White House Partners with AACSB to Advance Discussions on Diversity and Inclusion and Share Best Practices for Business Schools

Tampa, FL, USA—AACSB International (AACSB), the longest serving global accrediting body and membership association for business schools worldwide, today announced that the White House has called upon the organization to advance a series of recently formed best practices for business schools. Developed collaboratively by the White House and top business school deans, the best practices will lead to expanded opportunities for women in business and better prepare students for the 21st-century workplace.

The “Best Practices for Business Schools to Lead in Expanding Opportunities for Women in Business and Adapt to the Changing Workforce” will be discussed at a joint convening in Washington, DC, today with representatives from the White House Council on Women and Girls, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, AACSB, and more than 150 deans and leaders from AACSB accredited universities, administration officials, and business stakeholders. The best practices and reference materials are available at aacsb.edu/diversity.

As a recognized leader within the management education sphere, AACSB is committed to helping business schools around the world address diversity as part of their commitment to social responsibility by providing key industry data, trends, and opportunities for dialogue and information sharing through its conferences, seminars, research, and digital and print publications. Also, the basic eligibility standards for AACSB’s highly sought after accreditation require schools to demonstrate a commitment to “address, engage and respond to current and emerging corporate social responsibility issues [such as diversity] through its policies, procedures, curricula, research and/or outreach activities.”

“We are honored to work with the White House on this important initiative, and are pleased with how these best practices give AACSB members and the higher education industry an opportunity to address the needs of a more diverse student population and changing workforce,” said Thomas R. Robinson, AACSB president and chief executive officer. “Diversity serves as a core component to AACSB’s mission and values, and business schools are a critical part of this conversation. We commend the AACSB schools that have been involved and contributed to the development of these best practices. Their work demonstrates how crucial it is for the management education industry to create an environment that recruits, supports, and promotes a diverse workforce. Going forward, AACSB will take a leadership role in communicating and disseminating information to its members and the business school community.”

The best practices encourage business schools to address the challenges of today in four key areas:

  • Ensuring access to business school and business careers;
  • Building a business school environment that prepares students for the workforce of tomorrow;
  • Ensuring career services that go beyond the needs of traditional students; and
  • Exemplifying how organizations should be run.

“When we look at the data, it is clear that more can be done. For example, only a small minority of S&P 500 CEOs are women,” said Christine Clements, AACSB’s senior vice president of accreditation and member services and chief diversity and inclusion advocate. “To build these leaders, schools need to address the life-cycle challenges that current and future female students face. These best practices, when coupled with AACSB’s resources and our members’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, set the stage for how the industry as a whole must meet the needs of the non-traditional student, create an equitable workforce—including university administration, faculty, and staff—and position all students for future success in a complex business environment.”

Clements added, “AACSB has made diversity and inclusion part of its Vision initiative, which challenges global business schools to examine their relationship to society, the business community, and the higher education landscape. Over the next several months, AACSB will engage with its members and numerous stakeholder organizations to collaboratively establish a guiding framework for business management education. These best practices and the schools that commit to them will be an important part of this dialogue.”

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