Hbs is an example in my book of one of the institutions that’s actually done the best job. and I think frances frei and youngme moon are models that everyone should be following. a couple years ago, not very recently– and dean nitin, I think, is a hero of this– they came in and made it explicit that they wanted, forever at hbs– american men have outperformed international students and women.
and they came in and said, we’re going to broaden our definition of leadership. they gave a broader definition of leadership. holding people responsible, not just for their own behavior, but for making other people better. and they worked on the soft stuff. they held everyone accountable, and then they worked on some curriculum things. but they were actually pretty small.
they had a field study, and if you look, two years they closed the educational achievement gap at harvard. in two years. and achievement gap that was there when I was there. and what’s so exciting is satisfaction of the students went up, including the american men. and that, I think, is such an important example.
so I think they had started talking about gender. they walked around and told people, women and international students, there’s an academic gap between our male american students and women international students. they had started talking about why.
they broadened the definition of leadership. I mean, this is kind of, not that hard stuff to do. but they made it explicit. and they did it, in two years. and harvard business school is a very established institution. I think it’s such a great example for what other organizations can do. but we have to talk about gender to do it. this will not happen without talking about gender.