One of the topics that I am asked about regularly is the gender of faculty, administrators, and students at AACSB member schools. It is always fascinating to look at the changing demographics of the population and sometimes challenging to see areas where gender parity might need a second look. The issues are always tricky when dealing with gender balance in educational systems. Schools have internal and external pressures to find the right balance, but, at the same time, the quality of the education has to be foremost in hiring and admissions decisions.
For today, let's take a look at the question of gender from the top of the hierarchy - starting with business school administrators. Overall, there has been a trend towards a higher percentage of female administrators during the past 10 years, but the differences in the growth patterns are interesting. The graph below shows the difference in percent female between 2001 and 2010. For example, if female administrators represented 15% of a specific position in 2001 and 40% in 2010, then the change will be 25%.
As shown in the graph above, nearly every category has shown a percentage increase in the amount of female administrators reported. Only Small Business Administration Director, Director of Communications, and Director of Executive Education have decreased, but growth is only part of the story. While it is useful to know that this growth has been occurring, we need to see where we stand right now to place it in context. Below, you can see the most recent breakdown by gender for each of these categories.
Two of the categories that have shown a decrease in the percentage female over the past 10 years are actually doing very well at maintaining a good gender balance, but this view gives us the chance to see which areas are dominated by one gender. For communications, it is currently heavily female, with 75.4% of all directors of communication reported as female on the most recent salary survey. There are only three positions where a single gender is reported in more than 75% of cases.
Administrative Positions Greater than 75% Female
- Dir of Communications/Public Relations
Administrative Positions Greater than 75% Male
- Asst Dean or Dir: Information Technology
So what does this mean for business schools and management education? That we are making great progress towards gender equality at the top levels and this trend stands an excellent chance of continuing as long as we continue to be cognizant of the importance of finding the best possible person for the position regardless of their gender.