Indian-origin associate professor at the Wellesley business school in Massachusetts has filed a complaint, claiming that she was the victim of racial and gender discrimination, according to a media report.
Lakshmi Balachandra, an associate professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College, claimed she suffered mistreatment and reputational damage as a result of administrators’ failure to look into her complaints, which led to the loss of career opportunities, financial losses, and emotional distress, according to a February 27 article in The Boston Globe.
In 2019, Balachandra received tenure after joining Babson’s faculty in 2012.
As one of the “primary direct perpetrators of the discriminatory work environment,” she specifically named Andrew Corbett, a professor and former chair of the college’s entrepreneurship programme, in her case.
Balachandra alleged in a complaint dated February 27 that Corbett, who was in charge of overseeing teaching assignments, class schedule, and annual reviews, only permitted her to teach required courses in entrepreneurship despite her requests to teach electives – even though she had previously taught such courses at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Harvard Business School.
Balachandra’s complaint said, “Babson favours white and male faculty and predominantly reserves awards and privileges for them.”
She was allegedly refused multiple leadership roles and opportunities for greater time to conduct research and write despite her research history, professed interest, and contribution to the college.
The lawsuit stated that white male faculty members in the entrepreneurship division routinely receive such benefits.
The professor has also reported alleged discrimination to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, according to Monica Shah, the attorney for Balachandra.
Babson College has responded that it takes complaints seriously and has resources and established systems in place to thoroughly investigate and address them.
A Babson College representative was cited as saying, “The college is home to a diverse global community where equity and inclusion are valued and incorporated across every facet of campus, and where discrimination of any kind is not tolerated.”
The report further stated that Balachandra is requesting unspecified damages while on leave to attend a fellowship at the National Science Foundation.
Balachandra lectured at the MIT Sloan School of Management, the Harvard Extension School, and Northeastern University in Boston prior to joining Babson College as a visiting assistant professor of entrepreneurship.
She has a lot of expertise in the field of gender and entrepreneurship and co-authored the 2014 Diana Report, which was a thorough examination of venture capital investments in women entrepreneurs since 1999.
Balachandra has also worked as a fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Women and Public Policy Program, which studies how gender prejudices affect women entrepreneurs.