B-Schools Get Grades for Diversity Efforts

Courtesy Cornell

Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management is the only top business school to receive a grade of A+ for its diversity and inclusion efforts, according to a new report.

“Cornell took a proactive approach to diversity and inclusion that extended beyond admissions before most other schools, and they have sustained that effort year after year,” says a report by Diversity MBA Prep, an online community aimed at bringing more women and minorities to business school. Among other things, MBAdvantage: Diversity Outreach Benchmarking Report cited the school’s inclusion of women on its advisory board and its Johnson Women in Business event.

Eleven of the 56 schools assessed by Diversity MBA Prep scored an A. Among them are Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

While more than half the schools earned a B or B+, nearly 27 percent of the schools received a C+ or below. Among them were Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business, which both received D’s. Neither school responded to requests for comment.

Diversity MBA Prep assessed the more than 50 MBA programs on 22 factors related to their Web and social media presence, outreach and recruiting activities, school leadership, and diversity recruitment results. To assess the schools, the group’s founder, Nicole Lindsay, looked at each school’s website and gave administrators the opportunity to supply additional information. Each school earned an overall letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F) and a grade for each of the four individual categories. There’s a report card for each program, but the group refrained from ranking the schools in a particular order.

The group recommends that business schools more consistently highlight their diversity outreach efforts, showcase guiding principles on diversity, be transparent in reporting minority student recruitment results, and do something about the fact that women are underrepresented on the top business schools’ advisory/governing boards. Diversity MBA Prep reports that, on average, women and minorities account for less than 15 percent of a school’s board.

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