What Women Want: A Blueprint for Change in Business Education

Diversity Enrollment, Research, Global, 2017, White Paper

S. Colby and P. Bruggeman

​March 2017


2017-what women want- large thumbnailThis paper shares insights about women's motivations to pursue graduate management education (GME), their approach to the application journey, and the biggest challenges they face along the way. These insights are examined in the context of findings from the Council's recent global GME candidate segmentation study along with other GMAC survey research and admissions testing data. The analysis provides market intelligence that schools can use to create a new value proposition for women and make progress toward gender parity in the business school classroom.

Quick Facts

  • The share of women in MBA classrooms has consistently remained below 50 percent in parity to men, yet women are at or near parity in many non-MBA master's programs. Even so, women are more likely than men to hold the MBA degree in high regard.
  • Overall, women are more pragmatic and outcomes-focused in their approach to GME, and are less intimidated by standardized testing than their male peers.
  • Women in Western countries differ in their motivations and approaches to the application journey than women in emerging economies like China and India.
  • Challenges related to funding are significant barriers for women.