WANTED – More Women in Executive MBA Programs

How can Wall Street pull out of the current financial crisis. You can begin by having more women on the boards. The latest research shows that companies with women on their boards are more successful than those without them. In the United States, 80 percent of all purchasing decisions are made by women.

If this is true why don’t more women get into business leadership roles? Only 15.7 percent Fortune 500 corporate officers are females.

This could be partially due to low enrollment in Executive MBA (EMBA), programs by women. Business schools are now actively promoting women in business by eliminating some of the obstacles that previously prevented women from pursuing a degree.

The Work/Life Balance

According to the Wall Street Journal, only 20% of the country’s EMBA programs include women. EMBA programs are generally held on weekends to allow students to finish their degrees and still manage full-time jobs. The EMBA course is not appealing to many women who view weekends as family time.

This is the work/life balance women are seeking, and perhaps wrongly believing that EMBA programs or the corporate fast track will not provide. The EMBA can offer women a better balance than traditional programs. It prepares them for faster career advancement without causing them to lose work.

Other reasons women avoid EMBA programs include difficulty in finding the money to pay for it, perceptions that there is a glass ceiling that may prevent real advancement, a lack female role models, a lack encouragement from their peers, families, or employers, and a lack confidence in their math skills.

What women want from B-Schools

Businesses and business schools agree that diversity is extremely important. This diversity can improve the experience of fellow students by increasing the number of skills and ideas, allowing for greater networking opportunities, leveling playing fields in the workplace and producing qualified candidates that may be more likely than others to identify with the intended customers.

The “feminine” qualities of altruism and cooperation, which are characterized as emotional engagement and altruism, have traditionally been seen as less valuable in a profit-and loss corporate world. These traits are crucial to building and maintaining relationships with customers in a difficult economy.

Many business schools are trying to make themselves more appealing to women because it pays to attract them to EMBA programs. They are trying to attract more female faculty by featuring them in their advertising materials and offering online flexibility.

An EMBA Investment Return

Earning an EMBA can be a worthwhile investment. Not the least, it will increase your ability to court and identify clients. You can boost your confidence and credibility among colleagues by earning an MBA credential. This will help you to show that you are competent enough to assume more responsibility.

The salary increase is not to be overlooked. According to the Executive MBA Council, students surveyed experienced a 21% increase in their salaries after completing their EMBA program. 43% of students were promoted while they were still enrolled in their EMBA programs.

An EMBA will give you many valuable tools such as the ability to evaluate risk, predict market behavior and forecast market behavior, as well as the ability to market your products effectively. Plus, those female entrepreneurs looking for investment capital or angel funding may likely find that investors are far more receptive to those backed by an MBA education.

Although it may seem daunting to invest your time and money in EMBA programs, they are increasingly accessible and attractive. With the high return on investment that this degree offers, now is the time to consider them.