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Lessons from the UCLA Business School sex discrimination scandal

Sometimes the most startling discoveries about discrimination in the American workplace are made inside the very institutions that either intentionally or unintentionally support discriminatory policies, procedures and behaviors. Recently, an internal academic review conducted by professionals at the prestigious Anderson Graduate School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles revealed that this top-ranked business school operates in ways that make it “inhospitable to women faculty.”

We have previously written about the ways in which discrimination is evolving in the American workplace. It is not always blatant and obvious. Rather, sex discrimination, harassment and other forms of discrimination can be so subtle that many may not even realize that discrimination has permeated a given workplace until an objective review of that workplace is conducted.

In the case of the Andersen scandal, the internal report insists that the school is inconsistent in its approach to female faculty members, which is perhaps why the underlying sex discrimination occurring within that workplace was initially difficult to identify. However, the broad internal review reveals that the school has essentially created “gender ghettos” within certain academic disciplines and demonstrates a “lack of confidence” in those members of the faculty who are female.

The UCLA business school scandal serves as a lesson for both employees and employers. Sex discrimination may be hiding in plain site within your workplace. It is important to objectively review policies, procedures and practical behavior within the workplace on a regular basis in order to ensure that workers’ rights are sincerely respected.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Gender Bias Alleged at UCLA's Anderson Business School,” Melissa Korn, June 4, 2014

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