The PhD Project Panel Focuses on Building the Pipeline

The PhD Project — a non-profit organization, working to increase the diversity of business school faculty, since 1994 — held its annual conference virtually and hosted its second annual talk titled “Wonder Women Diversity Discussion” to strategize about how best to build the talent pipeline in diversity for unrepresented students pursuing business degrees and Ph.D.’s.

Panelists included Dr. Erika James, the first woman and first person of color to serve as dean of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Jennifer Joe, a professor and chief diversity advocate at the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics at the University of Delaware; and Dr. Sandra Richtermeyer, dean of the Manning School of Business at The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell).

Dr. Jamal Watson, a professor of Communications at Trinity Washington University and editor and contributor to Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, moderated the panel.

“Whether you’re in a corporate sector or academia, we’re all trying to attract, to yield, to retain the best diverse talent as possible,” said James. “So, at the core that’s the work to be done and that exists across both communities.”

Dr. Erika James

Where the differences lie, she said, “is in how we do that work and the power and influence that can be leveraged in different ways across the institutions.”

The corporate sector can play a role in helping to build corporate hiring, staffing and the economy, noted Watson.

“Corporations should recognize that they are key stakeholders and can be significant partners with universities to enhance and retain diverse talent,” said Joe.

Joe noted that partnerships with colleges and universities could — and should — be reciprocal. For example, using corporate donor dollars could help to further develop diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts on campus. Similarly, utilizing academia

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