Harvard Business School Dean Admits Unequal Treatment of Women

The head of one of the nation's most elite graduate schools apologizes, vows to improve access and treatment for female students and staff.

Nohria

By Chris Hoenig


Nohria

Harvard Business School has not been fair to women, and now its chief is admitting and apologizing for it.

Nitin Nohria, Dean of HBS since 2010, surprised a room full of alumni and guests at an HBS Association of Northern California event in San Francisco. Women at the school, both students and staff, felt "disrespected, left out and unloved by the school. I'm sorry on behalf of the business school," he said. "The school owed you better, and I promise it will be better."

To start "making it better," Nohria committed to building a larger role for women in HBS' signature case studies. Harvard Business School is responsible for about 80 percent of all graduate-level business-school case studies worldwide, but women only hold a protagonist role in about 9 percent of those. Over the next five years, that number will increase to 20 percent, according to Nohria.

But that benchmark wasn't enough for the women in the audience, who let out an audible sigh at the announcement.

Other measures include a program to increase the number of women serving on corporate boards and a mentorship program for female students and alumni. "We want to make sure the school provides pathways for alumni to help each other," Nohria said.

The dean's comments come just after the school wrapped up the 50th anniversary of the first women being admitted to HBS—eight women enrolled at the school in 1963. Over the next 22 years, that number would grow to just 25 percent of the student body. This year, Nohria announced that there would be a record percentage of women at HBS: 41 percent of the new class.

Despite their mistreatment, women thrive at HBS—if they can get in. The top 5 percent of each year's graduating class are recognized as Baker Scholars. A record 38 percent of those receiving the honor were women in the class of 2013.

Cathy Benko, Vice Chairman and Managing Principal at Deloitte (No. 11 in the DiversityInc Top 50), is an HBS alum. "My path was a rather circuitous one growing up the middle of five daughters in a single-parent household. Higher education wasn't a realistic or financially practical goal," she told the Huffington Post. "My choice of Harvard Business School was pragmatic: It had a stellar reputation and didn't accept GMATs."

Other HBS alumni include former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, President George W. Bush, former Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore, General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt, Grok CEO Donna Dubinsky, former General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, ex-jcpenney CEO Ron Johnson and self-help author Steven Covey.

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Twenty-one white people (including seven male board members and CEO Steve Simon) of a total of 22 people in the World Tennis Association's (WTA) management made the call to boot Serena Williams from seeding for the French Open for having a baby.

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(Reuters) — Mexican American actress Salma Hayek, a vocal campaigner against sexual harassment in the movie industry, said on Sunday male stars should get less pay as way to even things up with chronically underpaid women.

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FACEBOOK

The racist and hate-filled rant against a Black woman riding on the Long Island Rail Road in New York is now under investigation by Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials.

Passengers said a man ranted for about 10 minutes, spewing racist and sexist slurs directed at another rider, 25-year-old Soraya Orelien.

"He made me feel disgusting," Orelien said in an interview Friday with WABC-TV. "He made me feel less than what I am. And I'm not the only one who has experienced this."

The incident occurred around 10 p.m. on April 19, but the video went viral last week. Orelien was on her cellphone speaking with a friend during her commute that originated at Penn Station. Hearing her talk on the phone enraged the man and he confronted her.

A woman named Aneesa Janat Rafeek, according to her Facebook page, was a passenger on the train that night and posted a video on her page showing a portion of the racist rant, which she also said lasted 10 minutes.

She explained:

"*Let me be clear about what prompted these nasty remarks*

"An African American woman was behind him speaking on the phone (not loudly in my opinion as I was sitting only diagonally from him and could not hear her).

"He started off by mumbling under his breath and then escalated to yelling at her about being a loud mouth b**ch. When another young woman, also Black, stood up for her, he continued to yell and then call[ed] them monkeys.

"What this video does not show — him getting up to get in the young [woman's] face to scream at her more. It was honestly so disgusting to witness.

"Say what you want in regards to 'both' sides being ignorant and needing to be quiet. Have someone start yelling profanities at you for being 'loud' and see how you react."

Orelien told Eyewitness News, "He came to my face and was like, 'Ooh ooh ahh ahh, you monkey,' and I just sat there. I just sat there, and I didn't say anything. I just said, 'You need to leave. Leave me alone. Please just walk away.'"

The Baruch College senior said she is coming forward and speaking about the incident as a reality check for others.

"I want people to know that this still happens!" Orelien told PIX11 News.

"I'm proud to be a strong Black woman in this day and age, and no one can talk to me like that."

Sources identified the man as Edward Ruggiero, a Manhattan stagehand and member of Local 1 IATSE, who lives in Long Beach, L.I., according to the NY Daily News. But he denies that it's him in the video.

Eyewitness News cameras went to the suspected man's home and confronted him on his porch.

"Get the story straight. Do you want to talk to us? You call yourself a journalist — get your f****** story straight!" he said. The man rushed inside before reporters could speak with him further.

An LIRR spokesperson told PIX11 in a statement:

"This language is offensive, completely inappropriate, and has no place in our society, let alone on the Long Island Rail Road. The MTA Police are actively investigating this report … Anyone who sees a situation like this unfolding should notify a conductor immediately. This absolutely falls under the mantra of: if you see something, say something."

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Myneca Ojo / FACEBOOK

Five Black women, members of the Grandview Golf Club in Braddock, the oldest public golf course in York County, Pa., decided to meet on Saturday for a round of golf. The outing ended with the club co-owner, who is white, calling the police on the only Black, female players on the course because they allegedly played too slow and did not want to cancel their membership and leave.

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