On the academic floor, the MBA programme has always been supreme, attracting more men than women. But little is known about the skewed sex ratio in this course that allows learners a chance to pick the crucial tools of management. A white paper from the US-based Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which conducts the GMAT, has revealed that one in every three women around the world does not choose MBA because of financial constraints.

This bleak observation comes on International Women's Day . “Women have made phenomenal progress in attaining business master's degrees, yet they have not caught up with men in the share of MBAs earned,“ said Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO, GMAC.“Our extensive global segmentation research and market intelligence looked at several important underlying factors that contribute to this growing participation of women in business master's and lack of parity in MBAs, with financial concerns being the number one issue cited by female applicants.“

Seeking scholarships and financial aid are on top of women's mind. Little wonder then than the MBA programme sees more men in classrooms around the world. Men (33%) cited that they were waiting for an offer from additional schools as their reason for delaying ac ceptance.

The greatest gender difference on this issue was seen in the US. More than a third (38%) of women survey respondents cited financial reasons as their number one reason for not yet accepting their admissions offer compared to 20% of male respondents. Yet, obtaining funds to pay for schools is a bigger challenge for men than for women in both India (8% women vs 14% men) and China (9% vs 11%), according to the study .

Indian candidates are the likeliest to rely on funding from their parents to pay for their degree; 53% of Indian men and 48% of Indian women stated that they intend to rely on their parents to pay for some or all of their degree. In the US, on the other hand, only 25% of women and 33% of men intend to use funding from their parents.Probably so, women choose the next best. Globally , women represent a greater share of the applicant pool than men in many of the business master's programmes, such as marketing, accounting and management.

“It's easy to make the mistake of thinking of women as a monolithic block and to view their lack of parity in MBA classrooms as a failure on the part of business schools,“ said Chowfla. “The insights (from the study) clearly reveal that women are distinct from men in what they are seeking from their business education experience, and their behaviours differ between countries and behaviour types.“