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Number Of Women On Executive MBA Programs On The Rise

Almost a third of Executive MBA students are now women, according to a new Executive MBA Council report

Fri Oct 13 2017

The Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) has released its annual membership survey results for 2017 showing a continued assault on gender inequality in the workplace.

The number of women hankering to pursue an Executive MBA (EMBA) in the past year reached an all-time high. Out of all EMBA students, 30.1% were female.

Increasing annually over a six-year period, the trend is an example of the maelstrom of positivity being imposed on the business education sphere by its female enrollees. For the executive director of EMBAC, the reason is clear.

“An Executive MBA is an investment in one’s future,” says Michael Desiderio. “With an increase in demand for future leaders, these programs are a catalyst for students to explore new professions, new industries, and even new countries.

“Global opportunities are available, and those who’ve completed an Executive MBA program are positioning themselves as invaluable players in the market. As a result, the need for these programs is only increasing.”

ESCP Europe is one business school leading the pursuit of gender equality in the workplace—it offers women in leadership scholarships, executive coaching for women, and is partnered with the Women’s Worldwide Web.

The EMBAC survey also revealed that EMBA graduates are becoming more desirable for employers as rapid industry change and globalization increase the need for a modernized workforce. The program equips students with the skills needed for the future of industry.

“At about age 29 or 30, people start transitioning to managers, without all the necessary tools, so even with students self-funding, it makes sense that EMBA demand remains strong,” says Michael.

One of those industry changes, digitization, has allowed EMBA programs to explore flexibility options for their students. According to the survey, the delivery of modules electronically has been the most commonly implemented tech change for past four years.

Much of the Executive MBA program at the UK’s Ashridge Executive Education—consistently ranked among the top providers of executive programs in the world by the Financial Times—is delivered online.

MIP Politecnico Di Milano’s 18-month International Flex EMBA is delivered 90% online. Students also experience week-long trips abroad—they recently visited IAE Business School, in Buenos Aires.

Another b-school taking advantage of flexible studying options is the University of New South Wales’ Australian Graduate School of Management. The school offers a part-time, flexible EMBA program that can be completed over the course of seven years.

These changes may explain the flourishing of female students on EMBA programs—those who may have a busy family and work life are able to juggle their commitments with the pursuit of further business education.

In addition, offered to exceptional female candidates are a variety of scholarships in accordance with the 30% club—a commitment to fill 30% of FTSE 100 company boards with female businesswomen.

The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School offers both a Forté Foundation Fellowship for Women and the Oxford EMBA Scholarship for Women. London’s Cass Business School has a Global Women’s Leadership Program, with scholarships designed to produce the next generation of female business leaders.