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Even With a Female Dean, Most MBAs Are Still Men

Even With a Female Dean, Most MBAs Are Still Men
Photograph by Kendall Whitehouse

Female business school deans have been in the news these last few years, with Alison Davis-Blake taking the helm at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, Sri Zaheer replacing her at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and Amy Hillman becoming the first female dean at Arizona State’s Carey School of Business. Has the increase in female business school deans resulted in significantly greater female representation among MBA students? A new study suggests it hasn’t.

Research from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), compared male/female enrollment at business schools run by men and those run by women. For MBA programs, female enrollment at schools with female deans was 38.6 percent, compared to 35.3 percent at those run by men. At executive MBA programs and undergraduate business programs, female deans actually had lower female enrollment than male deans: 24.2 percent for EMBA programs (vs. 29.9 percent for male deans) and 40.7 percent for undergraduate programs (vs. 42.2 percent for male deans).