Despite well-publicised efforts to increase female participation rates, the proportion of women in European business schools has barely changed over recent years. Increases in the number of female students have merely been in line with rises in overall intake.

Using data submitted by 61 schools featured in each of the past four Financial Times European business school rankings, the FT compared the number of female students attending MBA, executive MBA and masters in management courses. Analysis shows that female representation has increased only marginally between 2008 and 2011, by between 0.2 and 1.5 percentage points in each programme.

While near-parity has been established on masters in management courses – women accounted for 49 per cent of students in 2011 – female representation on EMBA programmes remains as low as 24 per cent. Only 30 per cent of the most recent MBA cohort in the 2011 rankings was female.

The composition of the faculty of participating schools has remained similarly unchanged. Increasing by less than one percentage point over the three-year period, European business schools’ acdemic staff are on average composed of only 29 per cent women. Among the 75 schools in this year’s ranking, almost three in 10 have less than 25 per cent ­female faculty. Of these, 12 schools have shares of less than 20 per cent. It seems equality in Europe’s business schools remains an elusive prospect.

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