Women with MBA Degrees - Success Stories

Read some success stories of women with MBA degrees and find out which countries have the most women in high positions.

Women with MBA Degrees - Success Stories

Inspiring Success Stories

No matter how evolved and advanced the corporate world may have become, this will always be issue number one with women in business. A greater number of women choose to proceed with an MBA degree after attaining some level of corporate success. So they might be well into their thirties or even forties and have families and children. Albeit more relaxed schedule-wise, EMBA programmes can be quite rigorous too and require great dedication and long hours of studying. Still, they make an excellent choice for working mothers with weekend-based schedules and much more flexible administrative conditions, including online and distance classes.

Mary Barra, who has an MBA from Stanford, became the CEO of GM (General Motors) on 15 January, 2014. The company is ranked 7th in the Fortune 500 companies’ list. Ms Bara is surrounded by 22 other ladies on that list, most of whom hold an MBA degree and all of whom are CEOs of some of the highest ranked Fortune 500 companies.

Sheryl Sandberg is married and has two children, and is on the board of directors of Facebook. Sandberg worked as the COO of the social media enterprise for four years and led the company to its IPO back in May 2013. She is 44 years old and has an MBA from Harvard University.

Meg Whitman has held top positions in Hasbro, Disney, Procter & Gamble and was appointed CEO of eBay in 1998. The 57-year-old Whitman, who is worth $1.7 billion, is now the CEO of Hewlett Packard. She is married, has two children and has an MBA from Harvard University.

Susan Wojcicki is the Senior Vice President of Google. She was responsible for 87% of the company’s $50 billion revenue in 2012. The 45-year-old Wojcicki is married, has four children and holds an MBA degree from the University of California in Los Angeles.

Sheri McCoy has an MBA degree from Rutgers University. McCoy has been the CEO of Avon since April 2013, leading the $11-billion-a-year beauty company with more than six million active sales reps in 100 countries.

Global Statistics

Recent data from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) revealed that 101,336 women sat the GMAT exam in 2013, accounting for 42.5% of all test takers. Even though we still observe an imbalance between men and women in top managerial roles in business globally, the forecasts indicate that there is a definite increase in women in post-graduate programmes and, afterwards, in their ambitions toward C-level positions. All in all, women are taking charge of their careers. And it all starts with investing in up-to-date and top-notch education. According to the Grant Thornton International Business report from 2012, the percentage of women in top managerial positions globally grew by 5% from 2004 to 2007, increasing from 19% to 24%. However, these percentages dropped slightly for the next couple of years until, finally, they increased again to 21% by the end of 2012. Russia tops the chart, with 46% of top senior management positions being held by women. Japan is at the bottom of the chart, with women occupying only 5% of senior management roles. The percentages of women in CEO positions in various companies around the world are, not surprisingly, even smaller – Australia is in first place with women in 30% of CEO positions, while Japan is again at the bottom of the chart, with only 5%.

Country Percentage of Women in Senior Management
Russia 46
Italy 36
Hong Kong 33
Poland 30
China 25
Spain 24
France 24
Switzerland 22
United Kingdom 20
United States 17
Germany 13
Japan 5
Country Percentage of Businesses with a Female CEO
Australia 30
Thailand 29
Italy 24
Spain 18
France 15
Russia 15
India 10
China 9
Canada 9
Belgium 7
United States 6
Brazil 3

Grant Thornton International Business Report 2012

Forté Foundation There are numerous organisations globally whose main mission is to help women boost their careers via investing and advancing in education and professional training, hoping to improve these numbers. The Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of leading companies and top business schools working together to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, opportunities and a community of successful women. The foundation organises dozens of events and initiatives globally every year. The Forté Foundation is a gateway for women to realise their full potential. The founders, along with all the foundation’s activists, aim to connect women to the right people and organisations on a global level. Their main bottom-line mission consists of motivating young women to prepare for a business career, increasing women’s access to education and business networks, educating women on the value of an MBA and supporting women financially in their advanced business education through the Forté Fellows Programme. Additionally, the foundation raises awareness of the impact women can make on business and on society/culture/ environment/economy and encourages and supports cutting-edge research on relevant topics.

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