As young minorities continue to make up a significant portion of the workforce, corporations and educational institutions have a responsibility to ensure that the workplace supports a diverse culture.
According to research from the Forté Foundation, over half of business schools saw at least a 40% female enrollment rate last year.
However, a paper from the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge found that business schools are focusing in on specific types of diversity and ignoring others such as ethnicity, disabiity, sexual orientation, and religion.
Following the publicized murder of George Floyd in 2020, business schools finally reevaluated how to truly address diversity.
“We don’t know everything,” said Stephanie Caban, chief diversity officer at the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University. “That’s why we have healthy conversations. Everyone has that ability to challenge that assumption. Good, bad, or indifferent, it’s important to listen in that moment.”
At Baldrige, this social upheaval led to an internal analysis that revealed the school’s curriculum was “massively whitewashed.” From there, the program focused on expanding educational content to include all areas of diversity and hired new faculty without any identifying information to avoid bias.
However, addressing diversity roadblocks means more than focusing on quotas — it requires a “pedagogy of incorporating social, political, racial issues, and [managing] that in a classroom setting” according to Sevin Yeltekin, dean of the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.
Finding out why minority groups receive disproportionate income, taking time to research why these populations are more vulnerable, and leading with empathy will all be crucial aspects of building a more diverse future for businesses.