Board Members—But Still Not Deans

Including more African Americans and Hispanic Americans as b-school faculty and staff will attract more minority students to business studies and careers.
African Americans and Hispanic Americans are far less likely to hold the dean’s chair at America’s leading business schools than they are to serve on the boards of major corporations, according to a new study by The PhD Project. The PhD Project works to increase minority representation among business school faculty.

Only 2% of business schools have African American deans, and only less than 1% have Hispanic American deans.

The study found that among the 1,601 business schools in the U.S., African Americans are deans of just 33—or 2 percent of the schools. Hispanic Americans account for just nine, or half of 1 percent. By contrast, African Americans represent 8.5 percent of directors at 200 S&P 500 companies, and Hispanics account for 4.5 percent of director seats at those companies, according to the 2014 Board Index report from executive search firm Spencer Stuart. Of those 200 businesses, 73 percent have at least one African American director, and 47 percent have at least one Hispanic American director.

“When minority students look at business school faculties and leadership, they see very few people who look like them. This can send the signal that business isn’t for them,” says Bernard J. Milano, co-founder of the PhD Project and president of the KPMG Foundation. “Placing more role models in front of the classroom and in the dean’s office will help to attract more minorities to business studies and business careers—a goal we all share.”