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# Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances?

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Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2014, 14:10
1
KUDOS
Cannot help but notice that most people on here come off as men. I have read many different opinions on whether being a female helps or hurts your chances of getting into your choice of school. Also, does being an attractive girl affect you in a positive or negative way? I have heard it go both ways.

When you see a pretty 21 year old girl is your automatic reaction "stupid college girl" or do you wait to talk to them before you form an opinion? 95% of the time I am the smartest person in my class and expect to graduate Summa Cum Laude but I feel like people do not take me seriously…

I want to hear your opnions and experiences!
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2014, 15:33
You would be surprised... there are a LOT of women on GMAT Club. They all appear as men so that they are not pestered/annoyed but immature folk.

See this discussion - the answer is "it depends"
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Intern
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2014, 15:34
For what it's worth, I've never been pestered but I'm also not very active on here.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2014, 15:36
Floridagirl wrote:
For what it's worth, I've never been pestered but I'm also not very active on here.

Posted from my mobile device

I hope it stays that way. I feel bad when women have to keep incognito. It should not be the case.
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2014, 16:06
Most b-school classes are now about 30-40% women, so women are still a minority but a growing population. And BB is right, there are quite a few of us on gmatclub.

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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2014, 19:11
bb wrote:
I hope it stays that way. I feel bad when women have to keep incognito. It should not be the case.

Oops, hehe, I'm also one of the non-incognito women on the forum. However, I have been pestered before. It's not enough to deter me from revealing my gender, though!
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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16 Jan 2014, 19:09
I think it helps in situations where there are candidates with similar profiles, backgrounds and stats. If that's the case, being female could be the factor that puts you in the lead. However, other diversity factors like ethnicity, nationality, upbringing, etc could also do the same.

Take home message: no diversity factor is going to give anyone a free pass into school, but it can help in certain situations.
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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16 Jan 2014, 22:47
Stupid question... You're 21 and already applying to b-school?
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2014, 17:10
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Actually I think that being a pretty female can only be beneficial. I mean, if you have average GMAT and GPA for a particular school and you are very attractive female, possess confidence and show determination during the interview, there is no way you are rejected. Business schools want to admit students that will later succeed in the business world. And who would not want a smart AND attractive female in the office ? (possibly other females, but this is a topic for another discussion)
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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21 Jan 2014, 09:14
MacFauz wrote:
Stupid question... You're 21 and already applying to b-school?

I'm applying to MSF programs which are designed and intended for people with 0-2 years of work experience.
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2014, 23:41
Ivan91 wrote:
Actually I think that being a pretty female can only be beneficial. I mean, if you have average GMAT and GPA for a particular school and you are very attractive female, possess confidence and show determination during the interview, there is no way you are rejected. Business schools want to admit students that will later succeed in the business world. And who would not want a smart AND attractive female in the office ? (possibly other females, but this is a topic for another discussion)

I'd like to think that the success of women (and men for that matter) in the business world depends on their qualifications and soft skills, not their looks. I'm not saying there's empirical evidence that backs this up. However, I wish this idea that "being attractive is as important as strong qualifications" wasn't projected in our society. Who would not want a qualified person in the office, regardless of physical attraction? Besides, physical attraction can work against females, if their co-workers and superiors don't take them seriously.

On a side note...what does it mean if a female with an average GMAT and GPA for a particular school that possesses confidence and shows determination during the interview IS rejected? She's definitely unattractive, then?
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2014, 07:21
Honestly, I'm 21 but I look probably 18-19. When I get carded waiters always tell me they wouldn't ever believe I was 21. When people tell me I'm "beautiful" etc it's always because of these "big chubby cheeks and dimple". So I'm really worried mostly about not being taken seriously because I look like an adorable little teenageer, not of any advantage I may get.

But on a side note, I didn't get into my dream school but in June I will reach out to them and ask what I can do to improve my application next year. In the meantime I just focus on raising my gmat, which i had no time to study for the first 2 times i took it, improving my interview skills and writing better essays. Oh yeah and I should probably pay more attention to my boyfriend and my dog... I think they miss me

And for next year maybe I can think of a better response to the interview question "what is one common minsconception about you" than saying "people assume I'm not smart".... Seriously what kind of question is that? As far as I know, people have no misconceptions about me. Clearly just one of those questions to see how well you can fabricate something on the spot. Maybe I should habe told her my common misconception is that bartenders always think I'm 18 *zing*

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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2014, 08:20
Hello,

Gender is quite an interesting issue when it comes to MBAs. Check out this recent article from The Economist, which addresses this exact issue:

"Reforming the male-dominated MBA world remains an uphill struggle, despite schools’ inclusivity efforts"

http://www.economist.com/whichmba/helping-hand
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2014, 12:19
SunnyAnd75 wrote:
Honestly, I'm 21 but I look probably 18-19. When I get carded waiters always tell me they wouldn't ever believe I was 21. When people tell me I'm "beautiful" etc it's always because of these "big chubby cheeks and dimple". So I'm really worried mostly about not being taken seriously because I look like an adorable little teenageer, not of any advantage I may get.

But on a side note, I didn't get into my dream school but in June I will reach out to them and ask what I can do to improve my application next year. In the meantime I just focus on raising my gmat, which i had no time to study for the first 2 times i took it, improving my interview skills and writing better essays. Oh yeah and I should probably pay more attention to my boyfriend and my dog... I think they miss me

And for next year maybe I can think of a better response to the interview question "what is one common minsconception about you" than saying "people assume I'm not smart".... Seriously what kind of question is that? As far as I know, people have no misconceptions about me. Clearly just one of those questions to see how well you can fabricate something on the spot. Maybe I should habe told her my common misconception is that bartenders always think I'm 18 *zin
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My point exactly! Being attractive isn't always a plus... And it shouldn't even be a consideration when it comes to the business world.

I haven't encountered that particular question before, but I was asked what's something about me that you can't tell from my resume. Maybe next time you could spin the question like that: "I don't know of any misconceptions, but people who don't know me well may think or may not know X about me." That way you can reveal more about yourself and make your point positive.
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2014, 12:30
LizEconomistGMAT wrote:
Hello,

Gender is quite an interesting issue when it comes to MBAs. Check out this recent article from The Economist, which addresses this exact issue:

"Reforming the male-dominated MBA world remains an uphill struggle, despite schools’ inclusivity efforts"

http://www.economist.com/whichmba/helping-hand

Gender is an interesting issue outside of MBAs, too.

With regards to the article, I don't agree with the argument that women struggle to meet meritocratic admissions policies. The only evidence cited is 1) the average GMAT is lower for women and 2) fewer women take the GMAT. While interesting data points, they don't support the article's claims. First of all, GMAT is obviously only one facet of the application. But let's entertain the hypothesis for argument's sake. Just because the average GMAT is lower doesn't mean that there aren't enough women with high GMAT scores. For example, my GMAT score 750 is above the average of all the schools I applied to.

In conclusion, I sincerely do not believe that, if business schools wanted 50% women in their class, they would have to lower their standards.
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2014, 13:00
There’s nothing wrong with looking young and hot. I trade that for looking my old ugly self anytime.

ok... that was no value added...

first world problems...
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2014, 13:02
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From my personal experience (let me highlight that, PERSONAL experience) - the women have had an advantage in the MBA game.

Of my extended circle of friends that applied to B school, it was primarily the girls that made it into their top choice. A pool of about 12 people, the girls all landed their dream school (M7), while many of the guys landed in the 8-12 rank range. I am excluding myself from this analysis.

Let me be clear that on paper, the guys and girls were fairly even. Actually, I would say that the men were, on average, slightly better (GMAT / work experience wise). It was shocking to see many of the guys struggle to get into their backups.

I think it is just much more challenging for men. The competition is very high - these guys were at BB ibanks, good GPA, good GMAT, good story, international.. etc. I simply think an MBA is a much different ball game for women. Not that it s not competitive, it is - but the amount of top quality, determined, 26 year old women wiling to spend 2 years at B school from age 27-28 is just much, much lower.
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2014, 13:03
asimov wrote:
There’s nothing wrong with looking young and hot. I trade that for looking my old ugly self anytime.

ok... that was no value added...

first world problems...

lol what?

I don't think anyone's saying there's something wrong with being attractive. It just shouldn't be taken into consideration when interviewing for schools, internships, jobs, etc. (and probably in other scenarios). Is the issue of being physically attractive limited to first world countries?
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2014, 13:05
Cantona wrote:
From my personal experience (let me highlight that, PERSONAL experience) - the women have had an advantage in the MBA game.

Of my extended circle of friends that applied to B school, it was primarily the girls that made it into their top choice. A pool of about 12 people, the girls all landed their dream school (M7), while many of the guys landed in the 8-12 rank range. I am excluding myself from this analysis.

Let me be clear that on paper, the guys and girls were fairly even. Actually, I would say that the men were, on average, slightly better (GMAT / work experience wise). It was shocking to see many of the guys struggle to get into their backups.

I think it is just much more challenging for men. The competition is very high - these guys were at BB ibanks, good GPA, good GMAT, good story, international.. etc. I simply think an MBA is a much different ball game for women. Not that it s not competitive, it is - but the amount of top quality, determined, 26 year old women wiling to spend 2 years at B school from age 27-28 is just much, much lower.

Personally, that may be your experience. But empirically, there are more men than women in the top business schools (probably all business schools, actually). So clearly there is an imbalance. I'm not saying the application process isn't challenging for men. The statistics just show that more men make it to business school than women, in absolute numbers. Also, where did you find that there are few/fewer qualified women applying to business school? I'd be interested to read about that.
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances? [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2014, 10:28
missxmelon wrote:
Cantona wrote:
From my personal experience (let me highlight that, PERSONAL experience) - the women have had an advantage in the MBA game.

Of my extended circle of friends that applied to B school, it was primarily the girls that made it into their top choice. A pool of about 12 people, the girls all landed their dream school (M7), while many of the guys landed in the 8-12 rank range. I am excluding myself from this analysis.

Let me be clear that on paper, the guys and girls were fairly even. Actually, I would say that the men were, on average, slightly better (GMAT / work experience wise). It was shocking to see many of the guys struggle to get into their backups.

I think it is just much more challenging for men. The competition is very high - these guys were at BB ibanks, good GPA, good GMAT, good story, international.. etc. I simply think an MBA is a much different ball game for women. Not that it s not competitive, it is - but the amount of top quality, determined, 26 year old women wiling to spend 2 years at B school from age 27-28 is just much, much lower.

Personally, that may be your experience. But empirically, there are more men than women in the top business schools (probably all business schools, actually). So clearly there is an imbalance. I'm not saying the application process isn't challenging for men. The statistics just show that more men make it to business school than women, in absolute numbers. Also, where did you find that there are few/fewer qualified women applying to business school? I'd be interested to read about that.

To your first point, I think (I think) it is the simple answer of much more men applying than women. If Bschools could fill their programs with a 50/50 split, they would. How do I know this? Because diversity is a highlight on every webpage. A 70/30 split, one we see so often, is not exactly diversity friendly. I would further back-of-the-envelope support this by saying that women actually outnumber men in undergrad. This leads me to believe it is not an issue of opportunity.

Second, how do I know fewer qualified women apply? I don't. I do make two assumptions here: 1) personal experience is extrapolated. 2) using culture as an overall rule.

I work at a consulting firm now. In my initial post, that is where I took my pool of people form. There are also friends from different walks of life etc that add to this pool. In general, the men are either determined to improve their careers, or settling down and "ok" with their careers. Some don't want an MBA, so they are excluded. There's really no other thinking going on for men. Do they invest the time and money for an MBA, or not? That's it. They have different reasons, but in the end, we are all at that fork at this age.

For women, some very talented, the world looks very different. Do I get married? When will I have kids? Do I spend years 27/28 (or so) in Bschool, then be tied down for roughly 4-5 years in a job to pay back a loan? How will I start a family? Once that decision is made, they think about their careers.

The third factor that plays into this is that culturally, women also shy away from business school. Similar to how women shy away from engineering (much less women in engineering than in business, though). During my undergrad business school, classes were HEAVILY skewed towards men, even though the overall undergrad population at this school was 55% female.

Putting these items together, I came up with my claim that, on average, fewer qualified women apply to B school. I may be wrong and thats ok, but from my experience there was a stark contrast in outcomes.

-C
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Re: Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances?   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2014, 10:28

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# Does being a female help (or hurt) your chances?

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