Women Applicants for MBA: Which factors should you look at?

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Entry into a business school is highly competitive and completely merit driven. Every candidate (irrespective of gender) has to pass through the same intensive selection process, measuring his or her motivations, goals, preparation, & their commitment. However, due to an increasing worry over the gender imbalance in the boardrooms, some schools and organizations are teaming up to assist women applicants for MBA. The results are positive. While the Kellogg School of Management admitted 36% women in its 2013-14 programs, Harvard Business School reported a record intake of 41 % women. This shows that the world is now poised for gender equality in the boardroom. Let us look at some of these favorable factors for women applicants when applying for an MBA program:

Reservation: Many business schools, worldwide, have set aside a women quota of approximately 30%. Note that this is not a selection criterion, but simply an inducement for more women to apply. Many top European business schools are now a part of the European Business Schools-Women on Boards' initiative to create a “Global Board Ready Women (GBRW)” list. This effort aims to ensure that a minimum of 40% women are present on the European company boards. To leverage the attempt, these schools have set up the 'reach out' programs as well as scholarship assistance for women.

Alumni networking & Non-Profit Events: Many business schools and systems like the US based Forte Foundation and the Committee of 200 (C200), arrange events for adult females to enable their interaction with the alumni and the masters. This helps them gain insight as well as build a professional network.

Financial Aid: Several organizations provide financial assistance, especially to women. Some of them are:

  • The American Association of University Women (http://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/educational-funding-and-awards/)
  • The Committee of 200 - C200 (https://www.c200.org/C200/Our_Foundation/Scholarship_Criteria.aspx)
  • Forte Foundation (http://www.fortefoundation.org/site/PageServer?pagename=why_fellows)
  • The Stephen Bufton Memorial Education Fund (http://sbmef.org/Site/)

Professional Consultation: Seeking assistance from professional consultants can be very effective. They objectively guide you during the application filing, setting up for the interview, building networks, and detecting the beginnings of fiscal aid.

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