March 9, 2023
“The underrepresented group is quickly growing, with about 29% of the deanships of US B-schools now held by women.”
In a conference room at the University of California at San Diego Rady School of Management in October 2022, 10 deans from some of the leading business schools in the US sat around a table talking about where demand for business education is growing, as opposed to declining. Then the conversation turned to a problem female professionals and executives often face: taking on too many tasks, from committee memberships to conference planning, that don’t lead to promotions and may even hinder their advance.
In 2021, there were 156 female deans at 535 US business schools, 29% of the total, according to research by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. That’s an increase from 17% in 2007-08, AACSB found. And women hold more of the jobs that traditionally have been stepping stones to deanships. They account for 38% of associate business school deans. That’s the position that 31% of current deans held immediately before being appointed dean.
“As women deans, we’re under pressure to have more women leaders” on staff and among faculty, Cornelli says, “but we can’t keep asking them to do five times as much as men. We need to ask women to do things that will enhance their reputations. That’s what we all came away thinking after our discussion of The No Club.”
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