In a recent Financial Times article discussing underrepresentation of Black students in business schools, Commerce School Dean Nicole Thorne Jenkins weighed in on the issue.
“How Can Business Schools Tackle Racial Inequality?” examines the reaction of universities worldwide in their attempt to address disparities in student populations. Increased pressure from students, staff, and corporate partners, spurred, in part, by social justice causes such as the Black Lives Matter movement, has ushered in a desire for systematic change to help balance out longstanding inequalities at all levels of business academics.
Jenkins explains that the disproportionate number of Black American students (8.3% of U.S. citizens who sat for the Graduate Management Admission Test business school entrance exam last year versus 13% of the U.S. workforce and 10.5% of citizens with a bachelor’s degree) is caused by economic and educational disparities facing Black American students, which in turn, have created both aspirational and achievement inconsistencies.
She notes her plans to collaborate with high schools in an attempt to increase awareness of business degree programs among underrepresented sections of the population, citing the “transformational power” of education.
“This crisis is an opportunity [for business schools] to be truthful about our historical failings and put in place systems to address them robustly,” Jenkins says.
In its investigation of the subject, the Financial Times piece incorporates the perspective of other deans, faculty, students, and admissions and testing professionals from around the world, showing the wide-ranging prevalence of racial inequality affecting higher education programs in business.
Read the full article at the Financial Times.