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.
By Chris Hoenig
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.
Meanwhile, Williams' husband slams a New York Times study, which tries to discredit her claim about the treatment of women in professional tennis.
Serena Williams continues to dispute comments that she received coaching during her matchup with Naomi Osaka at the US Open final on Sept. 8.
In an interview with an Australian talk show, The Project, scheduled to air next Sunday, Williams refutes the remark her coach Patrick Mouratoglou made about gesturing to her from the stands. She denies cheating.
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A university committee missed its deadline to address the abusive arrest of a student caught on video.
UPDATE: Serena Williams to US Open Official: 'Because I'm a Woman, You're Gonna Take This Away From Me?'
Williams' "thief" comment to Carlos Ramos amounted to $10,000 of the imposed fines. James Blake and Andy Roddick comment on Twitter.
UPDATE: Sept. 10, 2018
The US Open tournament referee's office fined Serena Williams a total of $17,000 for three code violations — $10,000 for "verbal abuse" of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for breaking her racket, according to The Associated Press. The funds will come out of her prize money of $1.85 million as the runner-up.
The $10,000 fine for "verbal abuse" is the largest fine of the U.S. Open so far.
Williams called Ramos a "thief" and demanded an apology for his accusation that she was cheating. However, James Blake tweeted that he's said worse to umpires:
I will admit I have said worse and not gotten penalized. And I've also been given a “soft warning" by the ump where they tell you knock it off or I will have to give you a violation. He should have at least given her that courtesy. Sad to mar a well played final that way. https://t.co/xhBzFZX8Wq
— James Blake (@JRBlake) September 9, 2018
Andy Roddick admits to saying worse as well.
I've regrettably said worse and I've never gotten a game penalty
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) September 9, 2018
Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams, 6-2, 6-4, on Saturday at the US Open women's final. But #Serena was trending on Twitter as fans reacted to a double standard in tennis.
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(Reuters) — Becky von Zastrow often votes Republican in her affluent central Ohio suburb — but her dissatisfaction with U.S. President Donald Trump has convinced her to back the Democrat in a special-election test for both parties next month.
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Leadership remains almost completely white and male, making the claims hardly a shock.