More women in MBA and Online MBA

Glion’s Online MBA broke the mold this year as the number of female students surpassed the number of men. This change in the gender distribution of our Online MBA is a good sign that now is the right time for women to get an MBA, online or no.

Most MBA programs are still a man’s world (but not at Glion!)

Some business schools are still worrying that there aren’t enough women in their MBA programs, or female applicants in their pipeline. This is not the case for the Graduate School at Glion Institute of Higher Education. For many years, Glion’s traditional MBA in Hospitality Management has been ahead of the gender equality curve. In fact, the number of women in our full-time MBA program has exceeded the number of men consistently for the past 4 years, varying from 53% to 64% female students depending on the semester.

On the other hand, the Online MBA enrolment statistics show that over the past 5 years, the percentage of female students has grown steadily every year.

Year Male students Female students
2010 80% 20%
2011 66% 34%
2012 64% 36%
2013 59% 41%
2014 54% 46%
2015 (Jan) 48% 52%


While the traditional MBA is adapted for recent graduates and young professionals who are just starting their careers, the Online MBA targets professionals with 5 years of managerial experience or more, so it’s closer to an executive MBA. Since there are fewer women in higher management positions, it is logical that there would be fewer women in online MBA courses. This trend is confirmed by the ivy-league B-schools where women often make up less than 20% of EMBA students.

Gender equality trends in MBA

The increase in female MBA students in the online program may be the first sign of a very positive trend for female hospitality professionals. We are seeing a renewed interest and investment in female education, instead of the articles that came out a few years ago, like this one which discouraged women from pursuing an MBA.

Indeed, Glion’s Online MBA is a good fit for women who are in different stages of their careers. It is a career-advancing program for women who are in middle management and who want to reach higher. It is also ideal for senior managers who want to improve their methodology and hard business skills.

GIHE CEO Judy HouAs Judy Hou stated, ‘Our online MBA in International Hospitality & Service Industries Management offers unparalleled opportunities for working female executives to advance their careers, since the demanding schedules of working female professionals can be a barrier to the desire to continue pursuing advanced qualifications.’

Laura Guerrero, an Online MBA alumna from 2012, once said, ‘I was attracted to the online program because I have a full-time job and I am a homemaker. Studying online is a great opportunity to continue with studies that would otherwise be difficult or take much more time. For me, this online MBA at Glion has been a great new experience. At every moment, I felt supported by every member that is involved in the learning process and also by my classmates.’


Hospitality MBA is a great choice for women

The reason Glion’s MBA programs are attracting more women may be that these programs are related to the hospitality and tourism industry. Going back to the Women in Hospitality and Tourism Conference in 2014, we are reminded that women play a significant role and face gender equality issues in the fast-growing hospitality industry and markets:

  • Women working in the tourism industry are on average paid 25% less than male workers for comparable skills
  • Women represent two thirds of the global tourism industry labor force
  • Huge growth over the next 10 years through the creation of 73 million jobs in the travel and tourism sector (of which almost 60% will be in APAC), offers a big opportunity to up‐skill employees
  • Asia has the lowest average participation of women in the hotel and restaurant sectors

These last two statistics are particularly important given the potential for hospitality careers in APAC (Asia and Pacific regions), it’s no wonder that more than half of the women in the MBA are from that part of the globe.

On the topic of equality in the hospitality workplace, Judy Hou, CEO of Glion Institute of Higher Education, stated: ‘For many years, hospitality experts and analysts have talked about the glass ceiling that has prevented women in the hospitality field from rising to more managerial and leadership positions. However, the recent decades have been a period of remarkable change and growth for women in the field, in terms of holding managerial and leadership positions…women are becoming more and more visible in management roles and other key positions than ever before.’

Online MBA

Ladies, the time is right to get an MBA

Although many B-schools still have a long way to go to better include women, the climate for women to succeed in the business world has never been so favorable. Indeed, most companies realize the value of women’s leadership in the upper-ranks of the organization and they are desperately seeking women who have the right profile and education to join their ranks. Now is truly a great time for women to pursue an MBA and Glion’s Online MBA with flexible study options make it even more accessible for busy professionals, mothers, and women in every stage in their careers.


Top photo: Glion Online MBA residency in Dubaï

2 Discussions on
“More women in MBA and Online MBA”
  • Despite all of the hurdles that face women in business school and beyond, most women don’t have any regrets when it comes to getting their MBAs. Of grads from 2000 to 2010 who were surveyed about their experience, a whopping 96% said they wouldn’t hesitate to recommend business school to someone else. That’s a strong endorsement and one that may keep pushing up the numbers of women in business schools around the world.

  • Women may be making less than men in those post-MBA positions because they’re not getting jobs that reflect their expertise and education. Overall, 60% of women start out their post-MBA careers in entry-level positions. For men, that number is only 46%, a significant difference. Whether this difference is caused by simple demographic issues like age and experience or by something more nefarious like sexism is not yet clear, but does demonstrate a distinct difference in the career paths of men and women MBAs after school.

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