Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Encouraging Women to Attend Graduate Business School – Part I

U.S. law schools and medical schools in recent years have been successful in bringing their classes up to 50% women, yet top graduate business schools still cannot get classes of 50% women.

Many theories abound for why this is so. One such reason is that, while students usually go to med school or law school right out of undergraduate college, nowadays graduate business schools want their students to first have “real world” business experience for several years. This requirement, the theory goes, pushes women up against their “biological ticking clock.”

The problem is being addressed in several ways. One recently announced special Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is Harvard’s 2+2 , in which college liberal arts majors who are juniors apply to Harvard Business School. If these students are accepted, they are assigned a mentor to help them obtain a job in the business world for two years, and then they enroll at Harvard.

The other reason that women may not be flocking to business schools in the same numbers as to law schools and medical schools is because there is less understanding of what BUSINESS is all about.

You all know from watching television shows what doctors do (or don’t do in the case of “House”) and what lawyers do (or don’t do in the case of “Boston Legal”). But what do business people do?

In my next post I’m going to answer this question.

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