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MBA Programs Say They Want More Diversity. So Where is it?


Feeling that London Business School wasn’t supporting Black students, Tabria Lenard and Cole Agbede did what any MBA candidates would do about a problem: They presented Dean François Ortalo-Magné with a deck of slides to make their point. One said that LBS had no Black faculty members. Ortalo-Magné corrected them: There was one.

“He acknowledged he didn’t know if it was worse to not have any or to just have one,” says Lenard, 27, who chose LBS over schools in her native U.S. “The numbers are scary. They’re scary for London and scary for 2020.” Lenard and Agbede, 29, set up LBS’s first Black in Business group.

More than one in eight Americans are Black, according to U.S. Census data, a multiple of the 3.3% in England and Wales. The rest of Europe is harder to quantify, as many countries don’t collect such data. Neither do business school trade associations. Still, a Bloomberg Markets magazine analysis found that Black men and women are badly underrepresented in the financial services industry—and in the graduate programs that supply its talent.

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This article was originally published on Bloomberg Businessweek