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MBA´s for females

Graduate business schools seek for more qualified female applicants


Currently women only account for 30% of enrollment in MBA programs. Though this is a significant increase over the last 25 to 30 years, it still proves that there is an imbalance within the world of MBAs. 

This imbalance has led to new and more enthusiastic recruiting methods. Graduate business schools are constantly seeking more qualified female applicants and have become more aggressive in their attempts. They have even begun to adapt their programs and clubs to make them more appealing to business women.

Last month, the University of Hong Kong held the first part of a course meant to prepare Asian women for the boardroom: The Women’s Directorship Program.

Offering a certificate upon completion, the program is sponsored in part by the executive search firm Harvey Nash and had the first of two three-day sessions in April. Another is planned for June. 

The curriculum, which includes case studies, is taught by lecturers from the university’s faculty of business and economics, plus industry leaders like Rick Haythornthwaite, the chairman of MasterCard, and Umran Beba, the Asia-Pacific regional president of Pepsi.

But of the 21 professors and speakers listed on the Web site of the Women’s Directorship Program, only five are women, meaning that three-quarters of the instructors are male.

The University of Hong Kong is planning for the second installment of the corporate directorship program, which is expected to run early next year.

Women represent less than 6 percent of all boardrooms across Asia, according to a 2012 study by McKinsey, the management consulting firm. The proportion of seats on corporate boards occupied by women is 17 percent in Europe and 15 percent in the United States.

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