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The 25 Best MBA Programs For Women

Best women MBAs! Find out the 25 business schools with the best representation of women on their MBA programs

Wed Mar 6 2024

BusinessBecause

At many business schools around the world, women MBA students are gradually climbing toward equal representation. But some schools have gone above and beyond to boost the number of women in their classrooms.

The percentage of women enrolled at business schools across the globe has been steadily rising over the last decade. In 2013, female MBA enrollment amounted to 34%, however that rose to 38% by 2018 and now sits at 42%, according to the Forté Foundation

Closing in on gender parity among the world's MBA programs is timely since the Fortune 500 finally hit double-digit representation for women CEOs in 2022. 

And gaining an MBA is beneficial for both women and the companies that hire them. According to data from Forté, women with an MBA see pay gains of 55-65% from their pre-MBA salary within five year of graduation. Companies with female board directors experience, on average, a 53% higher return on equity. 

With such benefits, top business schools across the world are doing what they can to attract more women to their programs, with varying degrees of success. 

In the US, schools in the 2024 Financial Times (FT) MBA Ranking have an average of 40% women in their MBA cohorts, up from 38% in 2023. The vast number of ranked schools across Europe have an average of 41%, while those in China have an average of 53%. Schools in India have a substantially lower representation of female students, with 22%. 

A handful of top schools across the globe have managed to attain close to—or even higher than—50% women on their MBAs. So, here's our list of the 25 best MBAs for women


The Best MBA Programs For Women


25. Queen’s University Smith School of Business

46% female students


At Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business in Canada, 46% of MBA students are women as of 2024.

The school is committed to attracting even more women to the program through initiatives such as the Women of Influence Luncheon Series, which sees high-profile guest speakers offer their insights to students. 


24. EMlyon Business School

46% female students


The current Emlyon Business School MBA cohort features a 46:54 split between female and male students. A further 50% of school board members are women, while 42% of the staff are also female, demonstrating the school’s strong commitment to gender achieving gender parity at all levels.


23. Alliance Manchester Business School

46% female students


Ranked among the top 50 programs in this year’s MBA ranking, the current class at Alliance Manchester Business School comprises 46% women. 

The school offers a number of initiatives to improve access for women to the program, including scholarships delivered in partnership with the Forté Foundation that rise to 50% of the tuition cost. There's also one full ride scholarship offered each year through a partnership with the 30% Club, an organization dedicated to achieving 30% female board representation across the FTSE 100 companies in the UK.


22. Stanford Graduate School of Business

46% female students


The first M7 business school to appear in this list, Stanford had a disappointing year when it came to overall ranking performance, however it entered the top 25 MBA programs for women this year. 

It’s one of a number of schools to boast 46% female representation among the MBA cohort. Women at Stanford can access a range of resources, including alumni community forums and the Stanford Women’s Community Center, which helps to boost student engagement around gender issues. 

Despite strong student representation, Stanford’s female faculty make up just 27% of the staff and less than one third of board members are women. 


21. CEIBS

46% female students


CEIBS has achieved gender parity in the past however the current MBA class is composed of 46% female students. In addition to this, the Shanghai-based school also boasts a 50:50 gender split on the board. 

The Shanghai-based school supports women in business beyond the MBA. Its Women in Leadership program brings together women and male allies to study key issues for women in business, and explore gender relations in the professional world.


READ: Top MBA Scholarships For Women

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20. MIT Sloan School of Management

46% female students


Another M7 business school to feature on our list, MIT Sloan has 46% female students with 28% female representation on the faculty—a small increase of 2% on last year. 

MIT has a number of initiatives for women, including Sloan Women in Management which works to increase opportunities for all women at MIT Sloan through networking events, speaker series, professional development workshops, and mentorship programs.


19. EDHEC Business School 

47% female students


EDHEC Business School is the first institution in this list to boast 47% female students. On its board, however, it has achieved gender parity with 50% of members being women. 

EDHEC offers a number of initiatives to support women business, such as the The Swati Kansal Memorial Scholarship for Women of Impact, which is available to one women each year and worth €10,000. It is funded in memory of Swati Kansal, a 2019 EDHEC Global MBA graduate who was president of the MBA Digital Innovation Club during her time on the program.


18. University of Washington Foster School of Business

47% female students


The Foster School of Business at University of Washington offers an MBA program that houses 47% female students. 

Female Foster MBA students can find support from the Foster Women In Business Alumnae Association, which aims to grow the school’s network of women and to help the program achieve gender parity. 


17. Peking University Guanghua School of Management

48% female students


Approaching gender parity with 48% female MBA students, Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management ranks among the best programs in China and is one of five Chinese business schools to appear on this list. 

The school also has 40% female representation on the board, as well as 35% female staff. 


16. Northwestern University: Kellogg  

48% female students


Kellogg was the first top 10 FT-ranked school to appoint a female dean, Sally Blount, in 2010, so it comes as no surprise that it has retained a spot as having one of the best MBA programs for women over the years. 

In 2024, 48% of the MBA class and 45% of the board are women. Initiatives like 'Manbassadors' also help men at Kellogg to join the conversation about gender diversity. 


READ: The World’s Best Companies To Work For Women

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15. University of Toronto: Rotman School of Management

49% female students


The University of Toronto Rotman School of Management offers a variety of initiatives for women in business, including a Back to Work program for women who have had an extended period of absence and leadership development courses for early and mid-career women. 

This focus makes it no surprise that the Rotman School of Management offers a program that’s among the best MBAs for women, with 49% female students and even a majority (53%) of women on the board. 


14. University of Rochester: Simon Business School

49% female students


University of Rochester’s Simon Business School is one of a number of schools featured here to partner with the Forté Foundation to offer support for women in business, including fellowships, forums, and symposiums. 

The school also hosts the Women’s Conference to give female professionals a taste of MBA life on campus and gain insight into the support they can receive from the Simon Women in Business organization. In 2024, the school’s MBA program boasts 49% women within the cohort. 


13. Audencia

50% female students


Based in Nantes in the West of France, Audencia’s 2024 MBA class is made up of 50% women. The school also has an impressive representation on the board (50%) and within the faculty, where 47% of staff are female. 

Audencia offers scholarships for women in business, available for women with excellent academic backgrounds.


12. ESCP Business School 

50% female students


One of France’s top MBA programs, ESCP Business School’s MBA has achieved gender parity in 2024. Alongside 50% of MBA students being women, 70% of the board—the highest in this list—and 42% of faculty are female. 

ESCP has been making efforts to attract more women to its MBA through initiatives including the Women in Leadership Scholarship.


11. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School 

50% female students


Wharton returned to the Financial Times MBA Ranking in 2024 to take first place after dramatically dropping out of the list the previous year. The highly prestigious school joins Stanford and MIT among the M7 business schools to feature within this list, though it is the only one to achieve gender parity. 

However, despite boasting 50% female students, the Wharton board comprises just 21% women, while women also make up less than one-third of faculty. 


READ: 10 Inspirational Women MBA Students

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10 Best MBAs Programs For Women


10. ESSEC Business School

51% female students


ESSEC Business School has managed to achieve gender parity in its MBA classroom for several consecutive years, and now the cohort is actually majority female. 

Among this year’s MBA cohort, 51% are women, as well as 53% of its board and 39% of its faculty. ESSEC performs consistently well for gender diversity, in part due to the network it offers to women. The school’s Women’s MBA Network offers a place where professional women can foster mutually beneficial relationships.


9. University of Oxford Said Business School

51% female students   


University of Oxford Said Business School has had a strong female contingent within its MBA program in recent years and now women make up 51% of the cohort. 

Said supports the female student base with initiatives such as the Oxford Women in Leadership Alliance and various scholarships for women, including the Laidlaw Scholarship, which encourages women with clear leadership potential.


8. AGSM At UNSW Business School

53% female students


Women in business who aim to study in Sydney, Australia can find support in a number of ways at the Australian Graduate School of Management. The school offers the AGSM Women in Leadership Scholarship and the AGSM Emerging Female Leaders Scholarship, both of which offer funding that reaches as high as 75% of tuition. 

Such schemes help the program to reach and surpass gender parity, with 53% female students on the current cohort. The school also boasts a 50:50 board split. 


7. Trinity College Dublin

53% female students


Ranking among the 25 best MBAs for women for the second year in a row is Trinity College Dublin, with 53% female students on the MBA program. 

In 2021, Trinity Business School was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award from the Equality Challenge Unit in recognition of the school’s commitment to improving gender equality and representation among staff and students. Today, there are 43% women on the faculty and 48% on the board. 


6. Shanghai University of Finance and Economics: College of Business 

56% female students 


The MBA at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics College of Business typically boasts a majority female cohort and that remains the story in 2024. The program has a 56% female weighted student body. Alongside the student representation, Shanghai’s board is made up of 50% women and its faculty is also 41% women.


5. Northeastern University: D'Amore-McKim School of Business

57% female students 


The D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University is committed to all types of diversity. The school has an Office of Student Engagement, Affinity, and Inclusion that works to help students from all backgrounds feel included.

This helps the school provide an attractive proposition for women, who make up 57% of the 2024 MBA cohort. However, representation is less strong at other levels of the school, with 33% women on the faculty and just a quarter of board members.


4. Fudan University School of Management

62% female students 


Fudan is another of the Chinese schools to crack the top 10 for female representation, continuing the trend of Chinese schools performing better for gender equality than their US counterparts.

In 2024, women make up a large majority of the class with 62% of Fudan’s MBA cohort. While lower than several schools on this list, at 38% Fudan’s proportion of female faculty has increased by 1% compared with 2023. 

One area where Fudan falls down is the percentage of women on its board. In 2024, this stands at just 6%—the lowest of all schools on this list.  


3 Best MBA Programs For Women


3. Sungkyunkwan University Graduate School of Business 

64% female students 


With 64% female students and 50% female board members, South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan (SKK) Graduate School of Business is another attractive MBA program for women.

2020 marked the first year that the school achieved gender parity on its MBA program, however since then the school has continued to attract a large contingent of female students. Female leaders can apply for the Future Leader Scholarship on the SKK MBA to help fund the cost of admission. 


2. CUHK Business School

64% female students 


If you’re looking to study on an MBA program in Asia with a strong representation of female students, there are a number of programs to choose from, however CUHK Business School in Hong Kong boasts the highest number of women with 64% of the class. CUHK also has 50% female representation in the boardroom. 

Students applying for the CUHK MBA can find a wide array of scholarship opportunities. Among them is the Women in Global Business Scholarship, available for women who have experience in large multinationals and are looking for funding assistance. 


 1. George Washington University School of Business 

65% female students


Leading the way in this year’s Financial Times MBA Ranking with the highest number of women in the classroom is George Washington University School of Business (GWSB). In the MBA program, women are the overwhelming majority—accounting for 65% of the 2024 MBA cohort. The school boasts the only US-based program with above 60% female representation, it has led US-based schools for female enrollment for four years in a row. 

Like many of the institutions on this list, GWSB is a Forté partner. In total, 40% of the school board are women, however representation is lower at the staff level with 28% of faculty being female.


25 Best MBA Programs For Women


The data in this article is taken from the Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings 2024. 

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