Partner Sites


Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice
mobile search icon

Being A Mother At Business School

From breastfeeding to childcare, being a mother at business school is no easy feat. But now a host of new initiatives are offering more support to MBA moms

Thu May 9 2019

BusinessBecause
Mother’s Day 2017 was the best day of Divinity Matovu’s life. She graduated with an MBA from Wharton with her five-year-old daughter Nyah clutching her hand.

Mother and daughter went up on stage to shake hands with the dean and collect her certificate. Divinity felt they had earned the MBA together.

When they sat down again, Nyah grabbed Divinity’s face with her two little hands, looked her in the eyes and said: ‘Mommy, I am so proud of you’. Divinity dissolved in happy tears.

“It put in her mind that education is important—that’s something I didn’t have. I think it was foundational for her.”

Single mom Divinity says getting an MBA with a child is difficult but not impossible. “It’s a completely different experience but that’s OK. I brought a different layer of diversity. Less than 1% of my class were...

>

Supporting MBA mothers

In 2015 Divinity and Nicole Pontónfrom Duke Fuqua School of Business, launched MBAmama.com after seeing so few images of, or resources for ,women with children in MBA programs.

Divinity remembers how she didn’t see any examples of mothers in the promotional material of business schools. When she asked business schools to put her in touch with parents, they could only provide the details of fathers, with stay-at-home wives. Mbamama.com is now a thriving community of MBA moms from across the globe.

“‘Most business schools are happy to say they have a third women [in the class], but that is not a good stat,” Divinity continues. “They have a very narrow definition of what a female MBA student looks like. They should expand the scope of this profile.”


Read: Why Love Blossoms At Business School

love-bschool


So, what can schools do to create inclusive spaces for women and men with children? One answer is recognizing that parents can add value to the diversity of the program and should not have to hide their children away.

Groups like Mothers at Booth—at Chicago Booth—provide visible and centralized information for mothers considering business school, embodying the message that women with children can excel in business school.

Adapting promotional materials and creating materials to guide parents through the process is also helpful. “Show mothers on panels and websites—you can’t be what you can’t see,” says Divinity.


Breastfeeding at business school

Wharton was supportive, but Divinity often had to take the initiative and find resources on her own. She saw there were no lactation rooms in the business school for women to pump or breastfeed with dignity. Even though she was no longer breastfeeding, she raised the issue with the school. The school stepped up and funded a lactation suite of four rooms.

Stanford GSB is one school making an effort to offer resources to parents. As part of the broader university, it provides on-campus resources for all students with families by offering family housing options, childcare centers, and access to public schools in Palo Alto.

Mike Hochleutner, director of the MSx Program, the one-year master's program for mid-career professionals at Stanford says: "Although mothers are not treated differently in the admissions process, we recognize and value the perspective that mothers can bring to classroom discussions.

"Our programs support growth and transformation of the whole student. Just because someone shows up in a classroom does not mean they leave their life and family behind. Time at the GSB is a life-enriching experience for the entire family. And with these resources, parents can integrate academics and real life for even greater personal impact.”

Georgetown McDonough has created a Mother’s room for nursing mothers and has a range of family friendly events including their annual Sippy Cup, an event that brings together faculty, staff, and students with children.

Kerry Pace, associate dean of MBA programs, is a mother to a young child herself.

“I've seen caretakers bring young babies to their mom at McDonough to feed while in class. I also have participated in baby showers thrown for an expectant mother or father by their cohort. Never once have I heard another student complain that they had to accommodate a new parent's schedule,” she says.

“Just last week, a student shared with me that she is expecting a child due around mid-terms next fall. As she said, while it is definitely challenging to have children while in school, the flexibility and support she has experienced here makes parenthood manageable.”

Student Reviews

Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Student

Verified

31/10/2023

On Campus

Supportive atmosphere

The professors at Duke university exhibit exceptional commitment to the success and well-being of their students by ensuring their academic growth and fostering a supportive social atmosphere. Moreover, the entire community is recognized for its amicability and inclusiveness.

Maxwell

Verified

30/03/2023

On Campus

Diversity

The people or the students are without a doubt Duke's greatest asset. While all students are driven to succeed, they are also enthusiastic about a variety of hobbies. You run across a huge lot of diversity. It is the ideal example of a school with well-rounded students and the ideal balance of campus life in a metropolis.

Anabelle

Verified

27/02/2023

On Campus

Happy to school

All I could ever hope for is Duke University. That really epitomizes the "work hard, play hard" philosophy that elite colleges frequently pursue. Even though you'll have a lot of schooling to complete over the week, it's simple to keep focused because all of your friends are putting in similar amounts of effort. Many events taking place on and around campus on the weekends provide a great way to unwind. The combination of demanding academics and traditional college fun strikes the perfect balance.

Monica

Verified

27/02/2023

On Campus

Good schooling

Living, eating, learning, and developing who you want to be as an adult are all fantastic at Duke. I participated in student athletics, and I couldn't have asked for a better interaction with the faculty and other students. I appreciate all of the help I get from the Duke community more than anything. Furthermore, the teachers take the time to get to know you, and the lectures are diverse and demanding (if you do the same). I'd give it a 10 out of 10.

Aline

Verified

26/11/2022

On Campus

Beautiful School, Nice Classes

DU remains one the greatest and best universities that I have ever stepped in. The school is beautiful and neat. The classes are spacious and also very nice. I enjoyed attending my Lectures in those lecture halls. I also loved the Lecturers because of the good work they did. The university also has very good dorms that are given to students on first come first serve basis and they are affordable

Student

Verified

29/06/2022

Blended

Amazing experience

I received my B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Global Health with a minor in Chemistry from Duke University. I was able to grow as a student, scientist, and global health advocate with the help of my friends, professors, and other mentors I met along the way. A lot to learn if you look and ask, a great place to learn for those who want to learn.

Student

Verified

29/06/2022

Blended

whirlwind of growth and change

An amazing 2 years, with covid and everything else happening Duke has been a place of growth for me. The courses , classes were one of a kind, online and on campus. But the valuable lessons learned in the classes are irreplicable. The students are amazing here, so much diversity , I had no problem fitting in. The teachers are down right brilliant and so helpful. Don't be afraid to ask them anything. Graduated with my MBA with Duke and now my future awaits.

Student

Verified

29/06/2022

On Campus

One of the best for Business students

Graduated with an MBA. The classes were very insightful and engaging. The staff are very easy to deal with. The teachers and students, are truly amazing people. Grateful to all the people I've met along the way at Duke. I've learnt a great deal that will help me in my future endeavors. The campus itself is a marvel, it is beautiful.

Student

Verified

16/06/2022

On Campus

The university campus is awesome

I graduated with a masters degree in Religious Studies from Duke University. One thing I really liked about the university is its huge campus. It is spread in a large area with a lot of greenery and also have the facilities of reading rooms for single person also. My department building was very well taken care of. The library is immensely populated with books for all your needs. The faculty is very nice to students. The classes are equipped with latest technology to cater the needs of students. The University also provides room rentals for international students. They are very well maintained and priority is given to the International students for a comfortable stay there. There are weekly events conducted by the University as well as Student clubs for the entertainment of students. Anybody can take part in them and show their talents. I enjoyed my degree and I graduated in 2021 and was very happy that I had graduated from a reputed University.

RECAPTHA :

3d

31

c5

d7