Saturday, May 18, 2013

Elite vs. non-elite female MBAs opting out of the work force

Married mothers who hold an MBA from a top business school are 30 percent less likely to be employed full-time than graduates of less selective programs, according to the research. Also, only 35 percent of females with children who also hold an MBA from the most selective schools were employed full-time, compared with 85 percent of those without children from the same group of institutions.

To reach these conclusions, [Vanderbilt law and economics professor Joni] Hersch gathered data from the 2003 National Survey of College Graduates, which provided information on 100,000 grads from the full spectrum of four-year colleges and universities. She says she chose to use the 2003 report because it was the most comprehensive. ...

The pay differences alone make Hersch’s findings surprising. “For those working full-time, the average salaries [of grads from elite MBA programs] are nearly double that of the other groups,” she says. “In 2003 dollars it’s around $137,000, vs. around $74,000 for the other tiers.”

Considering that women from elite schools are the ones who are most likely to land senior management roles, this could begin to explain why fewer women are gaining access to the C-suite, Hersch says. If they stop working, they can never reach those positions, and the women from lesser-recognized schools rarely get the same opportunities for advancement.
--Francesca Di Meglio, Businessweek, on leaning out