News - January 1996

Nation's top business schools embrace gay professors, students, applicants

STANFORD, Calif. -- Over this holiday break, gay men, lesbians and bisexuals can start their New Year's resolutions early by coming out of the closet -- on their applications to business school.

That's according to Jason P. Lorber, a Stanford MBA who conducted a study which discovered that the nation's top business schools were the most gay-friendly.

Lorber, 29, is a San Francisco-based business consultant, specializing in helping companies market to gay and lesbian consumers. He has been profiled in the New York Times and featured on Public Radio International's "Marketplace" radio show, commenting on trends in marketing to gay and lesbian consumers.

"Since the report was published on the World Wide Web, I've been contacted by business school applicants, asking if it's okay to be openly gay," said Lorber. "My answer, for the most part, is 'Yes.' By and large, the data indicates that the better the business school, the more gay-friendly it is."

"One woman from South Africa said she planned to come out on her application," said Lorber. "I've also heard from business school professors, students, administers and applicants in Australia, Canada, France -- China even -- and they all want to find ways to make business school a gay-positive experience."

About the Study

The study, based on ten objective criteria, is the first to quantify the extent to which business schools have gay-friendly programs and policies, and openly lesbian, gay and bisexual students and faculty.

Harvard, Stanford and Yale topped the list as the most gay-friendly, each earning an "A" grade. Purdue, in last place, got an "F."

Surprising gay-friendly findings:

Ranked from most to least gay-friendly: Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Michigan, NYU, Pennsylvania, Columbia, Northwestern, UCLA, Berkeley, Cornell, Dartmouth, Virginia, Chicago, Carnegie-Mellon, Indiana, MIT, Duke, North Carolina, Texas at Austin, USC and Purdue.

The study focused on "Top 20" business schools as determined by Business Week or U.S. News & World Report in 1994. Research stemmed from information provided by 100 administrators, faculty, students and alumni.

Stanford's business school paid for the study's research costs. Distribution costs were funded by Alumni Out for Business, the gay, lesbian and bisexual alumni of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The entire report is on the web at http://www-leland.stanford.edu/group/QR/lorber.

Highlights of Lorber's report are published in the "Straight Jobs, Gay Lives" (Simon & Schuster), an in-depth book about gay workplace issues.

Lorber can be reached online at JPLorber@aol.com.

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