African Americans and Hispanic Americans: Invisible in the Dean’s Office at America’s Leading Business Schools

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Milano3x2African Americans and Hispanic Americans are far less likely to hold the Dean’s chair at America’s leading business schools than they are to serve on the Board of Directors of the major corporations those business schools prepare students to work in, according to a new study by The PhD Project. The PhD Project works to increase minority representation in business school faculty.

The study found that among the 1,601 business schools in the U.S., African Americans are Dean of just 33 – or 2.0 %. Hispanic Americans account for just nine – or 0.5 %.

By contrast, African Americans represent 8.5% of Directors at the largest 200 S&P 500 companies, and Hispanics account for 4.5% of Director seats at those companies, according to an authoritative industry report.* Of those 200 largest businesses, 73% have at least one African American director, and 47% have at least one Hispanic American director.

“Business schools have long recognized the value of attracting and educating a diverse group of MBA, undergraduate and doctoral students, but when minority students look at business school faculties and leadership, they see very few people who look like them. This can send the signal that business isn’t for them,” said Bernard J. Milano, The PhD Project’s co-founder and President of the KPMG Foundation, creator and lead sponsor of the program.

“America’s business community wants to hire a more diverse work force and America’s business schools want to provide a more diverse talent pool. Placing more role models and potential mentors in front of the classroom and in the Dean’s office will help to attract more underrepresented minorities to business studies and business careers – a goal we all share,” Mr. Milano added.

The PhD Project, a 501(c) (3) organization founded by the KPMG Foundation, works to increase faculty diversity by recruiting midcareer business professionals to switch careers and become business professors. These individuals complete a rigorous PhD program in business with support from The PhD Project, and become professors who will inspire and encourage the next generation of business professionals.