perspective of business economics, strategy, and management.

The prominent interest in sustainability among female business school applicants revealed by this year's survey correlates with findings from the 2023 GMAC Prospective Students Survey, which highlighted that women are drawn to careers in government and nonprofit—careers that often demand sustainability and social impact expertise.

The survey also revealed greater interest among female respondents than their male counterparts when it came to travel. In total, 36% of women said they desired careers that involved international travel, compared to 29% of men.