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Do females have an edge in MBA admissions?

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Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 15:20
Do females have a slight edge over males for business school admissions?

To narrow the scope:
-I'm refrerring to top 10 schools
-I'm asking regarding younger applicants (for example a 24 year old female versus a 24 year old male with similar stats)
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 16:36
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Yes, because you are statistically underrepresented. Maybe not quite the edge of a URM but still an edge. Check out the Forte Foundation. It's kind of like The Consortium, but for women. You will also note that most, if not all, of the pre-mba camps are for both minorities and women exclusively, so that is also a possible advantage.(jumpstart, jpm, goldman, johnson and johnson, p&g etc).

As for age, I have a friend who is in the age range you describe and she got into a top 10 program for the fall.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 16:48
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In general, I would say yes women have a definite advantage, although it isn't as massive as some might lead you to believe. Certainly I don't think you can say the women at b-schools are taking up the slots of more qualified male applicants. What is more likely is that they are taking the slots of equally qualified males, since most top 10ish schools have way more qualified applicants than they have spaces.

Consider the data from a few top 15 programs that supply the figures necessary to at least provide some fact-based insight this question. Obviously it'd be nice to have median gmat, gpa, and years of work experience broken down by school and by gender, but we don't have that data. What we do have is:

Schools Where Being Female Is an Advantage:
Duke: 29% of Applicants are Female, 38% of Entering Class is Female
Ross: 28% of Applicants are Female, 33% of Entering Class is Female
Stern: 35% of Applicants are Female, 39% of Entering Class is Female
Cornell: 26% of Applicants are Female, 35% of Entering Class is Female

Schools where Being Female is Neither An Advantage nor Disadvantage:
Kellogg: 32% of Applicants are Female, 33% of the Entering Class is Female
Yale: 36% of Applicants are Female, 34% of Entering Class is Female

Schools where Being Female is a Disadvantage:
Haas: 32% of Applicants are Female, 28% of Entering Class is Female

Schools That Don't Provide Appropriate Data:
HBS, Stanford, Chicago, Wharton, Columbia, MIT, Tuck, UCLA, UVA

Edit: Bear in mind that % of Entering Class that is Female is not the same that as % Accepted that is Female. It is the best proxy we have, but these numbers could be misleading.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 18:33
When you consider the fact that females and URMs are generally at a disadvantage in the preceding working years, this "edge" doesn't seem like a big deal at all.

I really dislike affirmative action, but "poor white male" complaints are even more bogus.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 19:12
Well, I'd say it definitely helps if you are a female.

From a pure numbers standpoint, you definitely have an edge. Just compare the average GMAT/GPA for females and the average GMAT/GPA for males.

I know you can't get this data in the website but try speaking to guys at your target schools. You will get an idea.

I'm telling this from my own experience. I know many people from my country at Top 10 schools and the numbers for female applicants were definitely on the lower side.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 19:37
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gmatbschool wrote:
When you consider the fact that females and URMs are generally at a disadvantage in the preceding working years, this "edge" doesn't seem like a big deal at all.

I really dislike affirmative action, but "poor white male" complaints are even more bogus.


I don't think anybody made a "poor white male" complaint...

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Another thing occurs to me. Is it reasonable to assume that the yield for admitted applicants is the same for men and women? If that is true (and I don't know whether it is or not), then we could do the following analysis for each school that provides the data above (I'll do Duke and Haas as examples since they are on opposite ends of the spectrum):

Duke Applicants: 2,909
% Applicants that are Female: 29%
Therefore: ~844 female applicants

Duke Applicants: 2,909
Overall Acceptance Rate: 30%
Therefore: ~873 total admitted students

Duke's Yield: 51%
Therefore: ~445 entering students

% of Entering Students that are Female: 38%
Therefore: ~169 females in the entering class

If yield is the same for men and women (51%), then that means Duke admitted ~331 women.

331 admitted females / 844 female applicants = 39% acceptance rate for women at Duke, while for men it would be (873-331) / (2909-844) = 26%.

a 39% acceptance rate for women vs. a 26% acceptance rate for men is a fairly sizeable difference.

Again, I'm not suggesting that the women who are accepted aren't qualified. In fact, I am quite confident the women who are accepted ARE qualified.

Haas Applicants: 4,064
% of Haas Applicants that are Female: 32%
Therefore: ~1300 female applicants

Haas Applicants: 4,064
Overall Acceptance Rate: 11%
Therefore: ~447 total admitted students

Haas Yield: 54%
Therefore: ~241 entering students

% of Entering Students that are Female: 28%
Therefore: ~68 females in the entering class

If the yield is the same for men and women (54%), this means Haas admitted ~125 women. 125 admitted women / 1300 female applicants = an ~9.6% acceptance rate for women, and about an 11.6% acceptance rate for men (447-125)/(4064-1300)

So it would appear that the acceptance rates for men and women at Haas are overall fairly similar.

Edit: Fixed some arithmetic errors for my Haas calculations. Whew, really botched the math there...

Last edited by cannedmilkman on 29 Apr 2010, 19:48, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 19:40
Women do NOT necessarily have the advantage in the way that you may think.

In other words, correlation doesn't mean causation. Women may have a higher admit rate than men, but does that automatically mean that adcoms favor women over men?

Here's what I know, having worked with all kinds of applicants over the years.

On the whole, the subjective nature of the applications process tends to favor those with stronger critical thinking skills -- and in virtually all cultures, the gals tend to be stronger in this area. Boys grow up being told to focus on math and sciences, girls on humanities and liberal arts. Boys are discouraged from expressing their feelings or "who they are" in a subjective way (again, it's about black-and-white, right and wrong) from an early age, whereas girls are allowed or encouraged to express their feelings, their subjective opinions, and being comfortable in situations where no "right or wrong" is resolved.

And this factors into the b-school applications process. In my experience, I find women tend to understand the inherent subjective nature of how to "convey one's candidacy" much more intuitively than the guys. They seem more consistent in being comfortable at communicating and expressing their points of view within a context where things are "better or worse" and not "right or wrong". Especially with b-school applicants - many of whom are predominantly from analytical backgrounds where critical thinking skills and subjective communication are even more underdeveloped, the advantages women have from their upbringing become even more pronounced.

In other words, the essay writing and interviewing is biased towards skills that women across cultures tend to be stronger at - which can be another explanation for why women tend to be a bit more successful in the MBA applications process than the men. In plain English, the quality of their applications and interviews as a population tends to be more consistent than the men.

This doesn't mean that women are categorically stronger applicants than the guys - it's simply about variance. In my experience, I found the women simply to be more consistent as a group in terms of their ability to "get it" - to intuitively understand and embrace the subjectivity of the process, and most importantly to appreciate nuance, tone and subtext in their language. Men on the other hand tend to be far less consistent - some are certainly great at it, and others are frankly bad at it.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2010, 09:11
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I don't see how whether or not it's easier for female to get in top school is relevant to anyone’s application process? You can’t change your gender/ethnicity (or your GPA). All you can do is put together the best possible application, and hope to get accepted.

Wallowing in the fact that your female/URM classmates might have gotten in because of their gender/race doesn’t really help you succeed.

With that said, I don’t support affirmative action or preferential treatment, because people/employers will always wonder if the person got in on his/her own merit. Justice Clarence Thomas (Yale law) reported such experience with employers.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2010, 11:26
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I believe the advantages that may come with being a female in the MBA application process are only counterbalanced with disadvantages before the process even begins. I agree with AlexMBAApply in that females are often times better at articulating their thoughts, which would most likely result in a better application; however, women are consistently overlooked for management positions and other positions of authority in the workplace just because........they’re women. This means, when it comes to application time, women’s accomplishments may not seem as extensive as their male counterparts, and if they do, it is a testament to the tenacity that female has in order to excel in a male dominated society.

Also, while I don’t support affirmative action I highly doubt any employer would see an URM who attended a top school and wonder if it was affirmative action that got him/ her there. If so, than maybe affirmative action is really needed. And Clarence Thomas would be the last person I would refer to when discussing URM at large. He is/ was the biggest Uncle Tom out there.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2010, 04:01
"With that said, I don’t support affirmative action or preferential treatment, because people/employers will always wonder if the person got in on his/her own merit. '

Wrong.

Employers have to meet certain minority and female quotas as well. The whole system is eaten up with affirmative action in CERTAIN fields.

Whats funny is, males have a better chance at getting into law schools than females in general. Many more females go into law school for grad school than busines school. Interesting?
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2010, 07:54
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benpack03 wrote:
Whats funny is, males have a better chance at getting into law schools than females in general. Many more females go into law school for grad school than busines school. Interesting?

Actually I believe this is increasingly true for most or all graduate schools with the exception of business school (sorry fellas), as well as undergraduate institutions. There's a burgeoning movement to give men slightly preferential treatment, or at the very least to recruit them harder with "male-oriented" mailings and info sessions, because women tend to have higher grades and to drop out of school at lower rates.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2010, 08:14
Aenigma wrote:
benpack03 wrote:
Whats funny is, males have a better chance at getting into law schools than females in general. Many more females go into law school for grad school than busines school. Interesting?

Actually I believe this is increasingly true for most or all graduate schools with the exception of business school (sorry fellas), as well as undergraduate institutions. There's a burgeoning movement to give men slightly preferential treatment, or at the very least to recruit them harder with "male-oriented" mailings and info sessions, because women tend to have higher grades and to drop out of school at lower rates.


Damn it! hmm is it too late to apply for Law School?
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2010, 09:37
GoBruins wrote:
Damn it! hmm is it too late to apply for Law School?


eww.... do you really want to be a lawyer?
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 27 May 2011, 11:29
I don't see how whether or not it's easier for female to get in top school is relevant to anyone’s application process? You can’t change your gender/ethnicity (or your GPA). All you can do is put together the best possible application, and hope to get accepted.

Wallowing in the fact that your female/URM classmates might have gotten in because of their gender/race doesn’t really help you succeed.

--------------------------------------------------

It's very relevant. We want to see if being younger with less w/e, and/or having a lower GMAT score could be somewhat offset by being a woman when applying to business schools.

Of course the only thing you can do is put together the best application possible and you can't change your gender, but what you can do, is aim/apply for different schools. Isn't that the whole point of these kinds of sites? To gauge your chances?
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 27 May 2011, 18:46
I don't see how it matters. I really don't. It is just the other end of the stick on the Indian Engineer pity party. You are what you are, go and do what you want to do. Do your best to make it happen.

I would be seriously pissed if I looked back on life and felt I could have done better if I wasn't something I couldn't change.

I have really never got this line of discussion or thought. I just think it feeds tension.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2011, 08:49
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gmatbschool wrote:
When you consider the fact that females and URMs are generally at a disadvantage in the preceding working years, this "edge" doesn't seem like a big deal at all.

I really dislike affirmative action, but "poor white male" complaints are even more bogus.


I hate this way of thinking and I'm female. I don't feel I have had any harder of a time getting where I am than my male counterparts and I feel it's harmful to keep this segregation in place where minorities/females have access to internships, schools etc that white men do not. Needless to say I will not be joining the Women's in Business Club, not because I don't want women to succeed in business but because I don't think I will ever feel truly equal as long as a special club for me is still deemed appropriate...or at least until they implement a Men's business club or Caucasian-American business club as well. Highly doubt that will ever happen.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2011, 04:49
Where are you getting this figure that 38% of Duke's entering class is female? Businessweek reports it as 30%: http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/ra ... fuqua.html

It's also listed as 30% on Duke's website:

http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/programs/duke_mba/daytime/


cannedmilkman wrote:
...


---------------------------------------------------------------------

Another thing occurs to me. Is it reasonable to assume that the yield for admitted applicants is the same for men and women? If that is true (and I don't know whether it is or not), then we could do the following analysis for each school that provides the data above (I'll do Duke and Haas as examples since they are on opposite ends of the spectrum):

...
% of Entering Students that are Female: 38%
Therefore: ~169 females in the entering class

If yield is the same for men and women (51%), then that means Duke admitted ~331 women.

331 admitted females / 844 female applicants = 39% acceptance rate for women at Duke, while for men it would be (873-331) / (2909-844) = 26%.

a 39% acceptance rate for women vs. a 26% acceptance rate for men is a fairly sizeable difference.

Again, I'm not suggesting that the women who are accepted aren't qualified. In fact, I am quite confident the women who are accepted ARE qualified.

Edit: Fixed some arithmetic errors for my Haas calculations. Whew, really botched the math there...

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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2011, 06:54
merkin wrote:
Yes, because you are statistically underrepresented. Maybe not quite the edge of a URM but still an edge. Check out the Forte Foundation. It's kind of like The Consortium, but for women. You will also note that most, if not all, of the pre-mba camps are for both minorities and women exclusively, so that is also a possible advantage.(jumpstart, jpm, goldman, johnson and johnson, p&g etc).

As for age, I have a friend who is in the age range you describe and she got into a top 10 program for the fall.


I don't think URM have a particular edge either. You are competing for a smaller number of seats. So, the volume of applicants for a certain group of minorities may be smaller but you are also competing for a smaller number of seats. The edge for minorities come from all the programs that you mentioned. But, not necessarily in the admissions process.

You get a greater edge by applying from an underrepresented industry/function. In other words, you stand out from the bankers/consultants where the admissions committee have more history of candidates from these fields and more people to compare you to. Hence, it is hardest to get into the best schools if you are a banker/consultant without an interesting personal story.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2011, 07:11
cannedmilkman wrote:
In general, I would say yes women have a definite advantage, although it isn't as massive as some might lead you to believe. Certainly I don't think you can say the women at b-schools are taking up the slots of more qualified male applicants. What is more likely is that they are taking the slots of equally qualified males, since most top 10ish schools have way more qualified applicants than they have spaces.

Consider the data from a few top 15 programs that supply the figures necessary to at least provide some fact-based insight this question. Obviously it'd be nice to have median gmat, gpa, and years of work experience broken down by school and by gender, but we don't have that data. What we do have is:

Schools Where Being Female Is an Advantage:
Duke: 29% of Applicants are Female, 38% of Entering Class is Female
Ross: 28% of Applicants are Female, 33% of Entering Class is Female
Stern: 35% of Applicants are Female, 39% of Entering Class is Female
Cornell: 26% of Applicants are Female, 35% of Entering Class is Female

Schools where Being Female is Neither An Advantage nor Disadvantage:
Kellogg: 32% of Applicants are Female, 33% of the Entering Class is Female
Yale: 36% of Applicants are Female, 34% of Entering Class is Female

Schools where Being Female is a Disadvantage:
Haas: 32% of Applicants are Female, 28% of Entering Class is Female

Schools That Don't Provide Appropriate Data:
HBS, Stanford, Chicago, Wharton, Columbia, MIT, Tuck, UCLA, UVA

Edit: Bear in mind that % of Entering Class that is Female is not the same that as % Accepted that is Female. It is the best proxy we have, but these numbers could be misleading.


Exactly the point I was making in my previous post. Thanks for the data. If the adcom is staring at a pile of applications, with people of different gender, nationality, backgrounds, interests, it makes sense to accept a class that reflects some diversity. The other option would be to pick a cut off GPA/GMAT score and eliminate people below that threshold. Would you want to attend a school like that? Also, how do you compare person's As accomplishment to person Bs. Person As engineering degree at a top 100 school may actually have been more challenging than person Bs liberal arts degree at an ivy league school. Or you want to talk about career achievements? Person B may be a manager in a firm where people are made managers after 2 years while person C may have worked at a different firm for 10years and may still be an analyst because that is the culture of the firm. It's hard to compare one applicant to another. most applicants are qualified for top programs. like has been mentioned, just do your best on the application and hit submit.
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Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions? [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2011, 11:25
This is a very interesting topic, but sometimes it just makes me wonder - what's the point? In any case, I will apply to a business school of my choice when I feel that I have the best application. If I myself feel that my GPA or GMAT is low, just because I'm female, I cannot hope to have some kind of a balancing effect to negate the other factors. I'd rather just retake the GMAT and hope that THAT balances a mediocre GPA (hypothetically of course - I'm still in college, and in engineering nonetheless and GPA matters a lot more than I'd admit it does).

Being female I think has a whole lot of advantages but I'm thinking that's got more to do with what Alex pointed out earlier. Ability to articulate emotions in a convincing manner, which in turn, shows true passion. But the same can be said of male applicants with similar experiences. I'm just going around in circles now.

Why are Business School Applications so .... frustrating?
Re: Do females have an edge in MBA admissions?   [#permalink] 28 Jun 2011, 11:25
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