I am a fan of the Naked MBA blog, which bills itself as "the bare truth about what to expect from business school." Today I saw a post title that made my stomach drop: "For women, MBA = Divorce." I quickly clicked on the feed link to see what the heck this was about. The first sentence reads "The numbers are in and they don’t look good. " "Oh crap," I think. Then comes the obligatory next thought, "Well my marriage is strong. Business school and a good career aren't going to change that." I continued to read, cautiously. Ok, here's the main fact driving the title of the post: "Women MBAs are twice as likely to get divorced than the men with whom they graduate." Yikes. That is not good.
Hold on, here's the actual statistic: "12% of women MBAs reported having divorced or separated as compared to 5% of male MBAs." Um - 12%? Yeah it's a lot bigger than the male number, but still, 12%?? Maybe I'm crazy but that's still a small number to me. I'm not fearing for my marriage over 12%. The article goes to discuss that women think they can have it all but it's just a myth, etc etc. To an extent I agree with that, but don't you think we're jumping a bit to far to say that MBA = Divorce?
I clicked through to the WSJ article the post is referencing. More similar discussion.
"For women, a professional degree is often hazardous to marital health."
"'Unlike men,' she says, 'women can't have it all because there is a social stigma to having or being a stay-at-home spouse.'"
And then this statistic: "Women with M.B.A.s described themselves as divorced or separated more often than women with only bachelor's degrees (12% of female M.B.A.s compared with 11% of women with only bachelor's degrees) "
I stopped there. A 1% increase with an MBA is hardly anything to fret over. Sure, the difference between the statistics for women vs. men should be explored, but why do we have to jump to panic mode and imply that women are sabotaging their personal lives by pursuing advanced degrees?