Women may have a real higher opportunity cost and a perceived lower future return
In almost every country in the world, women make up the majority of graduates, and yet once they enter the workforce they fade away. The higher up the organisational hierarchy you go, the smaller the proportion of women.
It is against this backdrop that the Cambridge EMBA programme commissioned research to try to understand why the pool of women available to take-up senior executive roles is so meagre. As part of a business school, the particular issue of focus is why there are relatively low ratios of women applying to graduate business and management programmes, especially the Executive MBA and MBA.
Their first report, written by academic researcher Monica Wirz, and published in 2014 analyses a large amount of GMAC report data on the choices that women make as they consider whether or not to pursue an MBA degree, and the circumstances in which these choices are made. The report reveals that women may have a real higher opportunity cost and a perceived lower future return from any business and management education.
However, it also shows that the returns on the MBA investment for women are, both financially and socially, at least as positive as they are for men.
The Cambridge Executive MBA is actively recruiting more women to the programme and prides itself on the diversity of its participants in nationality, industry and academic background and the School continues to do further research into why the gender imbalance exists and how it can be addressed.
Find out more from Women at Cambridge about the benefits and challenges studying an Executive MBA
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