How Gender Diversity Influences Business School Rankings

Helen Barrett, editor of work and careers at the Financial Times, talks to AACSB about the different factors women consider before deciding to pursue an MBA, and how those factors might affect business school rankings.


Helen Barrett: [00:18] We know from our readers that gender diversity is very important to them. We know that, particularly for our women readers, a business education is a huge investment. They think twice. They think long and hard before embarking on an MBA more so than men. We also know that the reason for that is because they earn less in the first place.

[00:41] They have literally more to lose if they take two years out to do an MBA that could cost up to 200,000 USD if you include opportunity cost as well. We know that women are reluctant to do a business education, but we also know that gender diversity is a big factor in the rankings. The better your diversity, the higher your score.

[01:08] We know that our readers are interested in how to get more women into business schools. We're interested in what makes women apply. When they do apply, what do they look for? Is it scholarships? Is it salary on graduation? What is it that makes women apply to business schools? That's another story that we're following trends in that.

[01:35] I think gender diversity on average has remained stubbornly at about 36, 38 percent and hasn't budged for a while. That's another thing we're watching.

Dan LeClair: [01:44] For that core set of programs that you rank. That's interesting.

Filmed February 2018 on site at AACSB's annual Deans Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.