It is no secret that women are still not at parity in the business world. Only 8.8% of Fortune 500 CEOs are female, and women at the executive level earn 95 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to Forbes.
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This year, more than half of European business school programs reported a stable or growing number of applications from women, a statistic that represents the progress being made in encouraging women into business. However, to advance further toward gender parity, it is vital that business schools understand and acknowledge this unique demographic.
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MBA students this year are facing a job market so hot that offers are already being made before they even set foot on campus, reported the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. With record-level openings created by the COVID-prompted “Great Resignation” in the United States, recruiters recognize the unmistakable talent in the incoming cohort of business schools and rush to secure the employment of these candidates, among whom women and underrepresented minority groups are especially the targets of intense recruitment competition as companies shift their focus to build more diverse and inclusive workforces.
55% of full-time MBA programs reported an increase in female applicants in 2021. However, there’s still much more to be done to increase gender parity at business school. It’s up to recruitment teams to engage with women at the early stages of the candidate pipeline and take time to understand women’s motivations for joining business school.