The number of female deans in business schools is rising, survey finds

The number of female deans in business schools is rising, survey finds

AACSB International’s latest Dean’s Survey reveals that the number of female deans in business schools has grown over the last three years.

Every three years, AACSB conduct their “deans survey” in order to track the developments in business schools. Their latest survey found that almost a third (30%) of business school deans are female, rising from 26% in their last survey, which was taken in 2020-21.

The survey also revealed a modest growth in the diversity of deans, with a slight increase in the number of non-white deans. 65% of business school deans were white or non-Hispanic, 18% are Asian or Pacific Islander, 4% black and the remaining 9% were either Hispanic, Mixed Mace or American Indian or Alaskan Native.

These statistics were compared to the US census, which showed that the representation of white, non-Hispanic deans largely reflects the group’s demographic presence in the U.S. population. Additionally, the number of Asian or Pacific Islander deans has seen a notable increase in the six-year period, outpacing the population growth of this group in the U.S. Although there hasn’t been a decrease in the number of Black, non-Hispanic, and Hispanic deans, it currently is not representative of the broader U.S. population demographics.

The survey also found that 23% of business school deans were invited to apply to the role, while only 16% applied directly themselves.

Overall, the five key takeaways from the 2023-24 Deans Survey were:

Diversity among deans is gradually evolving.

The role of associate dean is a crucial stepping stone to becoming a dean, with some variation by region and gender.

Deans prioritize a mix of interpersonal skills and tangible, market-relevant expertise in their roles.

Deans struggle with work-life balance and finding time for professional development.

Central to the experience of new deans is receiving mentorship and exchanging best practices with colleagues.


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