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29 January 2020

Answer to the column in Libération : « Nous aussi : lettre contre le sexisme, l’homophobie et le racisme dans les grandes écoles de commerce »

Dear TBS community,

You may have been aware of a column in the newspaper Libération dated January 16th and entitled: "Nous aussi: lettre contre le sexisme, l'homophobie et le racisme dans les grandes écoles de commerce".

This column was signed by more than 500 people (graduates and students of the Grandes Ecoles of Management) including 4 TBS alumni.

Just like you, we were sincerely moved by the distress and isolation that students (often nowadays alumni) may have experienced in the face of unspeakable and extremely serious behavior and/or remarks.

Just like you, we are outraged by the violence, humiliation and discrimination of any kind suffered by any of the signatories noted in this document.

Finally, just like you, we absolutely condemn, as we have always done in the past, this unacceptable behaviour and/or words in total contradiction with the values we wish to uphold within our school.

However, contrary to what this forum and some recent press articles suggest on this subject, most of the Grandes Ecoles of Management, and notably TBS, are neither blind nor have remained inactive on these issues: indeed, various actions have been undertaken over the past few years, even if it is true that they are not always as visible and effective as we would have wished. Indeed, we still have a lot to learn, to experiment and to improve in order to try to put an end to these practices.

For its part, our school has carried out several actions over the last decade aimed at raising students' awareness of behaviour and words that may undermine the dignity of individuals or lead to physical or moral pressure being exerted on them.

In that respect, we would like to recall what has been put in place, especially within the MiM, since it is this programme that is discussed in this forum as well as in the other press materials:

  • At the beginning of each school year since 2015, half a day is dedicated to the prevention of potential negative behaviour: intervention of police officers in charge of the prevention and fight against addiction, role-playing.
  • Signing of a behaviour charter by all the participants in the Integration Weekend (WEI), which has enabled the school on several occasions to punish unacceptable acts that have occurred in this context.
  • Systematic participation of the BDE presidents in the seminar on the prevention of potentially negative behaviour organized by the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles "C'pas une option".
  • Continuous work with the association leaders on good practices in terms of party organization and alcohol consumption,
  • Creation 3 years ago of the "Equal ID" program to promote professional equality, fight against sexism and gender stereotypes.

For the time being, this program has focused on the following areas:

  • Workshops for reflection and creativity (SEMIS Seminar in the 1st year of the EMP) on two key topics: in 2019, "Dare gender equality in your student life", in 2020 "Homophobic? me never!". For information and as a reminder, this seminar rewards the best initiatives then implemented by the school. Following this, in 2021, a half-day dedicated to the issue of sexism, harassment and discrimination will be organized on the model of the ANEDD. A student association will also be created soon. We are waiting for the conclusions of SEMIS 2020 to make concrete progress on this subject.
  • Mentoring of female students to give them confidence and prepare them to deal with possible discriminatory behaviour and sexist statements. To date, more than 350 female students have been mentored by 300 female mentors. Starting this year, a workshop for students has been piloted and it will be developed wider next year: the aim is to raise both awareness among students of the consequences of their actions and behaviour, and to prepare male students to deal with possible discriminatory behaviour.
  • Conferences and various animations on these subjects. This year, a play will be proposed to students in the framework of the Equal ID Program.


  • Since the start of the 2019 academic year, a CSR Equality M/F representative has been appointed in each student association in order to exercise vigilance on this subject and alert the TBS Management if necessary.
  • Appointment in February 2020 of a head of diversity and student commitment. This person will oversee the implementation of a listening and action unit that will accompany students (victims or witnesses) throughout their schooling.

As these initiatives attest, we have not remained passive in the face of unacceptable behaviour and practices, even if we accept a legitimate reproach for not always having been able to find the right levers or use the right tools to encourage the emergence of the spoken word and break the pression of this code of silence, so rightly denounced in this forum. Moreover, this silence constitutes a powerful barrier to the rise of traumatic acts or situations of which we have probably not been aware in the past... We hope that this help will finally break the silence and that students attending our school will be pro-active in reporting, as a victim or witness, sexist, homophobic, racist or discriminatory behaviour or statements.

Finally, we believe that the facts reported in this forum unfortunately go beyond the framework of the Grandes Ecoles of Management. Of course, this does not in any way exonerate our school from its responsibilities and duties. But at the beginning of this new decade, which fortunately marks a real turning point on these societal issues, it seems important and urgent for us to document more exhaustively and in depth (by questioning all stakeholders and not only students) all these facts and practices in higher education in general (engineering schools, medical and veterinary schools, paramedical studies, ENS, IEP, schools of journalism, universities etc.). This is essential to fight effectively and collectively against these behaviour and to advance this cause.

We are determined more than ever to hear, listen, and above all to act so that together, students, graduates, professors, management and staff, we can bring about lasting changes in practices and mentalities so that such a platform need never be petitioned again by any of our alumni.

Dean’s Office and the EQUAL.ID team

Thuong Quynh DAO (DIPLÔME ESC, 1969)
19 days ago
Excellente approche pour éradiquer la tradition de bizuthage !

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