Minority MBAs Rate Diversity in Corporate America; New Survey Offers Insight

May 23, 1999, 01:00 ET from The PhD Project

    MONTVALE, N.J., May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- African-American, Hispanic-American
 and Native American MBA's in corporate America say they still lag far behind
 non-minorities in getting hired, promoted, and reaching their companies' upper
 levels, a survey by The PhD Project reveals.  But looking five years ahead,
 most of the group expect opportunities for new MBAs to improve or hold steady.
     The survey offers insights into the attitudes and beliefs of today's
 minority executives, at a time when corporations are increasingly aiming to do
 more to attract and keep minority executives.  The survey found:
     -- 73% say minority MBAs lag "somewhat" or "far" behind non-minorities in
        getting hired for corporate positions; only 12% say minorities have the
     -- 86% say minorities lag somewhat or far behind non-minorities in earning
        promotions and raises; just 2% say minorities do better.
     -- 97% say minorities fare worse in reaching the corporate "inner circle";
        zero % thought minorities fare better than non-minorities.
     -- based on all they see and experience, 34% think life in corporate
        America is worse than it was five years ago, and 27% think it is
        better, (38% say it is about the same).
     -- But looking ahead five years, 38% think opportunities for new minority
        MBAs to land good jobs and advance will improve -- with 22% predicting
        opportunities will worsen (40% expect no change).
     The survey was conducted among 109 African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans
 and Native Americans, all of whom have MBAs, who work in corporate or
 professional positions in the US.
     The PhD Project is a comprehensive, long-range effort to substantially
 increase minority faculty and, ultimately, minority student representation in
 the nation's business schools.  The PhD Project aims to advance this goal by
 acting as a catalyst for more minorities to pursue Ph.D.s in business and
 become professors.  The presence of minority professors as mentors and role
 models has been shown in research to be a determining factor in leading more
 minority undergraduates to enroll in business schools.
     "This survey contains sobering news for corporate America," said Bernard
 J. Milano of KPMG, who heads The PhD Project."  Minority MBAs plainly believe
 that African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans have not yet
 earned their fair place in the business world.  This is a message that
 corporations must hear and respond to if they want to hire and keep minority
 executive talent.  The one bit of encouraging news is that more minorities
 think opportunities will improve over the next five years than think
 conditions will worsen."
     In the survey, 93% of the respondents disagreed with the statement, "All
 in all, the playing field for minority and non-minority executives in
 corporate America is pretty much level."
     Also, 76% said they expect minority executives will be more likely than
 non-minorities to lose jobs or income in the next recession.
     The coalition of corporations and academic institutions that support The
 PhD Project include: The KPMG Foundation, Graduate Management Admission
 Council, The Citigroup Foundation, AACSB, Chrysler Corporation Fund, Ford
 Motor Company, James S. Kemper Foundation, Abbott Laboratories, Fannie Mae
 Foundation, Institute of Management Accountants, Texaco, AICPA, Joseph E.
 Seagram & Sons, Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co. Foundation, Inc., Mobil Corporation,
 State Street Corporation, Union Carbide Foundation.  In addition, more than
 80 colleges and universities contribute $1,000 each year to the Project, and
 send representatives to its annual conference to recruit prospective Ph.D.
 students.  Total contributions approximate 1.6 million per year.

SOURCE The PhD Project