MBA degrees help women break down barriers that traditionally can stand in their way.
Studying for an MBA means much more than gaining a qualification just to earn a higher salary. It’s also about transforming your career, acquiring a new way of thinking and developing lifelong contacts. You might even meet your future business partner, you never know.
For women who know that they have the drive and commitment to be successful leaders in business, an MBA can help instill the confidence, and teach the skills needed to thrive in a leadership position.
Here’s five ways studying for an MBA can help women reach their full potential in the business world:
1. Breaking down barriers
It’s a sad fact that fewer than one in 10 executive directors at Britain’s top companies are female. While there has been an increase in women in the boardroom in recent years, there is still so much progress to be made when it comes to promoting women to executive roles.
When more women make the decisions to undertake an MBA course, they are taking actionable steps in breaking down barriers and are propelling themselves into intense leadership development and strategic vision advancement. In turn, they will prove that they can be strong leaders and will take bold steps towards executive positions in business.
2. Leadership skills
An MBA can equip you will the skills you need to become an excellent leader. All MBA courses explore leadership and how to inspire people. The abstract concepts behind leadership will also be examined.
The traditional skills sometimes found in popular leaders, such as strength, aggression, pride or realism, are historically male-centric traits. However, an MBA will address these areas and help you understand how you can develop yourself in what is a male-oriented business world.
This is why studying leadership theories in detail, addressing your own leadership strengths and weaknesses, and discovering your own style is so important for women in business.
3. Dealing with diversity
MBAs are intense learning experiences that challenge you and those around you. You will be surrounded by people who have spent time in leadership positions, such as experienced business experts and industry leaders.
This, coupled with the management and leadership skills you’ll develop, means that you’ll be an expert in how to work with and manage a variety of different people.
In your future career, if you ever come across a client or colleague who is hard to handle, with an MBA you will have developed the skills needed to deal with the situation in a fair and mutually beneficial way.
Often, high-achieving women can suffer from something called Imposter Syndrome. This is the feeling of not belonging in senior positions of power, which leads to a fall in self-confidence and can affect business decisions.
The high-intensity environment of an MBA will teach you to stand your ground, defend your position, and have enough confidence in yourself to never crack when you face challenges in the working world.
5. Handling risk
When studying for an MBA, you will learn how to carefully analyze and manage business risks. This will help you understand how to deal with risks and when to take them, even if you don't have as much information as you'd like before making your decision.
Through learning how to make calculated risks, you are more likely to be comfortable taking bigger chances throughout your career. You will push yourself further and reap the rewards of a heightened confidence, which will push you towards making more educated decisions.
Rosa Mitchell is a writer for Manchester Metropolitan University, an institution that offers three specialist MBA courses; Financial Services, Digital Management, and Strategic Health and Social Care.