Business schools offer flexible programming, revise curriculum to combat gender gap

November 6, 2014

An article in the Globe and Mail outlines the steps some business schools are taking to address a gender gap in enrolments. The article says that business schools have often struggled to recruit women for their MBA programs. The class of 2016 at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, for instance, is made up of just 33% women; at York University’s Schulich School of Business and at the University of Alberta, the percentages are 30% and 31%, respectively. The global average—excluding the US—is 38%. Some studies also show that women with MBA degrees earn less than their male counterparts, and are offered fewer opportunities to quickly advance up the corporate ladder. Some MBA programs are taking steps to combat this disparity. Rotman has revised its teaching model to account for differences in the ways that men and women communicate and is making an effort to incorporate more female business leaders into its curriculum. Other schools are offering flexible programming to accommodate changes in lifestyle and needs. Schulich, for example, allows students to move back and forth between full-time and part-time studies; its part-time programs typically have a higher rate of female participation. Schulich has also seen increased female participation in some of its 1-year specialized programs. uAlberta, meanwhile, offers an accelerated program that reduces the time spent out of the workforce. Globe and Mail