Building an Ally Culture at Wharton

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-12-12-32-am

Several weeks ago on a Wednesday at noon, I put on a black sweater and headed out to Koo Plaza to join a crowd of several hundred students who were gathered to protest the tragic reoccurrence of police killings of black citizens. Spontaneously organized the night before by the Wharton African-American MBA Association (AAMBAA) and Return on Equality (ROE), the protest was a silent one where the student organizers were joined by classmate and staff allies, showing solidarity by wearing black. This event also inspired students at other business schools to hold similar protests over the following few days.

A week later, to follow up on the protest, the student organizers hosted an open discussion in Huntsman Hall about the institutionalized racism that permeates many systems in the US, and to share their own stories of living under suspicion by law enforcement and fellow citizens. Most important, they encouraged the students, faculty and staff in the audience to ask questions – no matter how difficult — in an effort to educate others in our community and have a meaningful dialogue. Many people asked thought-provoking questions and the AAMBAA/ROE students responded openly and honestly. I was moved by the proactive leadership of AAMBA and ROE  who created this forum, as well as the allies who showed up to learn and support their classmates in the face of the terrible incidents that have been convulsing our country. This coming together was a perfect example of the inclusive community that we strive to create at Wharton.

As Vice Dean of Wharton’s MBA Program, I want to be sure that all of our students are treated respectfully and feel that they belong here. Given the great diversity of our students, however, this is a challenging proposition. Hailing from more than 70 countries, some with vastly different cultures and social norms, the first years represent a wide array of races, ethnicities, languages, gender identities, social classes, political views, religions, professional experience and personal narratives.  So when the 800 new students assemble on campus in early August, one of our first tasks is to try to break down barriers and find commonalities among the students in order to build connections between people who will be spending the next two years together as classmates and colleagues. The challenge is that our students (like the rest of us) have implicit biases and stereotypical ways of viewing people who do not look or sound like themselves. If Wharton is truly committed to training our students to be prepared to work in a global environment, then teaching them how to understand and collaborate with people from different backgrounds is essential.

Yet there is another aspect of our students’ lives that separates them in a profoundly different way than nationality or upbringing: the advantages that some students have been born into that have propelled them forward toward academic, professional and financial success. These privileges could result from any number of factors — such as race, gender, socioeconomic status, and/or physical appearance or ability. Acknowledging one’s privilege relative to others is difficult, because part of being privileged is that you don’t have to think about it. This explains why many men think that “gender” is about women, and many Caucasian people think that “race” is about people of color.

Why should Wharton encourage students to question if they have benefitted from institutions or systems that discriminate against those with less privilege?  

  • Understanding how you are privileged is the first step toward gaining a better perspective about one’s fellow students, as well as serving as the groundwork for building authentic relationships across differences.
  • There is growing evidence that business success is correlated with the diversity of a company’s executive leadership. (Why Diversity Matters, McKinsey & Company, January 2015). Managers need to level the playing field for members of under-represented groups so that they can ascend into management’s ranks.
  • Business leaders can improve society by helping to eliminate the inequity that privilege perpetuates. Enabling talented people to fully participate in the workplace has positive sum benefits for all.

If you agree that some of us have benefitted unfairly from these advantages, the best way to personally address this situation is to become an ally. Anne Bishop, in her oft-quoted book on the subject,* defined allies this way:

“Allies are people who recognize the unearned privilege they receive from society’s patterns of injustice and take responsibility for changing these patterns. Allies include men who work to end sexism, white people who work to end racism, heterosexual people who work to end heterosexism, able-bodied people who work to end ableism, and so on.”

At Wharton, an ally is a male student who speaks out when a female student has been interrupted repeatedly by another male student when she tries to make a comment in class, the white student who explains to a fellow white student why the Black Lives Matter movement is taking place, and the straight guy who dances in drag at Rainbow Pub in support of his gay classmates.

Wharton is not perfect, either as an institution or as a community, at making all feel included. But I’m heartened by the progress I’ve seen over the past few years that has been driven by the combination of strong student leadership  and administrative support. A number of new programs raise awareness of the obstacles to equal treatment for various members of the Wharton community. These are our attempts to generate real change in the culture of the MBA program, and more broadly address the social and political issues the world is grappling with today. In addition to the Black Lives Matter protest, here are some other initiatives:

  • The ROE collaborative has brought together a number of affinity groups whose joint impact exceeds the sum of their parts. ROE has been the main force behind Diversity Week and has supported a number of individual clubs to educate and enlighten the MBA community. With additional sponsorship from the Dean’s and Vice Dean’s Office, it has encouraged groups of clubs to jointly present workshops which help students work across lines of difference. It has also worked closely with my office to improve the Diversity Workshop.
  • The Storytellers Club has become a forum where students share personal tales about their families of origin, cultural heritage, challenges, and personal breakthroughs that preceded their arrival at Wharton.  The audience at this event listens – rapt and respectful – as they learn about very different paths that led their classmates to Wharton.
  • The force of hundreds of Wharton Women in Business members – and the allied male group, the 22s – indicates students’ commitment to new norms about women’s rights and empowerment here at school and in the workplace.
  • The administration has sponsored faculty-led seminars on unconscious bias and discussions of gender roles. We recruited diversity experts from Penn’s Graduate School of Education to help us create a more inclusive climate in the MBA program.

So what can individual students do to contribute to making Wharton MBA a more welcoming community?

  • Expand your circle of friends by inviting people who are different from you to join in your social or academic activities.
  • Join an affinity group or a club with a multicultural membership.
  • Attend an event hosted by an affinity group or gatherings such as Storytellers Club where people reflect on how their ethnic or cultural heritage has impacted their lives and careers.

Your two years at Wharton will provide one of the best opportunities of your life to experience people from different walks of life.  I challenge you to take advantage of this incredible window of opportunity to enrich your understanding and empathy, deepen your emotional intelligence, and expand your network of friends and colleagues.

*Footnote: Anne Bishop, On Becoming an Ally: Breaking the Cycle of Oppression in People, Fernwood Publishing, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2001, Second Edition.

Authors

134 Comments

  1. Pingback: 4cyn5et4m5t94c5t9m4vn54cx65

  2. Pingback: http://falschgeldkaufen.blogspot.com/2017/01/wo-kann-ich-falschgeld-kaufen.html

  3. Pingback: alcoholism statistics

  4. Pingback: دانلود قسمت هشتم شهرزاد دوم

  5. Pingback: دانلود شهرزاد قسمت دوازدهم فصل دوم

  6. Pingback: دانلود شهرزاد قسمت هفتم فصل دوم

  7. Pingback: دانلود شهرزاد قسمت هشتم فصل دوم

  8. Pingback: دانلود قسمت ششم فصل دوم شهرزاد

  9. Pingback: دانلود قسمت چهارده عاشقانه

  10. Pingback: Nicole Aniston

  11. Pingback: دانلود شهرزاد قسمت هفتم فصل دوم

  12. Pingback: lesbian porn xxx

  13. Pingback: دانلود قسمت 12 عاشقانه

  14. Pingback: Hundeskove i Nordjylland

  15. Pingback: دانلود قسمت دوازدهم عاشقانه

  16. Pingback: دانلود قسمت پنجم شهرزاد دوم

  17. Pingback: دانلود قسمت 13 عاشقانه

  18. Pingback: medical college in India with 45% marks

  19. Pingback: porno

  20. Pingback: videos porno

  21. Pingback: porno gratis

  22. Pingback: videos porno

  23. Pingback: taurus man trying make me jealous

  24. Pingback: پنجره دوجداره ویستابست

  25. Pingback: ساخت پنجره دو سه جداره

  26. Pingback: قیمت پنجره

  27. Pingback: Acne Facial Treatments Sunrise

  28. Pingback: فروش توری پنجره دوجداره

  29. Pingback: دانلود قسمت ششم شهرزاد دوم

  30. Pingback: tits

  31. Pingback: cheap hotels

  32. Pingback: cliquez ici

  33. Pingback: jake burgess east berlin ct

  34. Pingback: دانلود قسمت هفتم شهرزاد دوم

  35. Pingback: brief boxer gay

  36. Pingback: پنجره

  37. Pingback: Poker Indonesia

  38. Pingback: suport lanseta

  39. Pingback: coin-banks cryptocurrency

  40. Pingback: coin-banks review

  41. Pingback: coin-banks exchange

  42. Pingback: tenzi do felg

  43. Pingback: DraftKings DFS

  44. Pingback: Porn World

  45. Pingback: coin-banks.com

  46. Pingback: coin-banks cryptocurrency

  47. Pingback: mdansby software

  48. Pingback: nicocontrol funciona

  49. Pingback: la

  50. Pingback: دانلود قسمت هشتم شهرزاد

  51. Pingback: anime series

  52. Pingback: دانلود فیلم

  53. Pingback: Social Media Marketing

  54. Pingback: peppa pig

  55. Pingback: air conditioner repair

  56. Pingback: دانلود شهرزاد قسمت 16

  57. Pingback: دانلود سریال شهرزاد قسمت 16

  58. Pingback: Prezentacionnoe video

  59. Pingback: poetas malditos

  60. Pingback: game

  61. Pingback: Best Crib Mattress

  62. Pingback: political polls

  63. Pingback: Atlanta artist Corey Barksdale

  64. Pingback: فروش توری

  65. Pingback: plumber

  66. Pingback: Tile and Grout Cleaning harker heights TX

  67. Pingback: titleist ap2 716 irons australia

  68. Pingback: s�informer sur ce lien

  69. Pingback: Limos Bus Vancouver BC

  70. Pingback: دانلود فیلم های روز

  71. Pingback: sell home

  72. Pingback: Peppa Pig

  73. Pingback: Bacillus Anthracis Symptoms

  74. Pingback: دانلود فیلم

  75. Pingback: how to buy bitcoins

  76. Pingback: upvc window

  77. Pingback: پنجره دوجداره

  78. Pingback: قیمت پنجره دوجداره

  79. Pingback: پنجره

  80. Pingback: دانلود

  81. Pingback: پنجره دوجداره

  82. Pingback: مشاوره بازاریابی آنلاین

  83. Pingback: drugs

  84. Pingback: SEO Sheffield

  85. Pingback: motorhomes for hire

  86. Pingback: judi dadu online

  87. Pingback: grafisch.CoolePagina.nl

  88. Pingback: Funny Pictures

  89. Pingback: game gaple

  90. Pingback: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bld2NoB1hBI

  91. Pingback: 6 inch shower head

  92. Pingback: Smartphones

  93. Pingback: window

  94. Pingback: دانلود فیلم

  95. Pingback: دانلود

  96. Pingback: دانلود فیلم اکسیدان

  97. Pingback: Web Design Company Yakima

  98. Pingback: EVA TV

  99. Pingback: plumber near me

  100. Pingback: rhymes for kids

  101. Pingback: فیلم

  102. Pingback: krzem i bor

  103. Pingback: garden

  104. Pingback: Jessenia

  105. Pingback: Java function symbolic derivative calculator numeric

  106. Pingback: game review

  107. Pingback: video blog

  108. Pingback: gifts

  109. Pingback: clique aqui

  110. Pingback: gay porn

  111. Pingback: dip

  112. Pingback: karajupvc

  113. Pingback: dip bowls

  114. Pingback: 12 month loans bad credit direct lenders

  115. Pingback: window

  116. Pingback: پنجره دوجداره

  117. Pingback: download movie

  118. Pingback: tablestacas

  119. Pingback: پنجره

  120. Pingback: garden bridges Dallas

  121. Pingback: top real estate themes wordpress

  122. Pingback: Self Storage Units and Facilities in Ridgewood

  123. Pingback: blocks

  124. Pingback: what that

  125. Pingback: Self Storage Units and Facilities in Mills Pond Park

  126. Pingback: Watch movie for free

  127. Pingback: Judi Bola

  128. Pingback: personnel recruitment consulting

  129. Pingback: Finger Family

  130. Pingback: new vape mods

  131. Pingback: how to get rid of blackheads on nose

  132. Pingback: learn colors with soccer balls for children

  133. Pingback: Judi Poker

  134. Pingback: textbook solutions online free

Top