More women are applying for MBA degrees than ever before. But progress has been slow. The number of female MBA students at Financial Times ranked business schools has risen by only six percent in the past decade.
For many women, combining family, career, and an MBA is a struggle. However, with the rise of the online MBA, this looks set to change.
Jane Mutamangira is a 36-year old mother and managing director of a luxury taxi firm in Zimbabwe. Determined to take the next step up in her career, she decided to pursue Birmingham Business School’s Online MBA.
“I see the Online MBA helping me better carry out my managerial obligations,” she says. “The future for women in business is bright. Now that we’re able to study and work at the same time, we’ll soon be able to get more powerful positions in a business world dominated by men.”
While the majority of top-level roles in business are still occupied by men, online MBAs are giving women with family commitments a better opportunity to compete.
And online MBA programs are only gaining in credibility. According to GMAC data, online MBAs have recorded constant growth in applications over the past few years, while applications to traditional part-time and executive courses stagnate.
This year, Birmingham’s Online MBA became the first 100% online MBA to receive full AMBA accreditation. When Online MBA students graduate, they receive the same certificate as those on the traditional campus-based course.
The University of Birmingham is a Russel Group institution, world-renowned for its academic research. Through Birmingham’s Online MBA, Jane has access to a high quality of business education that she would struggle to find in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“I decided to study at Birmingham because of how internationally-recognized its degrees are,” she says. “The Online MBA attracts a global audience because of its flexibility and how it incorporates people from different backgrounds.”
Birmingham offers an Online MSc International Business as a pre-experience alternative to its Online MBA. Across both programs, 63% of students are international and 86 different nationalities represented.
And through fortnightly ‘live sessions’, students can interact and network online, the same as they would in the classroom.
Jane has almost fifteen years’ professional experience, working in a variety of industries from IT to construction and transport. She’s already profiting from her Online MBA, applying her learnings daily in the workplace.
“I have learnt a lot from the modules I’ve studied so far,” she says. “I have a new way of dealing with my employees with the knowledge I’ve obtained from the Human Resources module. And I’ve been applying lots of concepts I’ve learnt in strategy, marketing and operations.”
She’s confident about the future of women in business. By studying an MBA online, she’s aiming to break the glass ceiling and take her career to new heights.
“My advice to women is that now the sky is the limit,” she says. “Go ahead and study all you can, because the world out there is waiting for you!”