HBS Commits to Racial Equity

The school outlines a seven-step plan for making the campus more diverse and welcoming.

HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL in Boston, Massachusetts, has launched an Action Plan for Racial Equity, which was announced on September 23 by dean Nitin Nohria. In a letter to faculty, staff, students, and alumni, Nohria wrote, “This moment has made urgently clear that the School must redouble its commitment to combat racism—and anti-Black racism in particular—to create meaningful and enduring change that will enable every member of our community to thrive.”

The plan was drafted by the Dean’s Anti-Racism Task Force, which is made up of 25 members of the HBS community. The school commits to taking seven steps to improve racial equity on its campus and in the business world:

    1. Make clear where we stand and where we aim to go.

    2. Establish the enduring structures required for the journey ahead.

    3. Attract additional Black talent to all parts of the HBS community.

    4. Develop and disseminate research and course material on advancing racial equity in business.

    5. Equip our students to become leaders for racial equity.

    6. Engage with the broader business community to promote racial equity.

    7. Hold ourselves accountable to meaningful, measurable progress.

“Crafting the plan was a major effort undertaken in the midst of a long overdue racial reckoning across America and around the world,” says Jan Rivkin, one of the leaders of the task force and the senior associate dean and chair of the MBA program. “I can’t recall a time when so many people at HBS came together with such a shared sense of urgency and conviction for real change. Now that it is launched, the hard but fulfilling work of executing the plan begins.”

To support the effort, Nohria has committed US$25 million over the next 10 years, and the school will seek additional support from donors to sustain the plan over time. “To be true to our mission,” says Nohria, “we must enlist the full spectrum of human talent and educate leaders who will make the most of the differences that enrich us individually, and societies globally.”