The March 2008 edition of the HBS Bulletin had a little piece about the first women MBA students.
â€œA â€˜Daring Exper-imentâ€™: Harvard and Busi-ness Education for Women, 1937â€“1970,â€ tells the story of how coeducation at HBS evolved from an eleven-month certificate program in â€œpersonnel administrationâ€ at Radcliffe College (1937â€“1945), to the Management Training Program (1946â€“1955), to the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration (1956â€“1963) â€” the last step before complete integration took place with the admission of eight women into the MBA Class of 1965.
But what’s even more interesting is a letter to the editor that showed up in the current issue (June 2008) –
Your March article â€œA History of Women at HBSâ€ omitted an important category â€” women in the early sixties who were not admitted to the firstyear at HBS. Instead, their only option was to attend a separate and unequal first-year class at the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration, a nondegree program. The women were then allowed to apply for the second year at HBS, and fewer than ten were accepted. In the second-year program, they were given no housing or section designation, and a professor could deny entrance to his course.
When job interviews started on campus, womenâ€™s names were scratched from the interview list. Recruiters refused to interview them because it was a â€œwaste of time.â€ I know, because this happened to me. I was part of this forgotten class.
Joan Oxman Rothberg
(HRPBA 1962, MBA â€™63)
Wow – scratched off the interview list! Incredible how far we’ve come. And that’s an excellent thing.