Enrollment in Women’s Business Schools Hit All-Time High in 2021: Here’s Why It Matters

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According to a new report from the Forté Foundation, more than half of business schools now report 40% or more of women enrolled. And for the first time in history, three business schools have achieved gender parity: the George Washington University School of Business, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Carey School of Business at John University. Hopkins.

Ten Forté member schools reported a female enrollment rate of 45% or more:

  • George Washington University (business school) – 54%
  • University of Pennsylvania (The Wharton School) – 52%
  • John Hopkins University (Carey School of Business) – 51%
  • Northwestern University (Kellogg School of Management) – 49%
  • Duke University (The Fuqua School of Business) – 48%
  • Alliance Manchester School of Business – 46%
  • Dartmouth College (Tuck School of Business) – 46%
  • University of Michigan (Ross School of Business) – 46%
  • Harvard Business School – 46%
  • University of Toronto (Rotman School of Management) – 45%

According to Forté CEO Elissa Sangster, “Women have been disproportionately affected in terms of job loss and labor market withdrawal as a result of Covid-19 … This will help rebuild a diverse pipeline of future leaders. “

Currently, 6% of CEOs in S&P 500 companies are women and about 40% of those women have an MBA (or equivalent), according to the Forté study. Only 27% of Fortune 500 board members are women.

Business school is a critical path to corporate leadership. The more women enrolled in business schools, the more effectively companies can recruit gender-diverse and business-savvy talent.

Gender parity in business schools is an essential first step in increasing gender parity in business.


The Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of large multinational companies and leading universities and business schools. It was called to action by a landmark research study, Women and the MBA: Gateway to Opportunity, which examined why women are under-represented in top business schools compared to medical or law schools. The Forté Foundation was launched in 2001 to address this injustice and its impact on the business landscape and grew to 25 member schools in 2005 in the United States. Today, it comprises 56 graduate business schools: 41 in the United States, four in Canada, and 11 in the United Kingdom and Europe.


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