The Most LGBT Friendly B-Schools

Friendfactor, the LGBT rights organization for straight friends founded in 2009, has announced the results of its second MBA Ally Challenge, a friendly competition among business schools to build as many impactful ally initiatives as they can over the course of the school year.

The MBA Ally Challenge ranks schools’ efforts on three criteria: the number of students who participate, the number of activities with an ally-specific component they execute, and their results on a survey that measures LGBT awareness and the inclusiveness of campus culture.

Columbia Business School took first place; Kellogg School of Management came in second; and Michigan Ross School of Business ranked third. The Darden School of Business received the Most Improved Award.

The 12 participating schools engaged over 4,300 students through more than 100 ally-focused activities throughout the school year. All schools appear among Businessweek’s top 20 U.S. MBA programs, and include—in order of final ranking—MIT Sloan, UCLA Anderson, Duke Fuqua, Chicago Booth, UVA Darden, Carnegie Mellon Tepper, Harvard Business School, UNC Kenan-Flagler, and Dartmouth Tuck.

Friendfactor reports that the schools improved the LGBT-friendliness of campus culture such that nearly 50% more LGBT students felt comfortable being out to everyone on campus by the end of the school year – an increase from 42% to 62%.

As of June 2014, 23 business schools are pre-registered to compete in the 2014-2015 MBA Ally Challenge, which will kick off in August 2014. The participants and winners of this year’s MBA Ally Challenge will be honored, alongside the winners of Friendfactor’s new Workplace Ally Challenge, at the first annual Ally Challenge Awards Dinner on July 26th in San Francisco.

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