How business school opens doors for women


Women who want to rise to executive roles, start their own business, or gain more credibility and confidence at work should not overlook a Master of Business Administration (MBA), as it can offer benefits that can otherwise be difficult to gain.

Recently, women have risen to make up more than 40 per cent of business school students globally (GMAC 2015), and this number is increasing over time as more women choose to step up and achieve their career potential.

Benefits of business school for women
While women choose to attend business school for many reasons, some of the most commonly reported benefits of the experience for women include leadership preparation (78%), increased earnings (77%), faster career advancement (70%) and improved job satisfaction (62%) (GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey 2016).

Studying with a young family
A range of flexible MBA options are becoming more attractive to working mothers, who don’t have the time or money to leave the workforce and complete an on-campus MBA. Instead they’re choosing options such as the online MBA from the Australian Institute of Business (AIB), which is designed to be completed while you work.

AIB MBA Graduate Rhonda Olsson completed her MBA with three young children (7 months, 2 years and 8 years) while working full-time. Studying her degree was an exercise in time-management for the mother of three, who was working as a National Manager of more than 350 people during her degree.

“I was really committed to finishing my MBA, because it has always been important to me. Now I say to people, ‘If I can do it, working full-time with three young children, anyone can do it. You just have to really want it.’”

Studying with a heavy workload
Citibank executive Janine Copelin completed her MBA with AIB in 2011, and gained promotions, increased credibility and a fast-tracked rise to her executive position within the finance industry.

What she didn’t expect was the number of women reaching out to her post-graduation to ask how she could possibly fit the programme into her life, as a busy wife, full-time senior executive, and mother.

“Women often write to me saying ‘I can’t study an MBA because my work/family commitments are too heavy,’ but I tell them quite honestly that they’re imposing a glass ceiling on themselves, because women actually can have and do it all,” Janine said.

“Yes, you need to acknowledge the fact that an MBA requires discipline and it is a commitment, but if you find a flexible provider like I did with the Australian Institute of Business, you can actually fit your study around your needs and keep up that work/life/ study balance.”

Read Janine’s full story here.

More education, more money?
According to the GMAC survey (above), 70% of women consider their business school education financially rewarding, with an average salary boost of about US$20,000 following graduation.

However, the benefits for women aren’t only financial, as many women view the business degree as a path toward more recognition and respect at work, boosting their self-confidence on the job, and receiving more challenging, interesting assignments from their employers.

Find out more about the AIB MBA at aib.edu.au.