With its historically male-dominant student body, it might come as a surprise that the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has for the first time ever enrolled more women in its incoming MBA class than men.

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Wharton School’s MBA program announced Wednesday its 2023 class will consist of 52 percent women, becoming the first elite business school to have a majority female class. The Wharton news comes amid reports saying Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Columbia Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business would follow suit in producing 50 percent or more female students over the next few years. This follows an important stepping stone for gender diversity which happened in 2012 when both MIT Sloan and Booth had women above 35% for the first time in their history.

“This landmark achievement demonstrates Wharton’s commitment to providing a diverse and representative community for our students,” according to a statement by Dean James. “As a female leader, I understand firsthand the significant impact that experiencing meaningful gender representation can have on women as they chart their careers. I also note the sobering reality that, even in 2021, women still command a small percentage of leadership positions in the corporate arena. If industry truly desires its organizations—and the leadership within them—to reflect the world around us, we must improve the diversity of the pipeline of future business leaders. In short, this crucial work must start here.”

In addition to including more than 50% women, two other Wharton MBA records were broken: the Class of 2023’s average GMAT is the highest ever for an incoming class and LGBTQ+ representation reached 7%, also an all-time high. The 733 average GMAT is the highest ever for an incoming class and LGBTQ+ representation reached 7 percent, tying a record set in 2017. The 89 minority members of the incoming class comprise 35 percent of the group total. There are 36 percent international students and 35 percent Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). To see a complete list of the 2021 class breakdowns, go here!


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