Graduate Management News

August 2016

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

GMAC Viewpoints: B-Schools Need Innovative Approaches to Move the Needle on Diversity

An all-new GMAC white paper provides data and analysis for schools to develop new strategies for diversity recruitment.

Business schools of all shapes, sizes, and levels of selectivity struggle to recruit incoming classes with levels of diversity at parity with the U.S. population at large. Despite making up 17 percent of the US population and 10 percent of bachelor’s degree-earners in the country, Hispanic Americans represented only seven percent of U.S. citizens who sat for the GMAT® exam in testing year (TY) 2015. Similarly, African Americans make up 12 percent of the total US population and 10 percent of bachelor’s degree earners in the country, but represented just eight percent of U.S. GMAT examinees in TY 2015.

As we move into the future, and as the country grows more racially and ethnically diverse, business schools will need new, innovative approaches to building incoming classes that reflect the diverse society graduates will lead through their successful careers in business. At this June’s GMAC Annual Conference in Washington, DC, I partnered with Michael Robinson, senior associate director, MBA Admissions, Columbia Business School, and Katelyn Rosa Stephenson, assistant dean, MBA Admissions, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, on a session titled Re-imagining Our Approach to Recruiting Diverse Populations. During this well-attended session, we examined the current data landscape of diversity at US graduate business schools and explored ways admissions and marketing departments can better leverage GMAC data to improve their diversity recruitment outcomes.

I am now happy to announce that my GMAC Research colleagues Rhonda Daniel, survey research manager, and Devina Caruthers, survey research associate manager, have produced an all-new white paper that provides the most in-depth analysis of business school candidates from underrepresented populations ever produced by our department. Titled Understanding Underrepresented Populations in the Business School Pipeline, the white paper highlights information and insights for business schools to devise more effective, innovative, data-driven strategies to reach, recruit, and enroll Hispanic-American and African-American candidates. Through this white paper, admissions professionals can deepen their knowledge of these distinct populations—specifically the unique factors that influence their decision making when it comes to selecting a graduate business program.

Understanding the data landscape and using metrics to segment these specific candidate populations will help schools plan their recruitment efforts and create measures of success for their institutions. Every business school is unique, and it is my hope that schools will take different approaches to implementing the findings of the white paper. Through sharing insights on what strategies show positive results, we can improve the diversity of our industry as a whole. This, in turn, will undoubtedly improve diversity at the highest levels of the country’s workforce, to the benefit of all.

To download the full GMAC white paper, visit

About the Author

Matt HazenbushMatt Hazenbush is Research Communications Manager at the Graduate Management Admission Council.