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Women’s MBA Enrollment Increasing, According to Forté Foundation

MBA Enrollment

The Forté Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing women in business, just released some good news: A greater percentage of women than ever before are enrolled in full-time MBA programs in the U.S. This year, female full-time MBA enrollment neared 39 percent on average in the U.S., while international programs neared 36 percent. In both cases, it’s clear that we are heading toward gender parity at an impressive pace.

According to the latest report from the Forté Foundation:

  • Forté member schools have steadily enrolled more and more women over the last five years, going from 36 percent in 2015 to 39 percent in 2019.
  • This fall, out of the 54 Forté schools surveyed, 19 (1 in 3) enrolled more than 40 percent women—up from 12 schools in 2015.
  • Finally, 33 schools (6 in 10) enrolled at least 35 percent women, more than double five years ago (16 schools).

“To put these findings in perspective, today, only 5 percent of S&P 500 CEOs are women. Our research shows over 40 percent of these women CEOs have an MBA. Other women S&P 500 CEOs have advanced degrees in law or engineering, demonstrating that a graduate degree can help women crack the glass ceiling,” explained Elissa Sangster, CEO of the Forté Foundation. “And a wide variety of research has shown that having more women in senior leadership contributes to better corporate financial performance and risk management.”

At this pace, the Forté Foundation is confident that, by 2020, women’s enrollment will reach 40 percent—their ultimate goal for next year.

Other key findings from the Forté Foundation report include:

  • Three schools almost reached gender parity in 2019:
  • Oxford Saïd was the European school closest to gender parity with 44 percent.  It is the only European program to exceed 40 percent female enrollment.
  • Toronto Rotman was the Canadian school closest to gender parity with 42 percent. No other Canadian full-time MBA program enrolled over 40 percent women.

To read the full Forté female MBA enrollment report, you can find the press release here.  You may also consider: Forté Foundation Study: Gender Inequality Impacts Almost Half of All MBAs in the Workplace, and New Forté Foundation Study Reviews MBA Impact for Women and Minorities.


This article has been edited and republished with permissions from its original source, Clear Admit.

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About the Author


Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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