Wharton, when it comes to diversity and inclusion, we have some good news. The percentage of students that believe Wharton has visible leadership from students and administration to foster diversity and inclusion has increased from last year! While this is great, we still have some work to do.
This year during our annual diversity and inclusion survey, ROE polled the MBA student body to understand in what ways they felt marginalized, and how we, the faculty, and the administration were doing in terms of solving it. The results? We need to talk.
Based on the results from the survey, only 30% of respondents said they were highly likely to recommend Wharton to admitted friends that value diversity and inclusion. Although “grades don’t matter,” we think Wharton can do better.
Why We Created the Survey:
The Diversity & Inclusion Survey is a way for us to understand how our community is doing, and feeling, about diversity. From the data we gather we can start the critically important conversations that many of us feel are not happening frequently enough, and that will continue to be important in our professional and personal lives well beyond Wharton.
Survey Results: Discrimination
Based on the survey, students feel discriminated against most often due to gender, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and political views. The top issues that Wharton struggles to address followed similar lines, with those being political views, non-native english proficiency, and socioeconomic status. And in terms of insensitive or disparaging comments made by classmates and professors, these were made mainly about political views. We hear you.
Survey Results: Speaking Up
Roughly 40% of students are unlikely to challenge classmates when they make others feel uncomfortable, and ~70% are unlikely to challenge faculty members when they make others feel uncomfortable. This is most often done for not wanting to create conflict and fear of impact on grades. Let’s start creating dialogue around these issues and have the uncomfortable conversations because only then can we improve as a community.
But the good news is there’s a lot we as a community can do to support each other and correct for the shortcomings above:
What To Do:
- Understand your own limitations – As we learned during the identity discussion on the first day of One Wharton Week, it can be hard to know what privileges you benefit from and may not even realize it, so understanding that you do and others don’t is an incredibly important first step.
- Listen to each other – We have an incredible community around us, and we’ll only reach our fullest potential if all voices feel comfortable and confident speaking about their experiences and feelings. So lend an ear to someone who’s different from you, and see what you both learn.
- Ask yourself “Why am I not speaking up?” – If you’ve found yourself in the past witness someone making harmful comments about someone else — ask yourself what did I, should I, or could I have said to let that person know those comments hurt our community overall.