Harvard Business School’s India-born dean Nitin Nohria has publicly apologised for the school’s treatment of women students and professors, and vowed to make changes at the premier institution to deal with gender bias.
Mr. Nohria acknowledged that the School had sometimes treated its female students and professors offensively. He conceded there were times when women at Harvard felt “disrespected, left out, and unloved by the school. I’m sorry on behalf of the business school,” he told at a gala event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of women MBAs at the school.
“The school owed you better, and I promise it will be better,” CNN money quoted Mr. Nohria as saying.
Among other things, he pledged to more than double the percentage of women who are protagonists in Harvard case studies over the next five years, to 20 per cent. Currently, about 9 per cent of Harvard case studies — which account for 80 per cent of the cases studied at business schools around the world — have women as protagonists.
He said he would meet with the School faculty to discuss the objective.
His comments come five months after an article in The New York Times that described the school’s efforts to deal with gender inequality.
Mr. Nohria’s newly stated objective for case studies would have a big impact on the way leadership is taught in the world’s business schools because almost all MBA students are exposed to the School’s cases.
At the event, Nohria said a record 41 per cent of this year’s entering class of MBAs were women, up from 35 per cent 10 years ago.