MBA Ally Challenge


MBA Ally Challenge slider for landing page


The Winners

1st Place: Columbia Business School

2nd Place: Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern

3rd Place: Ross School of Business at University of Michigan

Most Improved: Darden School of Business at University of Virginia 


Gold Status Programs: Columbia, Fuqua, Kellogg

Silver Status Programs: Anderson, Booth, Sloan

Bronze Status Programs: Darden, Kenan-Flagler, Ross, Tepper


The Players

MBAAC all schools all school logos 150714



Final, June 2014

SchoolOverall RankMembership RankActivities RankInclusion Score Rank
Columbia Business School1232
Northwestern Kellogg2811
Michigan Ross3128
MIT Sloan4384
UCLA Anderson5665
Duke Fuqua6963
Chicago Booth7596
UVA Darden71037
Carnegie Mellon Tepper94109
Harvard Business School1011311
UNC Kenan-Flagler1171110
Dartmouth Tuck12121211



The Friendfactor MBA Ally Challenge is a friendly competition among business schools to build the largest and most impactful ally initiatives they can over the course of the school year. Participating schools are evaluated on three criteria:

  1. Membership: Percentage of the student body who participate in at least one activity
  2. Activities: Number of events or campaigns executed that have an ally-specific component
  3. Outcomes: An "inclusion score" calculated by student responses to an end-of-year survey assessing 1) LGBT awareness and 2) the LGBT-friendliness of campus culture

Final standings are calculated by an equal weighting of school ranks based on each of the 3 evaluation criteria (33% for membership, 33% for reported activities, and 33% for inclusion scores).


Below are the raw numbers behind the final standings for each of the 12 participating schools: 

MBAAC final raw numbers for website

*Inclusion score explained above. Schools with n/a did not obtain the minimum number  of survey responses to calculate a score.


In addition to its rank, each school may achieve Gold, Silver, or Bronze status by achieving the following levels:

Bronze ProgramSilver ProgramGold Program
Outcomes50% average score60% average scoreTop 25% of all programs


About the Friendfactor MBA Ally Challenge

In 2012 Friendfactor presented MBA student leaders with an audacious challenge: to build the largest and most impactful ally initiatives they could over the course of the school year. Six top schools took up the challenge. They activated over 900 MBA students and transformed the culture at their schools: they lifted awareness about LGBT issues by an average of 19%, and improved the inclusiveness of campus culture by an average of 24%. The results of the inaugural challenge are published here.

In its 2nd year the MBA Ally Challenge doubled, with 12 of the top 20 US MBA programs participating. They activated over 4,300 students and executed 106 ally-related activities across their campuses, improving the inclusiveness of campus culture such that nearly 50% more LGBT students felt comfortable being out to everyone on campus by the end of the school year - an increase from 42% to 62%. The Challenge has been featured in Businessweek, The Huffington Post, Clear Admit, and the MIT Sloan and Kellogg websites, among others.

Here's what our participants have to say about the MBA Ally Challenge:

The MBA Ally Challenge added a lot of energy to our ally programming and really motivated us to have a greater impact as a club. Being connected to other schools made me feel like we were part of a much bigger community, and we all really fed off each other’s ideas and enthusiasm.

– Michael Chen, Yale SOM 2014

The Challenge demonstrated to me that there is a community of allies out there that wants to learn more about my struggles as an LGBT woman and be the most supportive that it can be. I’ve been inspired to engage the ally community more at Columbia and also in other arenas of my life.

– Dyanna Salcedo, Columbia 2014

I love the MBA Ally Challenge. There’s nothing like a good b-school competition to get folks focused on a cause! Participating in a cross business school challenge is a wonderful platform from which to engage classmates on issues affecting the LGBT community.

– Eric Mercep, Kellogg 2013


As of June 2014, 23 business schools are pre-registered to compete in the 2014-2015 MBA Ally Challenge, which will kick off in August 2014. Register your school to participate.