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Friday 13 October 2017

Who was the first female student at ESCP Europe?

Joëlle Le Vourc’h, ESCP Europe Alumna and Professor, reflects on her experience as the only woman in a business school.

Last month Emma Jacobs, work & careers columnist at the Financial Times, wrote a really interesting article about Women in Business. “How I survived as the only woman in a business school” is the story of Joëlle Le Vourc’h, now emeritus professor at ESCP Europe Paris Campus, specializing in international accounting, but back in 1970 she was the first female student of the business school.

The professor gave her testimony about the isolation and sporadic discrimination she suffered as the sole female student of the oldest business school in the world. She was a pioneer in Europe, but on the other side of the ocean things didn't work so differently: Harvard has only been accepting women since 1962.

Over the last 50 years things have changed a lot and the number of women enrolled at business schools has increased exponentially but we are still far from filling the gender gap in this field.

According to the Financial Times, in the top 100 ranked programmes only 35% of MBA students are women. It is of paramount importance that we support the training of leadership and managerial skills in ladies through the MBA in order to accelerate women’s careers and reach gender equality in the business world. “I am surprised to see that there are still problems in business. It’s changed but not enough” affirmed Ms Le Vourc’h. 

Please note that if you are an unregistered or registered user, you can view a limited number of articles a month on the Financial Times website.

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