In 1966, James Brown debuted "It’s a Man’s World", a song praising how men are the masterminds of everything and women exist to save them from “wilderness" and “bitterness". Throughout this song, Brown credits women for being mere “support" for the gentlemen of the world. After all, this was only three years after Harvard Business School, for the first time in history, voted two women into their entering class.
Times have changed. Not only does modern pop music offer fresh perspectives on female empowerment (Beyonce and Gaga, we’re looking at you), but women are entering Harvard Business School - and many other MBA programs - in record numbers. Business-minded women of the world: let’s keep the momentum going!
To help, we’ve come up with a list of the best business schools for women. We based our picks on opportunities for women both inside and outside the classroom, including networking opportunities and support systems.
Take a look and tell us what you think in the comments section below!
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For busy women who don’t have time to take off a full year in order to get a MBA, attending Northwestern Kellogg School of Management is ideal. Complete a full-time MBA program within a year and get ready to work with a degree in hand. With three different groups for women, including the Center of Executive Women and the Women’s Business Association, Kellogg has the right support system to make your time there as productive as possible. In addition, Kellogg hosts a Women’s Leadership Workshop and a Women’s Senior Leadership Program, which focus on strengthening and broadening the leadership talents of the members and delivering positive results for their companies and organizations.
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We can’t go too much further without including the Simmons School of Management. Named #1 by the Princeton Review for being the business school with the Greatest Opportunity For Women. Simmons offers an experience like no other. The school’s full-time MBA program lasts 16 months and includes time to complete an internship or study abroad. It offers supportive alumni and incredible programs, such as the Strategic Leadership for Women where women gain the knowledge and skills to become an influential leader in the organization of their choice after they graduate.
Located in the capital of the world, New York University Stern School of Business is a wonderful choice for women. With 20% of the faculty being female, students are able to gain different perspectives through their lectures and insights. Join the Stern Women in Business Club, where you will be able to attend weekly events such as “Empowering Women," sponsored by Accenture, or social events like wine tasting at the Brooklyn Winery. With special programs such as the NYU Stern Partner Committee, you and your partner will have all the tools to guide both of you through the MBA process. For mothers, the Students with Children Program is an incredible resource that includes housing, child care, health insurance, a babysitting registry, a lactation room, birthday playdates, and a buddy programs that pairs new student parents with an existing student with children.
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With a 97% of the student body receiving job offers after graduation, Columbia University School of Business is a top school for both its reputation and the opportunities it has for its female students. At its annual Women in Business Conference every November, women can hear and interact with notable speakers - like the Chief Marketing Officer of ING - and get inspired by networking opportunities with other extraordinary women in the field. Before deciding if Columbia University is the school for you, attend the Women Matter @ Columbia, an annual recruiting event for female MBA applicants to meet current female students, alumni, and faculty members.
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Located in the Golden State with its vast resources - from mental health programs to networking opportunities - the Stanford Graduate School of Business is a great school to attend. Stanford’s WorkLife Office offers a ton of resources that can help you reach a comfortable balance of family, personal, work and study life. With programs for the active aging and on-site child care, women can get an MBA without sacrificing their personal and family lives. Take advantage of Stanford’s Career Development program, which helps you transition from a change in career or returning to work after having a child. One of Stanford’s highlights is their Executive Program For Women Leaders program held in May. The program will help you gain tools to manage your career, develop a leadership style, and enhance your power and status within an organization. Once you graduate, join the Women's Initiative Network to leverage your knowledge, resources, and contacts to achieve your career goals.
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Thanks to Wharton, the City of Brotherly Love is now also the City of Sisterly Love! According to the school’s website, Wharton attracts more women than virtually any other MBA program, boasting the highest percentage of any business school in the world. With an extensive collection of electives, interdisciplinary programs, and women-centered programs, Wharton is a wonderful school for its female students. Join the Wharton Women in Business Club, which holds weekly meetings, and the annual Wharton Women in Business Conference, which includes workshops and important keynote speakers to inspire and discuss
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Harvard got a bad rap recently in the New York Times, but it deserves credit for taking significant strides to improve its business school for its female constituency. With a powerful Women's Student Association on campus, many female students say they feel comfortable knowing that they will be supported in their studies and guided to opportunities. The Association’s weekly newsletter notifies women on campus of events, conferences, and a variety of other opportunities they can take advantage of during their time at the school. Harvard also holds its annual Dynamic Women in Business Conference, which brings together thousands of students through powerful forums and networking events. For women with families, Harvard offers three dynamic clubs to foster work-life balance: the MBA Partner Program, Partners’ Club, and Crimson Parents Club.