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Businessweek poll which ranks the attractiveness of females at the BU business school is harshly criticized

Posted by Your Town  November 13, 2012 01:23 PM

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A poll on Bloomberg Businessweek’s website that asked readers to rate the overall attractiveness of women at certain business schools, including Boston University's, sparked an intense backlash last week, which led to Businessweek removing the poll.

A Google cache of the poll shows Boston University was tied for first place, along with Michigan State University and University of Virginia.

An additional poll asked readers to rate the overall attractiveness of males at a select number business schools. On Monday, Bloomberg Businessweek issued an apology on its Facebook page, saying the polls were in “poor taste.”

“We regret issuing two online polls last week that asked our readers to comment on which business schools had the most attractive male and female students,” the statement said. “The Face/Off polls have been taken down from They were in poor taste and undermine the tremendous value our Business Schools vertical provides.”

Online commenters overwhelmingly condemned the poll and demanded Businessweek remove it.

One commenter wrote, “nothing says ‘we don’t take women in business seriously’ like ranking women based on their looks. This demeans every woman who works at your magazine, every woman you’ve ever covered and pretty much every woman ever. And it is meant to.”

Another commenter slammed Businessweek, writing that the poll “demeans women by suggesting our function is to be ‘decorative’, demeans those considering business school by suggesting this is a ‘story that matters’, and demeans your publication by suggesting that you think this kind of thing is acceptable.”

A third person wrote, “Wow. This is one of the biggest news stories of the day, is it? Didn’t realise that your editorial staff was made up of 14 year old boys. What a fantastic way to destroy your credibility.”

This is not the first time that Businessweek has ranked the attractiveness of students at business schools. In 2010 and 2011, Businessweek partnered with College Prowler, which conducts college student surveys, to produce two “report cards” of 50 business schools. In these report cards, the attractiveness of males and females was each given a letter grade.

In the 2010 report, females at Boston University were graded as a B-, and males were marked as a B. Then in 2011, women were ranked as a B+ and males as a B.

Other Boston-area schools were on the two lists, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston College, Babson College, Bentley College, and Northeastern University.

For 2010 and 2011, M.I.T. women were graded as a C+, and men as a B-. In 2010, Boston College. women were listed as an A-, and men as B+. The second year, BC males were upgraded to an A and females to an A+.

At Babson, women earned a C+ and men a B+ for both years. In 2010, Bentley women were listed as a B+ and men as an A-. In 2010 females downgraded to a B- and the males stayed at an A-.

Northeastern women and men earned a B+ in 2010. The next year, the women were again listed at a B+ and the men slipped to a B.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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