July 29, 2021
For the first time in the school's 140-year history, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business will have more women than men in its incoming MBA class.
The number of women enrollees soared 10% this year to account for 52% of the class of 2023, the school announced Wednesday.
"This landmark achievement demonstrates Wharton’s commitment to providing a diverse and representative community for our students," Wharton Dean Erika James said in an email to PhillyVoice. "As a female leader, I understand firsthand the significant impact that experiencing meaningful gender representation can have on women as they chart their careers."
The Ivy League school's business program is ranked No. 2 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Data pulled from MBA programs across the country in 2016 found that on average women make up 37% of MBA students.
James said that the school has made a "conscious effort" to make female applicants feel wanted and welcomed at the school.
"Diversity, equity and inclusion are central to our efforts, and while we are extremely proud to welcome this record number of women to our MBA community this year, we do hope that equitable gender representation soon becomes the norm among business schools, rather than the exception," Maryellen Reilly, Deputy vice dean of the Wharton MBA Program, said.
The school admitted 897 students from a pool of 7,338 applicants for the Class of 2023, including a record 7% of students that identify as LGBTQ+, 36% international students and 35% Black, Indigenous and People of Color.