Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 65–83 | Cite as

How Focused are the World’s Top-Rated Business Schools on Educating Women for Global Management?



Persuaded by the observed positive link between the flow of appropriately skilled and trained female talent and female presence at the upper echelons of management (Plitch, Dow Jones Newswire February 9, 2005), this study has examined current trends on women’s uptake of graduate and executive education programs in the world’s top 100 business schools and explored the extent to which these business schools promote female studentship and career advancement. It contributes by providing pioneering research insight, albeit at an exploratory level, into the emerging best practice on this important aspect of business school behavior, an area which is bound to become increasingly appreciated as more global economic actors wise up to the significant diseconomies inherent in the under-utilization of female talent, particularly in the developing world. Among the study’s main findings are that female graduate students averaged 30% in the sample business schools, a figure not achieved by a majority of the elite schools, including some of the highest ranked. Only 10% of these business schools have a specialist center for developing women business leaders, and only a third offered women-focused programs or executive education courses, including flextime options. A higher, and increasing, percentage of business schools, however, reported offering fellowships, scholarships or bursaries to prospective female students, and having affiliations with pro-women external organizations and networks that typically facilitate career-promoting on-campus events and activities. The implications of the foregoing are discussed, replete with a call on key stakeholder groups to more actively embrace the challenge of improving the supply of appropriately trained female talent, or top management prospects. Future research ideas are also suggested.


women female top management business schools globalization business education women networks 



Business Schools


Master of Business Administration


Executive Master of Business Administration


Equal Opportunities Commission


Financial Times Stock Exchange


Export Processing Zones


International Monetary Fund


United Nations Industrial Development Organisation


United Nations Development Program


Chief Executive Officer


Australian Stock Exchange


Women in Business


Women in Management


Women Alumnae in Management


Committee of 200


Massachusset Institute of Technology


University of California Los Angeles


Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International


Association of MBAs


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adler N. J. 1994, Competitive Frontiers: Women Managing Across Borders. Journal of Management Development, 13(2), 24–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexander, D., S. Rippon and G. Sangwine: 2006, ‹Creating a Keyword Search Vocabulary for Course Finder’, The Twelveth Australasian World Wide Web Conference, (Accessed December 2006)
  3. Anderson, L.: 2005a, ‹Out of Africa to Learn at London Business School Competition Winner: An Inspirational Civil Servant from Zimbabwe is the First Recipient of the Sloan Scholarship for Women’, Financial Times, London Edition (September 5), p. 11Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, L.: 2005b, ‹Four Scholarships for Women at LBS Campus Briefing’, Financial Times (November 7), p. 12Google Scholar
  5. Aronoff C.: 1975, The Rise of the Behavioural Perspective in Selected General Management Textbooks: An Empirical Investigation and Content Analysis. Academy of Management Journal, 18(4), 753–768. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Badal, J.: 2006, ‹To Retain Valued Women Employees, Companies Pitch Flextime as Macho’, Wall Street Journal (December 11)Google Scholar
  7. Bartunek J. M., P. Bobko, N.V. Venkatraman 1993, Toward Innovation and Diversity in Management Research Methods. Academy of Management Journal 36, 1362–1373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bartlett C. A., S. Ghoshal 1990. Managing Innovation in the Transnational Corporation. in Bartlett C., Y. Doz, G. Hedlund (eds) Managing the Global Firm (pp. 215–255). London: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  9. Black Enterprise 2006, Women Shaping The World – Executive Education for Women. Black Enterprise, 36(7), 161–162. Google Scholar
  10. Bigelow L. S., J. M. Parks 2006. Skirting the Issues: Performance, Perceptions, and Top Management Team Demographics. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA: Entrepreneurship DivisionGoogle Scholar
  11. Buckley P. J., N. G. Pervez 2004, Globalisation, Economic Geography and the Strategy of Multinational Enterprises. Journal of International Business Studies 35(2), 81–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Considine, K.: 2003, ‹Out of Step with the Real World: Gender Imbalance’, Financial Times, London, 1st Edition (December 15), p. 14Google Scholar
  13. Catalyst.: 2004, ‹Women in the Boards of the Largest 500 U.S. Companies’, (Accessed May 2006)
  14. Catalyst: 2007, ‹Catalyst 2006 Census Figures Reveal Women Losing Ground in Fortune 500 Boardrooms and Executive Suites’, (Accessed December 2006)
  15. Cranfield University: 2006, ‹Women and the Boards of Top UK Companies’, (Accessed November 2006)
  16. Delaney, L.: 2002, ‹The New Globetrotters: Watch the Women Entrepreneurs in the 21st Century’, (Accessed February 2005)Google Scholar
  17. Dench S. J. A., C. Evans, N. Meager, M. Williams, R. Willison 2002, Key Indicators of Women’s Position in Britain. London: HMSOGoogle Scholar
  18. Dominguez, E. R.: 2000, ‹Globalisation and Women Labour: The Case of Two Export Industries in Mexico’, in M. C. Medina (ed.), Mujeres en Poder de la␣Palabra (Red HAINA/Instituto Iberoamericano Universidad de Gotemburgo Elanders Graphic Systems)Google Scholar
  19. Dunning J. 2003, Making Globalization Good. Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  20. The Economist: 2006a, ‹News from the Schools’, (Accessed October 2006)
  21. The Economist: 2006b, ‹Women and the World Economy: A Guide to Womenomics’, (April 12) (Accessed November 2006)Google Scholar
  22. EOC: 2001, Women and Men in Britain: Sex Stereotyping – From School to Work. Manchester: Equal Opportunities CommissionGoogle Scholar
  23. Ensley, L. A.: 2004, ‹Making a Difference in the Workplace’, Babson Magazine (Accessed November 2006)
  24. Evans, R.: 2001, ‹Women and Globalisation’, Green Left Weekly 437(21)Google Scholar
  25. Fanlund, L.: 2006, ‹Executive Education’s Women’s Executive Leadership Summit Explored How Women can Succeed and How Employers can Benefit’, (Accessed November 2006)
  26. The Forte Foundation: 2006, ‹Forte Foundation Member Schools Showing Significant Gains in Women MBA␣Enrollment’, (Accessed October 2006)
  27. Gallagher, J. L. K.: 2006, ‹Breaking Down Barriers: Workplace Realities for Women How Much has Changed Since Women Started Climbing the Corporate Ladder?’, (Accessed November 2006)
  28. Grayson, I.: 2005, ‹Schools’ Task: Attracting Women’, (August 15)Google Scholar
  29. Hambrick D., P. Mason 1984, Upper Echelon: the Organization as a Reflection of Its Top Managers. Academy of Management Review, 9(1), 193–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Haq, F.: 2003, ‹Development: Globalisation Hits Women Worst’, (Accessed February 2005)
  31. Holsti, O.: 1968, ‹Content Analysis’, in G. Lindzey and E. Aronson (eds.), The Handbook of Social Psychology (Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass)Google Scholar
  32. Horgan, G.: 2001, ‹How Does Globalisation affect Women?’, International Socialism Journal 92, (Accessed February 2005)
  33. Hymowitz, C.: 2006, ‹Women Swell Ranks as Middle Manager, But Are Scarce at Top’, Wall Street Journal (July 24)Google Scholar
  34. Ibeh, K. I. N.: 2000, Internationalisation and the Small Firm’, in S. Carter and D. Evans (eds.), Enterprise and Small Business: Principles, Practice and Policy (Financial Times and Prentice Hall), pp. 434–452Google Scholar
  35. Ibeh K. I. N.: 2006, Internationalisation and the Smaller Firm. in S. Carter, D. Evans (eds), Enterprise and Small Business, 2nd Edition. (pp. 465–484). Harlow: Financial Times and Prentice HallGoogle Scholar
  36. Ingemar, K.: 2002, ‹Globalisation Compels Women to Work Under Hard Conditions’, 2, (Accessed February 2005)
  37. Jalbert, S. E.: 2000, ‹Women Entrepreneurs in the Global Economy’, Center for International Private Enterprise, Conference (March 17)Google Scholar
  38. Jones, D.: 2003, ‹2003: Year of the Woman Among the Fortune 500?’, USA (December) (Accessed December 2006)Google Scholar
  39. Jones, D.: 2005, ‹Not-So-Good Year for Female CEOs’, (Accessed November 2006)
  40. Klein N. 2000, No Logo. London: HarperCollinsGoogle Scholar
  41. Maitland, A.: 2005, ‹The Hidden Obstacles to Women’s Final Ascent FT Business School: A New Book Looks at the Subtle Barriers that Perpetuate Male Dominance in Boards and Top Management’, Financial Times (September 12), p. 14Google Scholar
  42. Maitland, A.: 2006, ‹Lehman Backs Centre to Advance Women’, Financial Times (January 23), p. 2Google Scholar
  43. Marlow S., S. Carter 2004, Accounting for Change: Professional Status, Gender Disadvantage and Self-Employment. Women in Management Review, 19(1), 5–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Melbourne Business School: 2006, ‹Carol Schwartz Shares her Insights at the Women in Management Dinner’, (Accessed November 2006)
  45. Miles M. B., A. M. Hubermann 1984, Analysing Qualitative Data: A Sourcebook for New Methods. California: Sage PublicationsGoogle Scholar
  46. Murphy R. 1990, Proletarianization or Bureaucratization: The Fall of the Professional. in R. Torstendahl, M. Burrage (eds), The Formation of Professions. London: SageGoogle Scholar
  47. Ng, C.: 2000, ‹Globalization and Women’, ILO Report Google Scholar
  48. Ogenyi O., V. Ogenyi, 2004, A Qualitative Evaluation of Women as Managers in the Nigerian Civil Service. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 17(4), 360–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Plitch, P.: 2005, ‹Sorority of CEOs Shrinks with Fiorina’s Exit’, Dow Jones Newswire (February 9)Google Scholar
  50. Rai, S. M.: 2001, ‹Gender and Globalisation and Women’s Activism: Critical Perspectives’, Law, Social Justice and Global Development, 1Google Scholar
  51. Ramgutty-Wong A. 2000, CEO Attitudes Toward Women Managers in Corporate Mauritius. Women in Management Review, 15(4), 184–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Reed, M. I.: 1992, ‹Experts, Professions and Organizations in Late Modernity’, in The Challenge of Change: The Theory and Practice of Organizational Transformations, Annual Conference, 9–10 September. Employment Research Unit, Cardiff Business SchoolGoogle Scholar
  53. Roffey, B.: 2000, ‹Women Managers and Entrepreneurs in the Philippines: A Comparison with Western Theories, School of Commerce’, The Flinders School of Southern Australia, Research Paper Series 00-7Google Scholar
  54. Rosener J. 1997, America’s Competitive Secret: Women Managers. Oxford: University PressGoogle Scholar
  55. Rosener, J.: 2005, ‹Move Over, Boys’, Orange County Business Journal (January 10)Google Scholar
  56. Stanford University: 2006, ‹Women in Management’, (Accessed November 2006)
  57. Steinborn, D.: 2004, ‹Europe’s Business Schools are Focusing on Women’, Wall Street Journal, Eastern Edition (March 29), A.15Google Scholar
  58. Stiglitz, J. E.: 2002, Globalization and Its Discontents (Penguin, London)Google Scholar
  59. Sydserff R., P. Weetman 2002, Developments in Content Analysis: A Transitivity Index and DICTION Scores. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 15(4), 523–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Turner T., P. O’Connor 1994, Women in the Zambian Civil Service: A Case of Equal Opportunities? Public Administration and Development, 14, 79–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. United Nations Development Programme 1995, Gender, Poverty and Sustainable Development. New York: UNDP. Google Scholar
  62. UNIDO: 1995, ‹Does New Technology Bode Well for Working Women? An Evaluation and Analysis’, ID/WG.542/10 (UNIDO, Vienna)Google Scholar
  63. University of Michigan: 2000, ‹Business School, Center for the Education of Women and Catalyst 2000 Study Finds ‹Opportunity Gap’ for Women in Business Schools’, The University Record, (Accessed October 2006)
  64. Wharton Business School: 2006, ‹Executive Education: Women in Leadership: Legacies, Opportunities, and Challenges’, (Accessed October 2006)
  65. Wilbert, T.: 2004, ‹Women Climbing Corporate Ladder at Home Depot’, The Atlanta Journal (February 3)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Ibeh
    • 1
  • Sara Carter
    • 2
  • Deborah Poff
    • 3
  • Jim Hamill
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MarketingUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowU.K.
  2. 2.Hunter Centre for EntrepreneurshipUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowU.K.
  3. 3.University of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada

Personalised recommendations