Nation & World

New exhibit traces women in business at Harvard

2 min read

In its earliest years, the opening of business courses to women was dubbed a “daring experiment” by one Harvard faculty member. It turned out to be a successful experiment as well, one that slowly evolved into the mainstream at Harvard Business School (HBS).

“A ‘Daring Experiment’: Harvard and Business Education for Women,” a new exhibit at the School’s Baker Library | Bloomberg Center, traces women’s business curriculum at the University. Beginnings were modest. In 1937, Radcliffe College administered a certificate program in personnel administration, with guidance from HBS faculty and courses. Later the program developed into a joint effort between Radcliffe and HBS. In April 1963, the first woman accepted admission to the M.B.A. class that would graduate in 1965.

One HBS graduate attending the 2008 Dynamic Women in Business Conference called the exhibit an example of dedication. “It really reminds you of the power a small group of women could have” said Melissa Hayes, HBS ’07, former co-president of the HBS Women’s Student Association. “HBS recognized that it had a big void by not having women there.”

The Baker Library | Bloomberg Center exhibit uses archival material from both the Business School and from Radcliffe’s Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library — photos and printed material, along with audio and video interviews with alumni. Gallery talks with the show’s guest curator will be held at 4 p.m., (today) Feb. 7 and March 6. The exhibit runs through May 16. For more information visit