Women deans at top 30 business schools in last 30 years3 min readReading Time: 3 minutesReading Time: 3 minutes
Despite the efforts towards gender equality in the workplace, there is still a notable gap between the representation of men and women in leadership positions across various industries. Besides, the business education sector is no exception. We connected a research on the women deans at top business schools. It turned out that only 9 out of the top 30 business schools (according to MBA ranking by Financial Times) in the world have had a female dean in the last 30 years.
Out of the 30 schools examined, only 9 have had female deans in the last 30 years, according to the research. The Kellogg School of Management, the University of California at Berkeley: Haas Business School, and the University of Michigan: Ross School of Business have had two female deans each between 1990-2023. At the same time, The UCLA Anderson School of Management, Carnegie Mellon:Tepper Business School, University of Cambridge: Judge Business School, Yale School of Management, London Business School, and Wharton Business School have had just one female dean each in the last 30 years.
Kellogg School of Management
Despite the low number of female deans, their contributions to business schools have been significant. Sally Blount, who served as a dean of the Kellogg School of Management in 2010-2018, has been credited with leading the school’s transformation and increasing its focus on leadership and innovation. Francesca Cornelli, the current dean of the Kellogg School of Management, has been instrumental in driving the school’s efforts to adapt to the changing needs of the business world.
Haas Business School & London Business School
Laura Tyson, who served as dean of the University of California at Berkeley: Haas Business School in 1998-2001 and dean of London Business School in 2002-2006, devoted considerable policy attention to the links between women’s rights and national economic. Ann E. Harrison, the current dean of the Haas Business School, has focused on improving the school’s global reach and expanding its research capabilities.
Ross School of Business
Alison Davis-Blake, who joined University of Michigan: Ross School of Business as its dean in 2011, has been praised for her leadership skills and her efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity within the school. Sharon Matusik, the current dean of the Ross School of Business appointed in 2022, has prioritized entrepreneurship and innovation, and has overseen the launch of several new initiatives in these areas.
UCLA Anderson School of Management
Judy D. Olian, who served as a dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 2006-2018, has been recognized for her commitment to promoting gender diversity and for her efforts to increase the school’s global presence.
Tepper Business School
Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, the current dean of the Carnegie Mellon:Tepper Business School, has focused on strengthening the school’s reputation and increasing its research output.
Cambridge Judge Business School
Sandra Dawson, KPMG professor emeritus of management studies at Cambridge Judge and the business school’s dean in 1995-2006, has been a vocal advocate for women in business and has overseen the expansion of the school’s executive education programs.
Yale School of Management
Sharon Oster, the first tenured woman professor and first woman dean (2008-2011) at the Yale School of Management, helped create and foster a culture characterized by a dedication to top-quality teaching and research.
Wharton Business School
Erika H. James, the current dean of the Wharton Business School appointed in 2020, is the first woman and the first person of color to hold the position. She has been praised for her focus on innovation and her efforts to foster a more inclusive and collaborative culture within the school.
The low number of female deans in top business schools is a reflection of the broader gender gap in business education, where women are underrepresented in leadership positions. However, the achievements of these women highlight the significant contributions that women can make to business schools and to the field of business more broadly. By continuing to promote diversity and inclusivity, business schools can create a more equitable and representative environment, and pave the way for more women to take on leadership roles in the future.