Business schools change their way for female MBA students

Despite the fact that many top schools have still not achieved gender equality in their courses, a lot of positive has happened for female MBS writes Fortune magazine. The US magazine quotes several visible signs of improvement:

Picture: Pixabay
  • In January, Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria vowed to double the percentage of female protagonists in the school’s case studies over the next five years.
  • Professors have much more awareness of their classroom behaviour. MIT Sloan supports teachers to use assistants that track their patterns of calling on students in class discussions to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.

  • Team structures are being overhauled as well. Beforehand it has been common to divide up the relatively small number of women in an MBA class among project teams which usually meant there was one woman per group. “The research has shown that this is not effective for those women,” Joyce Russell, vice dean at University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business told Fortune magazine. “It becomes increasingly more difficult for them to get heard when surrounded by others who are not like them.” As a better strategy she recommended having at least two women together in a group, even if this meant some all-male teams.

  • At the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, students initiated a group called The 22s—named for the wage gap per dollar in men’s and women’s earnings—to attract more male support for work on gender equality.

All this built up confidence also shows in female MBA students claims the magazine and quotes a recent graduate from MIT’s Sloan School. Julia Yoo reported that she did experience sexism at school and some male students assuming leadership for group presentations “out of habit”. Yoo, however, learned to speak up and felt comfortable with her newfound assertiveness.

Source: Fortune

Barbara Barkhausen

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