The UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA program was recently ranked the second best in the United States and the third best worldwide for female graduates.
A recent report from the Financial Times drew from statistics such as average salary after graduation, value for tuition and other fees and the percentage of women enrolled. The report placed the Haas MBA program just below the Stanford Graduate School of Business as the top business program for female graduates in the country.
According to the report, female Haas alumni earn an average annual salary of $179,930 three years after graduation — 3 percent more than that of their male counterparts. The same alumni reported a 110 percent increase in their salaries from pre-MBA to post-MBA.
“The results are cause for cautious optimism and likely a reflection of the hard work we have all been doing at Haas to prepare our students to be successful in the workplace,” said Laura Kray, the Warren E. and Carol Spieker chair in leadership at Haas, in an email.
Kellie McElhaney, founding director of the business school’s Center for Gender, Equity and Leadership, or CGEL, said a collegiate environment in which student collaboration is encouraged may be a cause of the study’s findings.
A call to action from students led to the fall 2017 creation of CGEL, which addresses issues such as the gender wage gap and inadequate maternity leave. The center serves as a hub for in-depth faculty research, corporate collaboration and the development of new courses related to gender, equity and leadership.
Haas students also contributed to the creation of more than 100 “manbassadors” to fight for gender equity in the MBA program. Prompted by weekly emails, these “manbassadors” learn about gender issues and consciously reflect on their thoughts and actions. In the past, they have supported women by confronting professors privately about potentially sexist remarks and by identifying biased material in coursework, according to Berkeley News.
Head of the Haas MBA Career Management Group Abby Scott said in a press release that she has made an effort to include a representative mix of employees in the Haas MBA recruiting process in order to increase female enrollment in the program.
McElhaney added that valuing diversity and inclusion “enhances you as a individual and leader” and benefits the “bottom and top line” of business.
These facts permeate the mindset of faculty and researchers at Haas and trickle down to students as well, according to McElhaney.
Although these results are reason for optimism, Scott said in an email, as women move toward senior leadership positions, there are fewer role models and more barriers to advancement.
“It is important that we do not become complacent by assuming the gender pay gap is solved,” Kray said in an email.