Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2013 (Revised May 2014)

Women MBAs at Harvard Business School: 1962–2012

by Boris Groysberg, Kerry Herman and Annelena Lobb


Eight women had first enrolled in Harvard Business School's traditional MBA program in 1963. By 2013, the number of women in the MBA classroom had reached 40%. The 50th anniversary of women's enrollment in the traditional MBA program gave HBS Dean Nitin Nohria the opportunity to take stock of the progress that had been made by HBS women students and alumnae and ponder what still remained to be done. The case examines the evolving experiences of male and female MBAs over the decades through interviews with dozens of HBS alumni, as well as the experiences of female faculty at the School. The case scrutinizes a number of issues facing professional women, such as changing definitions of success and diversity, barriers faced by women at work, the expectations of work and family, and present-day implications for the pipeline of future women leaders. Students consider the role of the School in addressing disparities both on campus and in the wider business world.

Keywords: Business Education; Boston;


Groysberg, Boris, Kerry Herman, and Annelena Lobb. "Women MBAs at Harvard Business School: 1962–2012." Harvard Business School Case 413-013, February 2013. (Revised May 2014.)