In an effort to accelerate the progress of women leaders, Harvard Business School announced this week it will launch the Gender Initiative to to support research, teaching, and knowledge dissemination that promotes gender equity in business and society. Inspiration for the Gender Initiative emerged during the 2013 commemoration of the School’s 50th anniversary of admitting women to its two-year MBA program.
“So much of what people think they know about gender is simply not substantiated by empirical evidence but instead is based on gender stereotypes,” says Robin Ely, Harvard Business School’s Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Culture and Community.
“We want to develop the Initiative so that Harvard Business School becomes the ‘go-to place’ on gender issues, where both researchers and practitioners can come together to find ways to advance gender equity in the workplace and help both women and men lead whole, fulfilled, and sustainable lives.”
The news comes just as we release the results of Stacy Blackman Consulting’s annual survey of prospective business school applicants, in which more than 34% of respondents believe that the admissions process is less rigorous for women. Our survey also revealed that 63.46% feel that the lower number of women in business school is a significant issue.
“We have seen that women are very successful in the admissions process, as well as in business school and throughout recruiting,” says Stacy Blackman, President of Stacy Blackman Consulting. “The issue of women in business school is in the spotlight, and the good news is that it may encourage more women to apply and more schools to improve the environment for women.”