Check out this article about the Harvard Business School’s two-year old (so far) scheme to close the gender gap in terms of student grades and participation in class. It’s been a huge success, and it also appears to have increased students’ overall satisfaction with their experience at HBS. (Also, if you don’t already know, you’ll learn about what a “search fund” is. Sounds pretty scammy and potentially a kind of pyramid scheme to me–I’m not really clear as to where our HBS grads are adding any value whatsoever, but you be the judge.)
[HBS '13] had been unwitting guinea pigs in what would have once sounded like a far-fetched feminist fantasy: What if Harvard Business School gave itself a gender makeover, changing its curriculum, rules and social rituals to foster female success?
The country’s premier business training ground was trying to solve a seemingly intractable problem. Year after year, women who had arrived with the same test scores and grades as men fell behind. Attracting and retaining female professors was a losing battle; from 2006 to 2007, a third of the female junior faculty left.
Some students, like Sheryl Sandberg, class of ’95, the Facebook executive and author of “Lean In,” sailed through. Yet many Wall Street-hardened women confided that Harvard was worse than any trading floor, with first-year students divided into sections that took all their classes together and often developed the overheated dynamics of reality shows. Some male students, many with finance backgrounds, commandeered classroom discussions and hazed female students and younger faculty members, and openly ruminated on whom they would “kill, sleep with or marry” (in cruder terms). Alcohol-soaked social events could be worse. Continue Reading »