Women now represent 31% of business-school classes, up from about 26% in 2001. Harvard Business School's class of 2013 will have the highest percentage of female students — 39% — in the school's history. The number of women taking the GMAT rose 10% over the past decade. What's the takeaway, here? That more women are interested in running their own companies and breaking the business industry's glass ceiling by becoming high-powered CEOs? Nah, not according to The Grindstone, a website that describes itself as a place for working women to "vent their frustrations, share their amusements and learn how to survive as they move up the ladder." Instead, the site's editor wrote a patronizing, poorly written and infuriating piece on how a good number of these women probably just want to find a husband.
"In the 1950s women mainly went to college for one reason and no, it wasn't to study philosophy. It was to get their MRS degree," writes Meredith Lepore, who describes The Grindstone as a website that "focuses on young professional women in their career paths" in her Twitter bio. (Um, we think a lot of women who graduated back then would probably disagree, but hey, way to reinforce a damaging stereotype!) Is it possible, Lepore wonders, that an MBA "may just be the icing on the cake" for women who attend male-dominated business schools?
After interviewing a few women, Lepore determines that "getting an MBA and a husband can be a nice group package to go after." But even the ditziest-sounding students she interviewed didn't say they went to business school to find a husband; they just said it would be great to meet a like-minded spouse at the same time. "Oh definitely! I mean I want the degree but the dating pool appeal is a big factor!" said one woman in her mid-20s who is applying to business schools. "I definitely want to find a husband when I'm there and think it will be a good way." Another woman who just started her first year at a business school said the environment was the perfect place to meet a potential mate because "Never again will we be surrounded by so many like-aged, like-minded, like goal-oriented peers. Never again will we have tons of free time, organized social events, and themed reasons to act like idiots." She also said that her fellow students were "a pre-selected group of highly intelligent, successful and driven individuals – it makes for a great dating pool."
Those all sound like solid reasons to hope you'll find your future spouse at business school. But why would a website geared towards working women propagate the idea that all women are secretly Elle Woods at the beginning of Legally Blonde? Why didn't Lepore ask any male students if they, too, were hoping to settle down with a classmate?
Near the end of her piece, Lepore concedes that it MIGHT BE POSSIBLE that most female business school students are trying to learn things, not ensnare an unsuspecting potential husband:
First of all, students are older which means even though you may be surrounded by men, many of them are already taken. Second of all, a top business school, which can easily cost upwards of $80,000 in tuition for two years, is a lot to spend on maybe finding a husband. And finally, it's school! Though it may not be as difficult as law school or medical school, it's still pretty intense.
So glad she talked us through this complicated quandary! Aw, shucks, we guess it's NOT an awesome idea to apply to business school if you're not actually interested in getting your MBA!
The entire premise for this article seems to be based on a satirical video made by the Columbia Business School Follies in 2010. A video which is obviously a (nicely executed) joke, as it includes lines like "All this talk of dual income just makes me sick/I just want a rich banker who can buy me shit."
"Well, it may not be quite the jackpot the CBS girls described but any single girls who say they aren't hoping to meet someone while they are spending all this time and money in business school needs a reality check," Lepore concludes. That is not a grammatically correct sentence. Forget business school; maybe Lepore should go back to college to learn how to write?
‘I Went To Business School To Get My MRS Degree' [The Grindstone]
Image via Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock.