UCLA’s Business School’s Self-Examination of Gender Inequality

uclaThe Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles commissioned a report by the consulting group Korn Ferry International to examine why there has been persisting gender inequality in faculty appointments. Women are 23 percent of the faculty, up from 16 percent in 2009. But only 13 percent of the full professors are women.

The report reached two main conclusions:

  • The culture and climate at Anderson, do, in fact, serve to reinforce the status quo and make it difficult for meaningful change to occur and be sustained.
  • Leaders at Anderson have not demonstrated the focused intention and proactive behavior required to increase diversity and shape the environment toward greater openness, acceptance, and inclusion of all faculty.

olian160The second conclusion is somewhat surprising considering the dean of the business school is a woman, Judy Olian. The Korn Ferry report states that its research found that “many faculty do not trust the dean and do not believe she is serious about gender equality.” Dr. Olian has been dean of the business school since 2006. A native of Australia, she is a graduate of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she majored in psychology. Dean Olian holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Some 91 percent of women faculty at Anderson stated that important decisions are disproportionately influenced by senior male faculty. Some 20 percent of women faculty agreed with the statement, “My research contributions are reflected fairly in promotion decisions.” Only 18 percent of women faculty agreed that “Anderson faculty make an effort to create an inclusive gender environment.” And only 14 percent of women faculty said that students treat faculty with the same level of respect regardless of gender. Men make up two thirds of all students in the school’s main degree programs.

drolet160Aimee Drolet Rossi, a professor of marketing at the Anderson School, notes that Anderson should be lauded for examining and publicizing the issue. She told the Los Angeles Times, “As much as the report shows warts and all, I’m happy that it’s addressing the issue. We all need to take responsibility for the climate.”

Professor Rossi holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago. She earned a master’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in business from Stanford University.

Filed Under: FacultyGender GapResearch/Study


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