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From the Assistant Dean of Inclusion and Diversity: Honoring Women and Advancing Equity

Kristen M. Beyers discusses Yale SOM’s longstanding commitment to gender equity, and the school’s plans for celebrating Women’s History Month.

This month, Yale SOM honors the historical legacy of women in the United States and women’s achievements globally. SOM’s commitment to advancing and celebrating women is far-reaching. On campus, we’re working relentlessly toward gender equity in and out of the classroom, focused on increasing representation of women in business education, supporting our community of women, and preparing our graduates to effectively lead diverse workforces. 

Representation matters. In our goal to expand the women student pipeline, SOM has long enjoyed a relationship with Forté, an organization committed to more women leading and changing the balance of power in the workplace. While there is always more work to be done on this front, we are proud of our progress to date: our MBA Class of 2023, for example, is 43% women.

Through SOM’s curriculum, our students tackle issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, in alignment with the school’s mission to educate leaders for business and society. Gender equity issues in particular are discussed at length in the core curriculum in a course called State and Society, where students examine how organizations interact with the societies that surround them and the impact of societal trends and inequities on business. 

Outside the classroom, the Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID) and the student-run Women in Management (WIM) club offer co-curricular and community support.

The mission of OID is to empower students, staff, and faculty to celebrate diversity, foster inclusionary practices, and be intentional and impactful in interactions with one another. OID’s programming offers opportunities for awareness, reflection, and action as community members progress forward on this journey. OID offers a co-curricular series called Conversations that Matter, where we discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion issues such as allyship, bias, microaggressions, and having difficult conversations. OID works closely WIM to support and complement their objectives.  

WIM is the school’s largest club. It includes women and allies who work to  create a welcoming and inclusive student community that encourages discourse and advocacy around critical issues, and empowers members to be agents of change in their future workplaces. WIM’s annual event, Fempire, which occurred just a few weeks ago, serves as a space for addressing the pressing issues affecting women today. This year’s theme was “Women as the Main Character.” The colloquium attracted women across industries and lived experiences, who came together to explore how women have been able to champion for themselves and thrive in their personal and professional lives. Some of the important topics explored at Fempire included mentorship and sponsorship, navigating male-dominated industries, dealing with imposter syndrome, and growing a career while growing a family. 

As March commences, we are proud to kick off a month-long celebration honoring Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Our celebration aims to elevate and share women’s voices in and out of our community. Programming includes a community book swap of titles by our favorite women authors, a session on building trust and the power of connecting, and a social gala. We’ll also be highlighting some of the countless exceptional women in our community on our social platforms (stay tuned for some sure-to-be memorable Instagram takeovers at @yalesom!).

To learn more and engage with our celebration, visit the Belonging at Yale site.

Kristen M. Beyers
Assistant Dean of Inclusion and Diversity
Yale School of Management
Edward P. Evans Hall
165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520