7 in 10 male business students think sexism will hold them back

When it comes to the business world, there is no question that men are at the helm. However, women throughout the years have taken more interest in attaining an MBA. Ten years ago, women accounted for only 32% of students enrolled in an MBA program, now it has gone up to 36%. This has caused a shift in companies making sure that diversity and equal assessments are being achieved while hiring high level positions like C.E.O. According to Intelligent.com, more men are enrolled in MBA programs than women, yet 69% of men still think it is extremely or very likely that sexism will prevent them from advancement in their careers.  48% of men agree that in the past year they’ve become more aware of discrimination faced by women in the workplace, with social movements like #MeToo gaining momentum, but nearly 60% of women and men agree it’s rare to see men speak out against discrimination against women. 

“What we’re seeing is that organizations are increasingly committed to eradicating sexism and promoting diversity as a core value, therefore, past sexist behaviors that may have favored males in the job search are being replaced with more neutral, objective search processes that lead to more diverse applicant pools and less hesitancy to hire or promote females who are qualified,” said Dr. Deborah Geller who is an educational and hiring consultant for the University of California.

Christopher Garcia is currently studying for his Masters in Business Administration, When it came to sexim he felt differently. He did not feel that sexism would prevent him from getting higher level positions like C-suite positions.

 “To be very honest, I feel like I would face discrimination as a Mexican man instead of just being a man,” said Christipher Garcia, an MBA student at Glendale Community College. “ I grew up with a single mom. If there is anyone that can run a business in circles around me, it would be my mom. She just didn’t get to have the opportunities she has given me.”

Men expressed that sexism hindered their success more often than women did. When in reality most high powered positions are held by men according to Intelligent.. Only 21% of C-Suite positions are currently held by women and only 8% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women according to Fortune. 

Jamilah Krief is studying for her MBA in Consulting at Glendale Community College. She expressed her disappointment in hearing the statistics from her male counterparts. “Of course, they would think that because they still feel belittled when a woman tells them what to do. I don’t think they really believe sexism is affecting them, I actually just think they’re annoyed they have to consider women their equal. I still get brushed off sometimes in my classes, not all the time, but studying in this program has shown me there’s still a bit of backwards thinking. I mean, there aren’t a lot of female MBA teachers and as a woman, it’s needed.” She concluded. 

The positive statistic to come out of this is that 85% of men think it is extremely or very important that women are equally represented in C-Suite positions. Most men believe that women deserve the same opportunities that they have yet there is a vast disconnect between what men say they support and want, in terms of gender equality, to actually showing and reflecting that in leadership positions. 77 percent of men say they are “doing everything they can” to support gender equality at work, but only 41 percent of women agree.

When it comes to statistics, it seems that most men want to be allies to women. Most men believe they already are, but women disagree. Women continue to face obstacles in attaining leadership roles in their field as men.  As of October 2021, only 24 women serve in the US Senate, that is only 24% of all seats possible. Will men be able to help change the climate by actively calling out misogynistic behaviour, or will they continue to believe that answering “yes” on a survey is enough?

Intelligent Survey: https://www.intelligent.com/as-the-glass-ceiling-cracks-7-in-10-male-business-students-think-sexism-will-hold-them-back/?msID=96a6f432-2709-48aa-ab0e-a2c44bf3e08f

 Valerie Henley can be reached at: [email protected]