Gender Gap in Undergraduate Business Programs

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Ball, Jennifer
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
November 2010
Alternative Title
In the last several years there has been much scholarship in the area of the "reverse gender gap" in colleges and universities, as there have been more women than men attending and graduating from colleges and universities since the early 1980s. Little if any scholarship exists about students and recent graduates from business programs specifically, so in this paper I explore the gender gap trend there. Included are patterns among the majors and emphases in business programs (accounting, economics, finance, etc.) and a logit model with choice of business major as the dependent variable. Preliminary findings include the following: the odds a woman will choose business as a major are smaller than those of a man, the odds a student will choose business as a major is inversely related tot he level of the education of the student's parents, and the odds a student with advanced placement (AP) credit in high school will choose business as a major are smaller than those of students without AP credit. The finding regarding parents' education is driven by the behavior of female students.