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Survey: 7 in 10 Male MBA Students think Sexism will hold them back

69% of men think it is extremely or very likely that sexism will prevent them from achieving a C-suite position, compared to 51% of women

49% of men say sexism has made it extremely or very difficult to advance in their career, compared to 41% of women

⅔ of men think that males outnumber females in C-suite positions because “men are more likely to have the necessary leadership qualities.”

Despite this attitude, 85% of men think it is “extremely” or “very” important that women are equally represented in C-suite positions

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,, a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning, has published a recent survey report to examine gender diversity and sexism in the workplace. Researchers surveyed 1,000 current MBA candidates in August, and the study highlights key points about the underrepresentation of women in C-suite positions.

Data shows that 69% of men think they will not get selected for executive-level management jobs because of sexism. Only 51% of women believe sexism will prevent them from getting C-level roles. Forty-nine percent of men also say sexism makes it challenging to advance in their careers, compared to 41% of women.

According to the report, women are still outnumbered in C-suite positions, yet most male survey respondents believe it’s because men are more qualified for these roles. Sixty-five percent of male respondents say men are more likely to have the necessary leadership skills, and 55% say they have more work experience. In contrast, 47% of women say more men hold executive-level positions because of sexism. However, 32% say men are more likely to have the necessary qualifications. 

“As we celebrate American Business Women’s Day on September 22, it’s also necessary to encourage conversations around gender equality and explore ways to improve diversity in the workplace,” says Dr. Deb Geller, educational and hiring consultant. “This study shows that there is a disconnect when almost 70% of men think sexism will prevent them from getting executive roles, but only 21% of women hold C-suite jobs in this country.”  

The survey also indicates that White men are more likely to believe that sexism will hinder their career growth. Seventy-four percent of White male MBA candidates say that sexism will keep them from getting C-suite jobs. Conversely, only 50% of Asian, 48% of Black, and 30% of Hispanic/Latino male MBA candidates have the same opinion. Although most male respondents see sexism as a career barrier, 85% also think it is important that women are equally represented in C-level positions. commissioned this study to increase awareness about issues surrounding gender equity in the workplace. The survey was conducted via Pollfish, the online survey platform, on August 23, 2021 and distributed to individuals who are currently enrolled in an MBA program. Survey respondents were selected based on a screening question. To access the complete report, please visit provides unbiased research to help students make informed decisions about higher education programs. The website offers curated guides that include the best degree programs as well as information about financial aid, internships, and even study strategies. With comprehensive, user-friendly guides and hundreds of program rankings, is a trusted source among students and prospective students. To learn more, please visit

3 thoughts on “Survey: 7 in 10 Male MBA Students think Sexism will hold them back

  1. True Dat.

  2. I work in a Fortune 500 company and most of my friends work in similar size organizations. Every single one is practicing recruitment and promotion policies that prioritize female staff and “approved” minorities (I.E. those that do poorly). It’s formally codified and openly practiced. Some Americans think that a culture war is coming from the universities and the government. That’s not what I observed. The culture war is invented and pushed by big corporations.

  3. And yet…you and your “friends” still work there.

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