More women are graduating from business school, but gaps in gender equality remain, writes Elissa Ellis Sangster, executive director of the Forté Foundation. Women make up about 30% of MBA classes, and only 4% of Fortune 500 companies are led by female CEOs, she notes. MBAs can provide women with some of the skills they need to overcome business obstacles, she writes.
Women made up more than 40% of test takes of the Graduate Management Admission Test last year, but a pay gap among graduates remains. Women with MBAs make 81% of what their male counterparts earn, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Women represented more than half of GMAT test takers in China. Elissa Ellis Sangster, the executive director of the Forté Foundation, referred to the report as a "call to action" for the U.S. government and business community.
A Finnish study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who reported work burnout were more likely to experience emotional and uncontrolled eating behaviors compared with those who were not stressed at work. Study authors recommend addressing work burnout first and assessing eating behaviors in obesity treatment.
Dishing out relationship advice to colleague, bringing in cookies or taking care of the community marathon sign-up sheet are some of the ways women undermine themselves at work by sending out a "mommy" signal, Anita Bruzzese writes. "Learn to think like a man: Adults are capable of doing things for themselves, whether it?s getting a cookie or finding the 5K race sign-up sheet on the office wiki," she writes.
Some people in the startup world have misogynistic attitudes, but there are also some advantages to being a woman, writes Laura Smoliar of Peppertree Engineering. Smoliar notes she stands out from the crowd and that her business gets a lot of attention. "Overall, the benefits of being visibly different outweigh the downside," she writes.
Research finds that a greater percentage of 2011 MBA graduates were able to find jobs within three months of graduation than were members of the classes of 2009 and 2010. Seventy percent of business schools are also reporting an uptick in on-campus recruitment, according to the MBA Career Services Council. However, that figure is lower than the 76% of schools that reported increased in recruiting in 2010.
When asked to distribute bonuses based solely on merit, male and female managers both tend to offer higher pay to men, writes Stephen Benard, who co-directed research on the issue. To combat such biases, companies should increase the "accountability and transparency of the process by which raises and bonuses are awarded," Benard writes.
Star employees react to job switches differently based on their gender, writes Boris Groysberg, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Groysberg, who has studied gender differences in employee performance, said women tend to perform well after a switch, while men's performance often declines. In this article, he outlines how companies can develop rising stars of both sexes.
Harvard University and Stanford University have the best business schools, according to a ranking compiled by U.S. News & World Report. The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School came in third on the list. However, it's important to remember that rankings aren't the last word on business school quality, writes Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted.com. "Rankings are a good place to begin school research and an absolutely terrible place to end it," she writes.
Patricia Koopersmith, who became chief operating officer of Washington, D.C.-based consultancy The Clearing in 2011, learned that she had to alter her approach after entering assuming a leadership position. She discovered the importance of focusing on the big picture, viewing challenges as opportunities and inspiring others to achieve success.
JWT's first female vice president, Charlotte Beers, says that women in advertising will tend to withdraw "when the work is overwhelmed by the relationships and it's intensely competitive." Beers says her greatest lesson was to not take the criticism in the industry as a "personal indictment."
Sri Zaheer, who was selected as the dean of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, is only the second woman to lead the school. "I think increasingly we've seen so many women presidents and deans of educational institutions all over the country, so I don't think it is newsworthy anymore," she said.
Men account for nearly two-thirds of all leaders, and eight out of 10 top bosses, write Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, but data suggests female bosses may be outperforming their male counterparts. Women were rated higher than men by peers, bosses, workers and direct reports, with the most senior female business leaders being ranked a full 10 percentage points higher on the researchers' good-leadership index than the top male CEOs.
May 9 -- Forté Dialogue with Leadership -- Dina Powell, president of Goldman Sachs Foundation and Global Head of Corporate Engagement, and Lili Chahbazi, partner at Bain & Company, will share how they navigated the challenges and opportunities of rising to a position of senior business leadership. A Q&A session will follow their discussion.
I?ve never had a humble opinion. If you?ve got an opinion, why be humble about it?
Joan Baez, American singer
About Forté Foundation
Forté Foundation is a consortium of leading multinational corporations,
top business schools in the U.S. and abroad, and the Graduate Management
Admission Council (GMAC). Forté has become a powerful change agent directing
women towards leadership roles in business and enabling corporations to more effectively
reach and retain top female talent. It is the only organization that provides a national
infrastructure for women at all stages of the career continuum to access the information,
scholarship support and networking connections they need to succeed in business careers.
Learn more at