Record percentage of women to enter MIT Sloan this year: Of the 402 students in the MBA Class of 2017, 41% will be female, according to preliminary statistics


‘Our goal is to attract a diverse student body and women are an important element’

Cambridge, Mass., August 3, 2015—MIT Sloan School of Management today said this year’s incoming class is on track to have a greater percentage of women than ever before. Of the 402 students in the MBA Class of 2017, 41% will be female, according to preliminary statistics. In the two previous classes, women comprised 39% and 34% of the enrolled students. 

The announcement was made to kick off the school’s annual Women’s Week, a showcase of MIT Sloan’s network of accomplished female students and graduates. The showcase begins on Monday, August 3 with a webinar and alumnae panels in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, Ill., followed by a panel in New York City on Tuesday, August 4 and panels on Thursday, August 6 in San Francisco, Calif. and Cambridge, Mass. The events include representatives from the school’s one-year Sloan Fellows Program and its part-time Executive MBA.

“The events help increase awareness about the MIT Sloan community among women who are considering business school,” says Dawna Levenson, Director of Admissions. “Our goal is to attract a diverse student body comprised of people with varied interests, ethnicities, races, and backgrounds, and women are an important element.

“Women add fresh voices, interesting perspectives, and creative approaches. A diverse class improves the overall educational experience for everyone.”

Attracting female MBAs has been a longtime challenge for business schools. But at a time when the dearth of women leaders in Corporate America, government, and beyond dominates the national dialogue, boosting the number of women students is a top priority.

MIT Sloan recently increased the number of recruiting events it hosts for women and added networking and alumnae sessions geared toward women. It also expanded its ambassadors program to include a fall and spring day dedicated to women. On these days, prospective candidates visit a class, have lunch with current students, and attend an admissions session.

“These efforts have contributed to the rising number of women in the class, but mostly our increase is attributable to a student-perpetuated self-fulfilling prophecy,” says Levenson. “The more women come here, the more other women want to come here. Women’s Week helps drive this process.”

MIT Sloan admissions representatives attend all of the Women’s Week events to answer questions and meet potential applicants. The events are held in conjunction with Sloan Women in Management (SWIM), the student group.

“Educating, training, and preparing the next generation of women leaders who will influence, shape, and change the world is important to us,” says Levenson.