Gender Differences and the MBA

While its true that both men and women seek an MBA education to broaden their skills and seek credentials that will lead to a better job and more money, the end result is often quite different, Andy Holloway wrote recently in Canada’s Financial Post.

In What Women Want…From an MBA, Holloway examines some of the motivational and practical differences between male and female MBAs, the number-one distinction being that women are more conscious of family and achieving a work-life balance than men.

“In some ways, male C-suite execs haven’t progressed much beyond the dinosaurs: They pass on their genes and figure they’re done,” Holloway writes.

The author cites several studies which support the notion that, on average, women choose post-MBA careers which allow for better work life balance. One such study, led by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 2008, found that many female MBA students were already thinking about how children fit into their professional lives.

Furthermore, when asked what they would like to see from their MBA programs, 34% said childcare, 30% said events that showcased alumnae mothers, 34% wanted career programming about addressing work/life balance and 40% wanted information on how to solicit work/life balance information from recruiters.

For a closer look at some of the stereotypes and realities of women in business, including salary disparities and gender mix at schools, follow the link to the full article.

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