This article was written by Heather Fallon and Elle Ayres
It’s no secret that MBA classrooms tend to be a male-dominated space. The percentage of global female applicants remains at approximately 38%, despite bids to increase female participation.
Female representation on MBA programs is vital when attempting to level the playing field and address the gender equality gap in business. A recent McKinsey report found that increased gender diversity in the workplace has a direct correlation with profitability, as companies with strong female representation outperformed industry peers by 21%.
The issue of gender equity at business schools is ubiquitous. At the Indian institute of Management Calcutta, female MBA students make up a meagre 9% of the classroom, while US Brigham Young University: Marriott have just 14%. European and Chinese business schools generally perform better on average, but there remains significant room for progress.
It is not all doom and gloom, however. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) Prospective Students Survey Report for 2018, there has been growth among female applicants in comparison to men.
Plus, when compared to the same statistics from 2017, the percentage of female students has certainly improved—the MBA program in number one spot this year has 65% female representation, up from 55% in 2017.
Here's the 20 best business schools for women in 2019:
20. SDA Bocconi - Italy - 42% Female Students
In the center of stunning Milan, SDA Bocconi continues to top rankings tables as the best business school in Italy. Its commitment to improving female representation has been fruitful as it climbs to 20th for female student representation on the MBA.
19. University of California at Berkeley: Haas - US - 43% Female Students
With a strong female population, Haas tips the scale further in their favor when it comes to student outcomes, ranked third in the world for female salary increase. Notable female alumnae include Barbara J. Desoer, CEO of Citibank. Professor Kellie McElhaney is founder of the school's Center for Equity, Gender, & Leadership and featured on our International Women's Day special episode of our podcast, The Business School Question, to debate the question: Do Women Work Harder Than Men?
18. University of Pennsylvania: Wharton - US - 43% Female Students
Wharton not only scores highly for female students, but also offers a Women’s Executive Leadership course, helping prospective women in Business to navigate the numerous and unique challenges of leadership. Alumnae include none other than Ivanka Trump.
17. University of Michigan: Ross - US - 43% Female Students
With a mission to build a better world through business, Ross offers female MBA students professional networking opportunities through Michigan Business Women, creating a supportive community for women on-campus.
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