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Women Applying for Business School [#permalink]
14 Feb 2007, 10:37
Hi! This is my first post on gmatclub.
I am a female and haven't been successful in finding out information about females applying to business school. I believe most business schools have a higher percentage of males not because women aren't smart enough, but because fewer women want to go into business.
How do schools view female applicants? Do women need to have higher GMAT scores to get into good business schools?
I would be happy with any information about women in business schools. Just for background, I am a female who graduated with a degree in sociology. I've been working for 4 years in various sectors of higher education administration and my dream would be to do Stanford's dual MBA/MA in Education program. I haven't yet taken the GMAT. I am taking the GRE next month and when that's done I will begin my GMAT study.
I haven't seen anything about quotas reserved for women or minorities. Even if they exist I can't imagine that schools would publish that information.
There is no official quotas atleast none provided. But the it seems a lot easier for girls to get in! Avg GMAT for girls is abt 40 points lower than avg.
The average GMAT score for women who take the test is 40 points lower than for men. That's true. But that says NOTHING about the average GMAT for women accepted at various schools. They are two different data sets. Women also tend to not to apply to the top 20 programs as much as men. The ones who do apply to the top schools could be on par with the male applicants - we simply don't have the data to know for sure. Schools don't publish average accepted students GMAT scores by gender.
It probably is easier for women to get in, given that there is a smaller applicant pool and that schools want to increase their percentage of women. But the very fact that the percentage is still around 30% indicates that the schools aren't willing to throw their standards out the window to get women at all costs. And the fact that men and women, on average, graduate with similar GPAs from business school shows that the women accepted at business schools are equally capable of performing as the men.
To alienwannabe, welcome! You might want to check out the Forte Foundation - it's dedicated to supporting women in business.
Well aaudetat I think you've demonstrated that your math skills are better than mine, because you're right less than 1/3 isn't "nearly a half"! I guess now that I think about it there probably weren't as many women as men in the classes I visited, but in general it just kind of "appeared" similar to my undergrad classes which were probably a similar ratio (economics major) and it didn't strike me as unusual or out of balance.
I guess something else that Alienwannabe you should keep in mind is that while you may feel that your math skills aren't as proficient as some of your classmates, there are going to be a lot of different people from different walks of life, so while you may be intimidated by taking a statistics or finance class, there is going to be a Chinese girl or a German guy that is petrified of being called on in ANY class because they may not have 100% fluency in English. There will be quant-geeks that can do math upside down in their sleep, but they may not be able to write worth sh*t. There will be a mixture of strengths and weaknesses across the board, so don't sweat it. The great thing about math is that it's one of the easier areas to make quick improvements. If you pick up a couple of basic accounting and finance books at the bookstore before starting school you can get some of the basics down and then be ready to hit the ground running at school.
Re: Women Applying for Business School [#permalink]
26 Jun 2011, 10:47
This post received KUDOS
I'm a female applying to business school this time around, but I have a different take on it. My undergraduate degree is in Management Information Systems, which is a majority male degree, so I'm very used to my classes being majority male. My workplace is majority male as well, though my particular group in it is fairly evenly mixed. I very rarely find majority male groups intimidating.
There's a more heartening way to look at the gender/skill disparity: in an MBA program you will likely be split up into sections and then into small working groups. You'll probably have at least one guy or girl in your group that is stellar at math. So even if you feel a little insecure about your math skills (or you legitimately are not as good at math), you can utilize their skills to double check your work. Learn all you can from them. It's also likely you'll be stronger in a different area (for me, it's communication skills), that you can "trade", so to speak, to add value to the group. Trust me, that math-heavy person that might not be so great at communicating the conclusions he or she comes to will love you helping the group turn it into a great presentation or paper. Quantitative skills are not the only useful skills by a long shot.
Another thing, Stanford started accepting GRE this year, so do some research based on your actual score on GRE (if it is good or not) and you might skip the whole GMAT horror! (unless you need to apply to other schools that ask you for GMAT).
I've seen schools with 20% - 40% women, with the average being about 30%. I think the average female GMAT score is about 40 points lower than the average male score, but lots of other factors influence an application. _________________
I've seen schools with 20% - 40% women, with the average being about 30%. I think the average female GMAT score is about 40 points lower than the average male score, but lots of other factors influence an application.
I dont get this gender differentiation... In all respect they talk abt gender equality except when it comes to issues like these and other areas where 'special quotas' are reserved for women!
And welcome to the chase, alienwannabe! If you're interested, I have a whole giant pile of research on b-schools that offer concentrations in non-profit. PM me if you want me to send any of that your way.
I would add that another likely reason for the low enrollment rates of women in b-school: the average age is around 27 or 28 for most American schools. For many women, that's also when they're thinking of starting a family. (Don't get me wrong - I am not in this boat. And yeah, I know, men of that age are also probably thinking of starting families....but that doesn't seem to keep them out of school.) I doubt that women are less interested in business, though I do wonder if some women are turned off by the thoughts of entering such a male-dominated environment. I'm somewhat cautious about this myself, and Lord knows I am not known for being a cautious person.
Last edited by aaudetat on 14 Feb 2007, 20:11, edited 1 time in total.
Personally, I think a lot of women think that they're bad at math, whether they really are or not. That's just my experience, but it might be one factor that keeps women out.
I think that's a really good point. My college roommate was repeatedly told by her high school math teacher that girls aren't really cut out for math like boys are. No one was ever that overt about it around me, but I definitely think that attitude permeates our culture.
Thanks for all your imput! I have to admit that I might not be the most likely person with interest in getting an MBA. I was one of those people who thought I was bad at math, too. -I don't know who planted that thought in my head and I don't know whether or not I thought I was bad at math because I'm a woman...but I definitely did think I was bad at math.
I didn't take a single math course in college (only 1 comp sci course). Now that I'm out in the "real world" and have had to apply math to my job, I've come to find out that I like numbers and I'm actually really good at math.
I also think it's true that women are often intimidated by the thought of being in a class full of mostly men. I went to a women's college (no, not one of those little girlie girlie schools...but a strong, smart women's college) and I know that alot of women at my school would take classes at nearby co-ed schools (because they allowed you to cross-register) and everyone was appalled that the women at the co-ed institutions just didn't talk in class or contribute to discussions the way the guys did.
Anyhow, thanks for all your input and I would love to see even more discussion on women relating to business school (including GMAT, applying...everything). Over the years we've seen the gender gap narrow for law school AND med school...but not business school.
Here's a quote from Jerry Porras the Assistant Dean at Stanford Graduate School of Business: "We hold all of our applicant's to the same high standard, there are no quotas in place for any specific demographics. But at the same time, we are aware that women may not possess a high capacity for analytical thinking because so much of their time is usually spend doing things like cooking and shopping for shoes."
Okay okay, just kidding, not a real quote. I've visited all of the schools I'm applying to and had a chance to sit in on classes and to hang out with students over lunch. I wouldn't at all say it's a "boy's club." Don't picture a classroom full of super-confident, barrell-chested, type-A men jockeying for the most class participation credit. Instead, imagine a classroom that's almost half full of women, and then the other half are men who are delicate little dweebs in ill-fitting preppy gear, you know like Bill Gates types. This is maybe an exaggeration, but Alienwannabe you should not be at all intimidated about the prospect of business school. While there are some schools that may be more competitive and cutthroat than others (I belive Wharton may fall into this category from things I've heard), I believe the vast majority are similar to other academic environments, lots of really intelligent respectful people of both genders.
Johnny, you kill me. You may well take this year's Oscar for Best Comic Performance on a Discussion Board.
No, of course it's not like you're suddenly interjected into an episode of "The Frat Boys Decide to Show Up for Class." But the truth is, less than a third of b-school students are women. I would not call less than 1/3 "nearly half." As I sat in classes, I definitely noticed the disparity. I suppose it may depend on where you're coming from. My work place is about 50/50 with the women having a slight edge. My college was the same way. My friends are the same way. And now I'm signing up for an environment with a whole new status quo.
I'm not complaining about it, but lord knows it's going to be a shift from anything else I've done. I feel pretty confident in my ability to interact in such an environment, and I am not one who constantly cries about the patriarchy. But imagine that you are a woman surrounded by men. Due to a lifetime of "girls-can't-do-math" vibes, you're not confident in your analytical skills. You feel intimidated and don't want to call attention to your supposed inability to do math, so you refrain from asking questions during your finance class. Yes, that sounds like a great education to me.
No, no one SHOULD be intimidated by b-school. And we should all realize that we are pouring out LOADS of money for this education - and I certainly intend to get my money's worth, even if I seem like an idiot for asking questions in the finance class. But, from my limited experience and from what women who are currently at b-school have told me, I think we'd be a little pollyanna to assume that business school is a utopia of gender neutrality.
You're both making good points. I also went to a women's college, so of course the difference for me is inevitable/obvious. I took some post-bac business courses at a co-ed school last year and one of the first things I noticed was that the women rarely participated in class. However, I also soon realized that the same people were participating on a regular basis. Like Johnny said - there will be lots of strengths and weaknesses and, based on my experiences, there will be plenty of people in class who choose not to participate for varying reasons. Doubting quant skills is just one of them. In my mind, that may be a common reason among women...my 2 cents. _________________