Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Ernst & Young
GMAT 600 (hopeful estimate), GPA 3.86
Kellogg | Mr. Innovator
GRE 300, GPA 3.75
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Harvard | Ms. Developing Markets
GMAT 780, GPA 3.63
Yale | Ms. Biotech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.29
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Marine Executive Officer
GRE 322, GPA 3.28
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Ms. Global Empowerment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.66
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
Stanford GSB | Mr. Infantry Officer
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Armenian Geneticist
GRE 331, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 1st Gen Grad
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1
Ross | Mr. Travelpreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 2.68
London Business School | Ms. Numbers
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
IU Kelley | Mr. Fortune 500
N U Singapore | Mr. Naval Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
NYU Stern | Ms. Entertainment Strategist
GMAT Have not taken, GPA 2.92
INSEAD | Ms. Spaniard Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 8.5/10.00
NYU Stern | Mr. Army Prop Trader
GRE 313, GPA 2.31
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthtech Venture
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5

Sandberg Congrats HBS For Closing Academic Gap

When Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg returned to Harvard Business School earlier this month to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of women’s admission to the school, she asked the women in the audience to stand up if they had ever said “I’m going to be CEO of this company.”

The vast majority of the 800 women at Harvard’s W50 Summit, remained seated. “I want to give every woman in this audience not just the permission but the encouragement to stand up the next time that question is asked,” she said.


A 1995 Harvard MBA who is the chief operating officer of Facebook, Sandberg’s appearance was the highlight of the April 4-5 event–and she wasted no time delivering an engaging speech that was well received by HBS alumni. “Fifty years ago at Harvard Business School, they let women in,” said Sandberg, author of the recently published book, Lean In. “They did not take the urinals out of the restroom. That took a little time. A woman i met from that class told me, ‘It was as if they were saying, we’re not quite sure this whole girl thing will work out. And if it doesn’t, we don’t have to reinstall the urinals so we’ll just leave them there. Today, at Harvard Business School there are so many women in attendance that the men’s room became a women’s room but the urinals are still there.”

The audience laughed.

Sandberg also congratulated her alma mater on closing an academic gap between men and women at the business school. Though women accounted for 36% of Harvard’s Class of 2009, only 11% of the school’s Baker Scholars were female. That honor is given to students who are in the top 5% of HBS’ graduating class. Meantime, only 21% of the first year honors (for being in the top 20%) for the class were awarded to women and only 22% of the second year honors were given to women (see Why Men Outperformed Women At Harvard).


Sandberg lauded HBS’ leadership team, including Dean Nohria who appointed the first woman as head of the school’s MBA program, Youngme Moon, a dynamic marketing professor who has led major changes to the MBA curriculum. The Facebook executive also singled out Frances Frei, a senior associate dean and HBS professor and Robin Ely, a professor who is also associate dean for culture and community. Sandberg said that it took HBS just two years to completely close the academic gap.

“Harvard Business School is great proof that talking about these issues openly and honestly can change things,” Sandberg said. “Historically at HBS, American males have outperformed academically females and international students. They (the school’s leadership) were determined to change this. They decided they would go around classroom to classroom and say that openly. Here is what is happening.

“No one ever said that when I was here,” she added. “They said we are going to define leadership differently. Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence. Two years later the academic gap has disappeared. The biggest congratulations to this team. And importantly, satisfaction is up, not just for women and international students but for the American men as well. because equality makes us all better off.”


“Men still run the world.” Sandberg proclaimed, “and other than Dean Nohria, I’m not sure that’s going that well. There is not a single country in the world where more than 5% of the companies are run by women.”

Sandberg says it is not surprising that more men than women lead. “We have a leadership ambition gap. If you ask boys and girls starting in junior high, do you want to lead? Do you want to be president of your junior high school class? Do you want to be president at your college? Do you want to run the club you are volunteering for at your college? Do you want to run the division you work for? Do you want to run the company you’re in? do you want to be the dean of the school at which you teach? At every level, more males than females say yes, starting in junior high. That is a leadership ambition gap and we need to close that in order to fix it.”


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.