Men and Women MBAs Approach Job Success Differently

A recent study of men and women pursuing their MBAs show they have very different methods of reaching their investment banking job or business career goals.

The survey polled graduate students at the University of Texas-Austin, Southern Methodist, Rice and Texas A&M universities. The average age of the student was 29 and one-third of them were pursuing jobs in finance, reports The Houston Chronicle.

Men tended to be more focused on immediate goals, particularly the importance of a competitive base salary. Women tended to express less interest in money right away, but instead look to plant the seeds for future success. Women were more interested in employer-sponsored educational opportunities and programs that support their career development. In other words, they view their first job as a stepping stone.

Women are also more willing to sacrifice a higher base salary right now in return for more opportunities for training, growth and responsibility, which they feel will lead to a better position later on.

Employers and recruiters may begin to use this information to adjust their hiring messages, highlighting competitive wages for men and career development for women.

It may also explain why more men are drawn to investment banking jobs, says Deanna Fuehne, executive director of the career management center at the Jones School of Business at Rice University. Men are more drawn to the volatility and high risk environment of investment banking, and not as concerned about where they will end up five years down the road.

Women are drawn more to jobs that offer more flexibility and work-life balance. They tend to think more about family responsibilities and the opportunity to either work part-time or work from home. Or go on sabbatical for a few years to start a family and return to the workforce later on.

What about you? Has work-life balance or career development programs factored into your investment banking career path? Add your comments below.

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