February 20, 2024
Dear GW Business Community,

I am delighted at the news that our school is number 1 worldwide for women in business enrollment on the Financial Times’ Global MBA Ranking for 2024. This is an outstanding recognition, one that we can be proud to know is a result of our collective commitment to equity.

I mentioned in my last letter that fostering an equitable environment must take not only practices but also physical spaces into consideration. I would like to remind our community of the Meditation, Prayer & Reflection Room in Duquès Hall, 656. It is open during building hours and is available to students, faculty and staff, with no reservation necessary.

We continue our commemoration of Black History Month, and the triumphs, culture and history of members of the Black diaspora. Throughout this month, GW community members are learning about the many dimensions of the Black experience through a Black Heritage Celebration series organized by student leaders and organizations.
Also this month, a group of graduate students from GW School of Business are participating in the John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition. More than 50 universities are represented in this competitive competition, which is held at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. In the competition, students develop recommendations that help companies advance racial equity and justice. The students from GW Business made it to the semifinals of the competition, which are being held on February 22. We wish them the very best and are proud of their efforts and hard work toward this meaningful endeavor.
In addition, we marked the start of the Lunar New Year on February 10. This celebration, which is also called Spring Festival, is a significant tradition in Asia. The beginning of the celebration is based on the historic Chinese lunar calendar and typically lasts 15 days. The zodiac this year is the dragon. Happy year of the dragon to those who are observing this holiday!
Diversity and Allyship Week
Diversity & Allyship Week was an outstanding way to reflect on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion within the fabric of our communities. We were pleased to have more than 200 participants this year. Below are five of several themes and learning outcomes that emerged from the events: 

  • Diverse networks and affinity groups can provide lasting social and professional value. 
  • Equity can be take many forms, including in housing and housing policy, the focus of the George Talks Business session.
  • Inclusive environments can help launch and grow one’s career domestically and abroad.
  • Employee Resource Groups bolster workplace inclusivity and innovation by offering networks for sharing experiences and encouraging professional development. 
  • Acknowledging and using correct pronouns is a fundamental aspect of recognizing personal identity and promoting an environment of respect and belonging.
Thank you to our alumni and guests for sharing their diverse perspectives, and to all participants, whose active engagement deepened our collective understanding and commitment to DEI.
Upcoming Events 
GW-BRIDGE (Building Research Interdisciplinarily to Advance Gender Equity), is an initiative that elevates and promotes research related to gender equity throughout George Washington University. It is led by Faculty Advisor N. Sharon Hill, professor of management. I would like to draw your attention to two upcoming GW-BRIDGE sponsored research talks: 

  • Friday, February 23, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Duquès Hall, Room 255
    Corinne Post, professor of management and Fred J. Springer Endowed Chair in Business Leadership at Villanova University will deliver a seminar on “Women in Corporate Leadership: Implications for Product Quality and Safety from a Cross-Disciplinary Approach.” 
  • Friday, March 29, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Duquès Hall, Room 255 
    Alicia Grandey, liberal arts professor in the Department of Psychology at Penn State University will deliver a seminar on “Menopausal Women as Leaders? Intersectionality of Symptoms and Stereotypes.”
Details about a film produced by Vanessa Perry, interim dean and professor of marketing, strategic management and public policy, will be provided soon. The film will explore the dynamics and consequences of urban revitalization, offering a perspective from three neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. A movie night will be held for students in early March, with an invitation forthcoming from the Dean’s Diversity Council.
Finally, please consider attending the GW Diversity Summit, which is being held from February 20-22. This year’s ninth annual event is focused on the theme, “Defining Revolutionary: A Call for Justice, Liberation & Empathy.”
Women's History Month and Gender Equity 
Next month will be Women’s History Month, and it is notable that the National Women’s Alliance has announced that the theme for 2024 will be “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.”
To that end, please join me in congratulating N. Sharon Hill, professor of management, and Jennifer Merluzzi, associate professor of strategic management and public policy. Professor Hill’s research, “Virtuality at Work: A Double-Edged Sword for Women’s Career Equality,” co-authored with Isabel Villamor, a former doctoral student (now an Assistant Professor at IESE Business School) earned recognition as the fourth most cited and the tenth most frequently read article in the Academy of Management Annals during 2023. Professor Merluzzi’s paper “Changes in Hiring Discrimination Against Stay-at-Home Fathers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from Online Field Experiments, 2019-2021,” with Professor Julia Melin of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, was accepted to the 2024 Work and Family Researchers Network Conference, which is taking place in Montreal, Canada in June.
Also, Young Hoon Kwak, associate professor of decision sciences, will be a keynote speaker at the 12th International Project Management Association (‎IPMA) Research Conference from April 19-21. His remarks will be on “Board Gender Diversity and Impact of A.I. in Project Driven Sector.”
Please let us know your contributions. We are proud of your accomplishments in DEI.
Best wishes,
Signature of Şenay Ağca, chief diversity officer
Şenay Ağca, Ph.D.
Professor of Finance
Chief Diversity Officer
Chair, Dean’s Diversity Council
George Washington University School of Business
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