Monday, September 9, 2013
New York Times: Harvard Business School Case Study: Gender Equity:
When the members of the Harvard Business School class of 2013 gathered in May to celebrate the end of their studies, there was little visible evidence of the experiment they had undergone for the last two years. As they stood amid the brick buildings named after businessmen from Morgan to Bloomberg, black-and-crimson caps and gowns united the 905 graduates into one genderless mass.
But during that week’s festivities, the Class Day speaker, a standout female student, alluded to “the frustrations of a group of people who feel ignored.” Others grumbled that another speechmaker, a former chief executive of a company in steep decline, was invited only because she was a woman. At a reception, a male student in tennis whites blurted out, as his friends laughed, that much of what had occurred at the school had “been a painful experience.”
He and his classmates had been unwitting guinea pigs in what would have once sounded like a far-fetched feminist fantasy: What if Harvard Business School gave itself a gender makeover, changing its curriculum, rules and social rituals to foster female success?
The country’s premier business training ground was trying to solve a seemingly intractable problem. Year after year, women who had arrived with the same test scores and grades as men fell behind. Attracting and retaining female professors was a losing battle; from 2006 to 2007, a third of the female junior faculty left.
Business Insider, Shocking Discoveries From Harvard Business School’s Attempt To Improve Gender Equality:
- Female students revealed a hostile environment for women
- It was like high school all over again, where men were judged by their cars and women by their looks
- Some of the smartest women in the world silenced themselves
- Women felt they had to choose between their academic and dating lives
- Female professors made up only a fifth of the tenured faculty, with 76 male tenured professors to just 19 women, and garnered little respect
- Female leaders can make all the difference
- Despite some hesitation by faculty members and grumbling by mostly male students, the social engineering worked