Action to Improve Representation (AIR) aims to improve representation in management scholarship through programs targeted at early career business and management academics from underrepresented groups in South Asia.
Inequalities hurt businesses and societies. Representation is key to equality.
Business and management academics in South Asia are a fairly homogenous group of scholars drawn from the top-end of the caste hierarchy. For example, less than one in 10 million people from the lower castes (estimated to be between 70 to 80 percent of India’s population) have become management academics in the ‘elite schools’ of India.
Further, although statistics are not available, individuals from other groups too are underrepresented (e.g., women, religious minorities, sexual minorities, and people with disabilities and functional impairments). While the entry of individuals from the underrepresented populations is uncommon, their survival and success are exceptionally rare because they lack not only economic capital but also social and cultural capital.
The program has focused on India so far. But from 2023 onwards, we will consider applications from South Asian countries because:
1) We received several requests to extend.
2) Such extension is appropriate given that the histories of inequalities are shared among these countries.
Through AIR, we intend to change this by providing a platform to support the scholars from underrepresented groups in South Asia. We conduct several initiatives, events and projects to improve social diversity in management academia. Our flagship program is the Writing and Mentorship Program to support business and management scholars from these groups and amplify their scholarship.