More Women are earning MBA
Over the last few decades, Women have levelled the education grounds by playing at the forefront. The number of women standing up for themselves and taking the stride to minimize the gender gap in the academic background has only increased. It says a lot about the fact that Women not only consider basic education their right but are open and want to make careful choices about their further studies; they aspire for a graduate degree which exposes them to more work opportunities and a post-graduate degree which means not only a bright career but expansive knowledge of a subject matter with a good skill set in the offering.
If we go by global statistics, the last seven years have seen the percentage of women applicants for an MBA program dwindling between 34%-39%. Although it hasn’t increased drastically and is equal to the number of male applicants, let us discuss the various factors which hinder the career progression of a female if she considers MBA as an option and the ones which can be opted by the institutes to promote a flexible way of learning for them.
Gender Bias, a mirage?
The new-age corporate sector is not only supportive of having female candidates on-board, but the fact that they are being preferred for a lot of positions speaks volumes of the work culture we are trying to establish. Nonetheless, it can’t be said with a 100% assurance that gender bias is off the table. The question which arises then- is the work environment demotivating the women clan to apply for MBA programs so that the necessity of climbing the corporate ladder can be clipped off at the root? Perhaps it is. The fear of not being considered first in the fight for a leadership position or a promotion pulls them down a rung. While a lot of organizations may prove this fact wrong, a lot of them might hesitate to answer.
Dogmatic Societal approach- The middle class and the upper-middle class is the set which pays a lot of attention to the education program which is to be selected for the child. Families with more than two children are hesitant for the female child to go for post-graduation as it requires a huge investment. A lot of families across the world aren’t very open to the fact of a female child learning more than required. Such family pressures cut down a woman’s aspirations to study further although she might be the most deserving one among her brothers.
Biological clock- Many Management schools prefer a work experience of at least 4-5 years before applying, therefore the students of MBA program are usually in their late 20’s or 30’s, which is typically the time many women decide to start a family. It is a road-block very few women will to pass.
Work Life Balance- Being a management consultant in a leading firm comes with its share of responsibilities and work. Always having the work mode on can be stressing for her if she has equal amount of responsibilities at home to shoulder. How much time can a working mother divide between her work, home and children, is something many women fear and back off from pursuing their MBA aspirations and taking up a challenging role in an organization.
How can institutes help bring a rise in the number of women applicants for MBA?
MBA program awareness- Institutes and colleges try to pitch in the MBA program to most undergrad students these days, so they can plan for their career better economically and practically while still studying for Graduation and exploring their options for an MBA degree.
Distance Learning MBA programs- Distance learning has gained momentum in recent years expanding the market of digital education. The option of distance learning and online MBA programs can be beneficial to females who plan to pursue a degree course after their maternity break or who cannot relocate to study for a course from a certain institute. Online MBA is a good bet to invest the money as it also qualifies as a cost-effective method of education. It removes all blockers because of which a woman feels tied up and is prevented a post-graduate degree they aspire for.
The percentage statistics of male educating candidates and female educating candidates might never come at par with each other or may never equalize, but options can be explored, the ways in which we can create more platforms to encourage females to take up MBA and enhance their skill-set.