Forté Reports Historic Women’s MBA Enrollment

women's MBA enrollment

2023 is a banner year for women enrolled in full-time MBA programs, according to the latest report by Forté Foundation. The nonprofit founded to boost women’s opportunities in business leadership through access to business education and professional development reported a record 42% women’s MBA enrollment at their 58 member schools.

Key highlights of Forté’s 2023 report include:

  • Women’s enrollment in full-time MBA programs in fall 2023 rose to a record 42%, up from 41% in 2022, 38% in 2018 and 34% in 2013.
  • For the first time in Forté’s history, five business schools reached gender parity with three schools close behind. In 2022, three schools achieved gender parity and only one in 2018.
  • Thirty-four out of 58 Forté member business schools reported 40% or more women enrolled, up from 27 in 2022 and 19 in 2018.
  • Fifteen schools enrolled 45% or more women, down from 17 in 2022. However, five schools came close at 44%, a substantial jump from only four schools with 45% or more women enrolled in 2018.
  • Business schools based outside the U.S. saw an increase of over three percentage points in women’s enrollment in full-time MBA programs, aligning them with U.S. schools for the first time since Forté started reporting in 2011. Non-U.S. schools had nearly 42% women enrolled in 2023, up from almost 39% in 2022.

Forté was founded in 2002 in response to groundbreaking research illuminating the differences in female enrollment among various professional education programs. The research revealed that while law and medical schools enrolled nearly equal numbers of men and women, MBA programs averaged less than 28% women.

women's MBA enrollment

Two Decades of Progress in Women’s MBA Enrollment

“Given economic and other headwinds, including diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges, we are thrilled to see women’s MBA enrollment continue its slow but steady climb this year,” said Elissa Sangster, Forté’s CEO.

Sangster has led the organization to grow from 12 business schools and eight corporate partners in its early years to 66 corporate partners and 58 top MBA programs in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Europe.

“Our efforts over the past two decades, along with our member schools and companies, have significantly impacted the increase in women interested in business careers and advancing to leadership,” says Forté CEO Elissa Sangster.

 The five schools that achieved gender parity in 2023 include:

Three additional business schools are close behind: 

Women at Kellogg School of Management

The following additional seven schools achieved 45% or above women’s enrollment in full-time MBA programs: 

Five additional schools reached 44% women’s enrollment in full-time MBA programs:

An MBA degree is often the stepping stone to increased earning potential, business leadership, and influence. In fact, Forté’s research also reveals that 45% of women CEOs of the S&P 500 hold an MBA or equivalent advanced degree in business. That’s why the organization is so driven to address the barriers women face in pursuing an MBA and building successful business careers.

“Every year we see about a percentage point gain in women’s enrollment and trust me it’s not easy to achieve. Getting to gender parity in MBA programs is an uphill climb but it’s critical to drive change and help more women lead in the C-suite, on boards, and as business owners.”


Are you a woman who’s interested in pursuing graduate management education? Stacy Blackman Consulting offers multiple services to meet your MBA application needs! From our All-In Partnership to interview prep, essay editing, resume review, and much more, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for a free 15-minute advising session to talk strategy with a Principal SBC consultant. 

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