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Of course, such changes may require some time investment, but my favourite piece of teaching advice by Stanford’s Bob Sutton comes to mind: “It takes as much time to be a good teacher as it takes to be a bad teacher.” Motivators: Everyone benefits Educating students on managerial topics is an important part of teaching at a business school. As my colleague Philip Anderson points out, “If you do not prepare your students to work with and for women, you do them a disservice”.Thus, if you do not address gender issues, you may ill-prepare students.At the same time, men have less access to family-friendly policies such as parental leave or flexible working arrangements than women.
There are also more male than female participants in MBA programmes.
Research by my colleague Zoe Kinias has shown a method for buffering women against potential deleterious effects of their underrepresentation, but we need to do more.
Addressing gender inequality is an obvious need, and because men disproportionately manage the world’s resources, finding solutions cannot fall squarely on women’s shoulders.
Initiatives such as “He For She” underscore the important role men (have to) play in promoting gender balance. As pointed out in 2015: “Business-school teaching is a man’s, man’s, man’s world.” The percentage of male faculty at top-rated business schools varies between 63% to 87%.
There are rich accounts by female founders of how such discrimination hurts them and what strategies they deploy to counter it (see this interview by Re Code with Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway CEO).
It is thus crucial to educate future female entrepreneurs about the kind of challenges they are likely to face.Venture capital illustrates why it is impossible to truly educate on a topic without taking gender into consideration.There is reliable evidence that venture capitalists discriminate against female founders; a recent study by Dana Kanze, Laura Huang, Mark Conley and Tory Higgins shows that VCs ask female founders more critical questions.Workplace gender equality is achieved when people are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of gender.Along with many countries worldwide, Australia has made significant progress towards gender equality in recent decades, particularly in education, health and female workforce participation.Beyond giving students a more comprehensive understanding of individual topics, addressing gender issues in the classroom will also make students more effective managers and ultimately better business and society leaders.As students will work with and for women, it is crucial for them to navigate gender issues.Paying attention to gender issues may also help you to generate demand for your class. It may matter even more with respect to Executive Education.Companies looking for Executive Education are particularly sensitive to this topic, given the numerous recent gender-related scandals at Google, Uber, etc.Research by Paul Gompers and Sophie Wang also shows that VCs who are less likely to discriminate against women tend to be more successful in their investments.It is essential to educate future female and male venture capitalists about potential biases and their consequences.