In April 2014, the U.S. White House convened a meeting between senior administration officials and a group of business school deans in order to identify strategies and best practices to better prepare students to lead the 21st-century workforce. In the discussion, participants described the challenges business schools face in expanding opportunities and adapting to the changing workforce, as well as the many ways they are successfully addressing these challenges.
Recognizing that our schools can play a critical role in helping workers, companies, and leaders adapt to meet the needs of the changing American workforce, we, the undersigned, commit to the following set of best practices:
Business schools have identified that the timing of enrollment impacts women’s interest in pursuing graduate education in business. Strategies to add flexibility in the timing of enrollment can therefore expand women’s access to graduate business education. However, there are a number of other factors that influence women’s enrollment, and thus a number of possible steps that business schools can take to shore up the pipeline of women into MBA programs. Business schools should consider:
Future business leaders must be prepared to lead in a workplace with changing demographics. To that end, discussants acknowledged that curricula and business school experiences should reflect the diversity of workers and leaders, the challenges that leaders face today and in the future, and the organizational challenges of the modern economy. Best practices for creating a curriculum and business school experience to educate leaders in the 21st century include:
Business schools offer excellent career services for traditional students. The future workplace requires a holistic view of recruiting, and business schools can play a vital role in supporting individuals throughout their careers, especially those taking a nonlinear career path. To that end, business schools should consider:
Finally, business schools have a responsibility to set a good example by ensuring an equitable workplace that supports a diverse faculty and staff, and so should consider: