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Deans of Leading Business Schools Descend on the White House

white houseThe deans of more than a dozen leading business schools took leave from their campuses yesterday to head to the White House, where they met with senior advisors preparing for the White House Summit on Working Families. The White House is seeking input from a range of stakeholders to identify best practices to develop workplaces that better meet the needs of women and working families.

“We did not think this goal could be achieved without thinking of the business leaders of tomorrow, and that is why today, we met with a group of deans from our nation’s leading business schools to discuss best practices for business schools that can better prepare their students for the increasing importance of women in the labor force and the prevalence of employees with families where all parents work,” read a post on the White House Blog.

The White  House pointed out that though women today are more likely to graduate from college and enter formally male-dominated professions, they still confront multiple challenges as they do so. Chief among these is that they start their careers making less than their male counterparts, and the pay gap increases over the course of their careers. The White House Blog cited one study of MBA graduates from a leading institution that found that women earned $115K on average when they graduated and $250K nine years later, while men earn $130K at graduation and $400K after nine years.

As part of yesterday’s meeting, deans from 14 schools – including Harvard Business School, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, Yale School of Management and UVA’s Darden School of Business – discussed the issue of pay inequality, the need for more mentorship opportunities for women, and the need for greater flexibility in the workplace to prevent women from being penalized due to career interruptions such as motherhood. The business school deans also shared valuable insights regarding leadership, retention rates, business school culture and the timing of business school in the lifecycle.

“In order to ensure business practices that fully utilize a 21st century workforce, it is important for business school deans to update their curriculum and practices to fully reflect the importance of women and working families in our labor market,” read the White House Blog post. White House advisors will work in the weeks ahead to compile best practices, which they will then call on an even larger group of business schools to sign on to.

Read more about the White House meeting with the deans, as well as a complete list of deans who attended.

Learn more about the Working Families Summit and how you can get involved.