By Anna G. Szczebak
Women are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic with a career advantage. Despite challenges presented by the pandemic, more women are pursuing graduate business degrees. A survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) shows that the number of female applicants to graduate business programs has increased from 41% in 2019 to 60% in 2020.
UMass Boston’s College of Management (CM) graduate program is proud to contribute to this trend. Recent increases in women enrollment have reduced the gender gap in the University’s classrooms. During the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021, 52% of new CM grad students were women and 48% were men, a 10% increase from prior years.
Overall, considering both new and returning CM students at UMass Boston, the gender split is just about equal, with 49% women and 51% men.
“In this rapidly changing marketplace, we are seeing more women entering and advancing in the workforce, growing in various industries, and looking to enrich their professional and personal lives by pursuing an advanced business degree. Women see graduate business education as a smart investment in their future, and a high percentage have leveraged their MBA or business degree to make an impact,” says Barbara Benoit, Director of Graduate Enrollment and Strategic Outreach at UMass Boston.
Barbara also attributes this increase to the growing flexibility of CM’s grad programs. Online and hybrid course offerings promote a sustainable work/life and graduate school balance not just for women, but for all. Further, Barbara states that colleges and universities have increasingly supported women through both on and off-campus initiatives, leading to a surge in women enrollment. For example, UMass Boston’s Women Beacons in Business Program offers career and personal development programs to the University’s diverse student body. The program is dedicated to educating future leaders about equality in the workplace and taking steps to ensure fairness and equal opportunities for everyone.