Gender Equality at HEC Paris
HEC Paris Business School is a community comprised of faculty, staff, students, and alumni all committed to welcoming and accepting individuals from diverse global and multigenerational communities. Our staff and faculty bring varying international backgrounds, skill levels, education levels, and personal experiences to the student experience. All of these unique perspectives fit together to create an environment based on our five core values of curiosity, excellence, diversity, responsibility and entrepreneurial spirit. The Dean, Faculty, Students and Staff of HEC Paris Business School are committed to increase our contributions to a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable society through connected communities.
As part of its broader strategic plan built around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), HEC Paris has integrated a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) core principals not only as an eligibility criterion for the participation of universities & schools in the EU's framework research Programme Horizon Europe, but also as part of one of the school’s value: Diversity. At HEC Paris, the structures and measures for supporting gender equality have grown over the years and are tracked and supported through a number of initiatives and policy. This page acts as a testament to HEC Paris’ commitment to DEI and a Gender Equality Plan. It includes both the minimum requirements for funding within the Horizon Europe Programme as well as further recommended contents of the GEP.
The HEC Paris leadership understands gender equality as a vital topic, essential in all areas of the school’ life. The Chief Diversity Officer is a member of senior administration and advises the university leadership in all staff, student and faculty-related matters surrounding the topic of Diversity. The Dean, the Human Resources Director, the Chief Sustainability Officer and the Chief Diversity Officer exchange regularly on planned and current topics related to gender equality.
In line with the key components outlined in a GEP, the school’s position is clearly posted on its corporate websites with dedicated webpage to Diversity and Inclusion. On this page, resources and dedicated personnel are presented. A function supported through its multi constituent Diversity Committee comprised of faculty, staff, students, alumni and an external representative. The Diversity Committee is co-chaired by a Professor in Law, Matteo Winkler, and HEC Paris’ inaugural Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Marcelle Laliberté to bring different viewpoints.
The Office of Chief Diversity Officer also has a dedicated budget to support initiatives, research, teaching and the Diversity Committee to support the school in the different topics it seeks to explore. In addition, the school has also included dedicated resources within its student bodies and human resources functions to support the community’s actions around Diversity and gender equality.
The position of Chief Diversity Officer, created in 2021 and directly attached to the Dean and Director General of the HEC Paris group, has direct oversight responsibility in ensuring monitoring, training, data collection while addressing initiatives around work-life balance, organizational culture, gender equality in recruitment and in career progression and integration of gender in areas of research and teaching.
Metrics are intimately linked to the school’s definition as a private not for profit stand alone business school with a mission dedicated the public interest within the realm of higher education. Methodologically, HEC Paris has a certain amount of accreditations and requests for data points that allow it to maintain monitoring across a large swatch of activities. As part of its strategic plan in ensuring accountability, the school participates annually to the CGE Barometer of Gender Equality. HEC Paris is an active member of the Conférence des grandes écoles (CGE) commission on Gender Equality, while also participating in its barometer for close to a decade. As part of France’s goal to improve Gender Equality, HEC Paris also participates in the newly inaugurated Gender Index developed under the Copé-Zimmerman Law publicly publishing its results since 2019.
 Created in 1973, the CGE (a non-profit organization) has 265 members, including 229 Grandes Ecoles (engineering, management, architecture, design, political studies institute, etc.), all of which are recognized by the French government and award a master's degree. Some of them also award doctorates and national master's degrees. The CGE also has some 20 member or partner companies as well as 35 associations and organizations.
Over the years, HEC Paris has deepened its knowledge on DEI through research and awareness, as we have seen how societal issues have impacted communities around the world. In 2014, we launched our first awareness campaigns around mental health & sexual discrimination; in 2017, we launched a series of events called “HEC DiversiTALKS” to provide a forum of exchange on a range of topics surrounding DEI culminating around an annual event “Diversity@work” geared at gathering students, faculty and companies around DEI; finally, in 2019, we enhanced awareness through our inaugural Mental Health Week and Gender Equality. HEC Paris published an annual review of research topics under the effigy of Diversity through Knowledge@HEC and conducts thematic faculty training throughout the year. This year’s topic was inclusive teaching in the 21st Century.
The school also maintained its StandUp programme aimed at supporting female entrepreneur from low socioeconomic backgrounds with the aim of increasing female entrepreneurs, an area where women are marginally represented. Through the school’s Creative Destruction Lab, an important emphasis is placed in scaling up and supporting women entrepreneurs, while also hosting highschool aged female students to learn more about the entrepreneurship environment acting both in the short and long term to address a segment with especially low female representation.
This dedicated page on Diversity seeks to demonstrate additional resources and options showcasing its ongoing work on data collection, monitoring, training and accountability, considered its platforms for success.
This page contains the clear measures taken against gender-based violence. This was built in partnership with a third-party subject matter experts, the Egae Group. The Egaé Group is a consulting, training and communication agency specialized in the French context on equality between women and men, the fight against discrimination, diversity and the prevention of sexist and sexual violence.
To highlight HEC Paris continued engagement to various initiatives, in 2021, it signed the #StopE (stop ordinary sexism in the workplace) manifesto, created from a public-private initiative with over 150 organizations currently committed to stop everyday sexism in the workplace.
Finally, as part as it continued commitment to inclusivity, the HEC Paris Diversity Committee produced the Charter of Respect and Community Life which outlines how each member of the community respects everyone’s ideas, beliefs and words and ensures that free speech is exercised having regard for its founding values and in accordance with French laws. The charter is signed by all students effective since September 1, 2021.
- World and National Events such as International Women's Day (March 8)
- All HEC Clubs and Associations are gender- and program-balanced (official validation criteria)
- Since 1998: LGBTQI+ events and awareness conferences by In & Out Association, reinforced by the LGBTQI+ & Allies MBA Delta Club Conference about the diversity in companies (each summer since 2019)
- Women in Leadership Forum (each spring)
- Since 2017: DiversiTalks Conferences co-organized by Matteo Winkler, law professor at HEC Paris and student associations, corporate partners and professionals about D&I in companies and integration of differences as an advantage in business
- Since 2019: Gender Equality Week by HEC for Equality (in March), HEC for Women Association (created in 2019), inter-universities student observatory against sexual and sexist violence in higher education (launched in 2019 by HEC Students)
- Since 2020: Diversity and Inclusion as official core-values of HEC Paris Student Union
In 2023, the HEC community is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the school to women by publishing a series of portraits of women graduates whose commitment and exemplary success have had a positive impact on society. A look at both the path we have taken and the challenges we still have to overcome on our way to gender equality.
Find out more on the 50 years of gender equality at HEC Paris