Knowledge Center

MBA Grads in Info Tech: Women and Men in the Information Technology Industry

One of the first of its kind, this report focuses on the unique experiences of women and men MBAs in the information technology industry based on data from Catalyst’s previous study on MBAs, Women and the MBA: Gateway to Opportunity.

Impetus: This study was conducted to examine the career expectations and values of women and men MBAs in information technology.


  • Surveys from a total of 1,684 MBA graduates (classes of 1981-1995) from 12 top-ranked business schools.

  • Four focus groups with 25 MBA graduates from several participating schools; nine focus groups with 66 women (graduates and undergraduates) not currently majoring in business.

  • Literature review of 25 major studies conducted between 1982 and 1996.

Findings: The findings of this study reflect an overall positive picture about the perspectives of women MBAs in the IT industry. Unlike what Catalyst finds in most other industries, the women and men MBAs surveyed are progressing along their career paths in pace with each other. The women in this report are overwhelmingly satisfied with their careers—more so than their male counterparts. The majority of women and men respondents are consistent about the specific positive aspects of their work situation, including visibility with top management, highly supportive colleagues, helpful performance feedback, and ability to take advantage of some type of flexible work arrangement. Additionally, many women and men plan to remain in their present companies for the next five years. Although the study identifies some areas for improvement, the future looks bright for women in IT.

Sponsors: IBM Corporation, Pfizer Inc, Texas Instruments Inc.