The B-School Where MBA Gender Parity Is An Annual Event
MBA Until 2018, gender parity in MBA programs was like the Holy Grail: seeming often within reach, but always frustratingly elusive. USC Marshall School of Business changed that when it reported 52% women in its MBA intake that year. That seemed to break the dam: In 2021, the first M7 school reached parity when the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School reported 52% women in the MBA Class of 2023. Perhaps even more impressive was Wharton’s followup, reaching 50% for the second straight year this fall.
But even as the rest of the MBA top 25 inch slowly toward the threshold of what law and medical schools achieved long ago, one small, unranked business school has made gender equality a regular occurrence in its full-time MBA program — and throughout its programs. Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School this fall reached MBA parity for the third straight year with a class comprised of 52% women, the second-highest total of any Forté Foundation member school.
Across all its programs, that same number of the Carey School’s total student body — 52% — are women.
“It’s hugely important to us that women know not only that they are welcomed to pursue their MBA at Carey, but that they are completely supported here,” says Alex Triantis, the Carey School’s dean since moving up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway from the University of Maryland in 2019. “We are deliberate about it. Women only lead about 9% of Fortune 500 companies, and less than 5% of the Global 500. That has to improve, and we believe we have to be an active part of improving it.”
A BROAD ARRAY OF SUPPORT STRUCTURES FOR WOMEN
Alex Triantis: Johns Hopkins’ Carey School plays “active part” in improving the fortunes of women in business
Women don’t just attend Johns Hopkins Carey in greater numbers than most other B-schools — they get a better ROI, too. According to a news release from the school, between women who graduated from the Carey School’s full-time MBA program in 2021 and those who graduated in 2022, base salaries went up an average of 25%.
“My time at Carey allowed space for exploration into multiple career paths,” says Kelli Tubman White, who graduated in May 2022 and joined the business and technology consulting firm, Slalom. “The Career Development Office connected me with employers and offered info sessions, workshops, and boot camps. My career coach’s guidance reflected her understanding of my overall interests and how best to navigate a transition into a new industry.”
Overall in 2022’s graduating class, 89% accepted full-time employment offers within 90 days of graduation. Over the three years since the Carey MBA program was reimagined through a $25 million gift, 94% of all graduates had full-time jobs within 90 days of graduation. Their average starting salaries have climbed 32% since 2020. Three years post-MBA, Carey graduates are doubling their pre-MBA salaries. Five years out, it’s nearly quadruple.
But while Carey’s full-time MBA program is geared toward equipping all graduates with what they need to know to thrive in business, it also boasts a special focus on giving female grads the tools they need to excel. The Carey School offers an array of organized support structures for women, among them:
- A Women in Business student group that fosters meaningful connections and professional support at Carey, in Baltimore, and beyond;
- A Women’s Alumni Network dedicated to women leading and developing businesses; and
- An Academy for Women in Leadership, an Executive Education opportunity for research-based, practical learning and personal coaching to maximize impact in business.
HALF OF CAREY’S MBA FACULTY ARE WOMEN
Nor does the Carey School’s distinction end with its students. Half the faculty who teach in the MBA program are women, and courses are developed and structured with an intentional lens focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
Carey MBA Program Director Stacey B. Lee says women who come to Johns Hopkins’ B-school are driven to “do something different.”
“I’ve been at Carey for 14 years, and one of the things that’s always been true about Carey is that anything is possible,” Lee says. “The women who are attracted to this program have the drive to take a new program and make it their own. The people who come to us in large part are already leaders. What we do in the time they’re here is teach them how to funnel that passion into achieving what they want to achieve.”
The program is designed with two pathways: the Analytics, Leadership, and Innovation pathway, which “focuses on translating data into insights and solutions in changing markets”; and the Health, Technology, and Innovation pathway, which “drives at leadership in the business of health, with technology-driven, human-centered solutions to complex challenges in areas like digital health, artificial intelligence in health care and record management, and other related fields.”
“Day One of the program, they do a visualization exercise: Where do they want to be in two years?” Lee says. “It goes in an envelope. At graduation, they open their envelopes. Nine times out of 10, they make good on that goal.”
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