Breaking Into The MBA Club: More Women Becoming B-School Deans
6:15 pm, August 2nd | by Amy Tennery
We all know there’s a dearth of women earning MBAs in the U.S. — in fact, women accounted for just 36.8 percent of MBA earners during the 2010/2011 school-year, according to Catalyst data, a trend that’s all the more staggering when you consider the rate at which women now outnumber men in college.
With this in mind, it should come as little shock that U.S. business schools aren’t overrun with female deans. But a new report shows there’s a shifting of the tides in business school leadership — and this could mean great things for higher education and women.
First, the report: Women now account for 18 percent of U.S. business school deans, according to new survey from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (which we found at the Wall Street Journal). If this number seems low, consider that in the early ’90s Bentley University’s business school had just appointed its first female dean, Patricia Flynn, who was in turn the sixth woman in the U.S. to hold such a position. Ever.
Yes, 18 percent is looking mighty good.
But while the deans interviewed in the Wall Street Journal story were careful to note women don’t lead business schools differently than men (Really! They swear!), Pepperdine University business school Dean Linda Livingstone pointed out something crucial about gender diversity in academia. “[It] helps [students] to see the kind of things they can do.”
Yep, it’s that simple: You can’t be what you can’t see.