Valuing Diversity Beyond Demographics

In terms of diversity, leaders from business schools around the world discuss the importance of bringing together more individuals with diversity that goes beyond age and gender.


Wendy Loretto: [00:14] Diversity and inclusion are more important than ever in business. We have moved on from thinking about just quotas of people and promoting unrepresented groups, to actually really welcoming the diversity of thought that diversity of people can bring to us.

[00:34] In terms of what industry can do to benefit this diversity of thought, yes, it's having a diversity of different people, whether that's different ages, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, different physical and mental levels of ability. That is helpful, but it's not just getting people into an organization.

[00:59] It's actually using them and using that diversity of thought, using that diversity of experiences. We have a really strong role to play that in business schools as well by increasing the diversity of people that we employ, the diversity of students that we bring in.

[01:15] We can leverage that diversity within schools, and again, they will go out into all sorts of businesses, all sorts of societal rules and help promote the importance of diversity there as well.

Atish Chattopadhyay: [01:26] As far as spirituality is concerned, India has got a lot to offer to the business education space. Now, if we look at the traditional Indian philosophy, we talk about the dilemma of a leader. The whole issue of Arjuna [inaudible] where he is in the dilemma to fight for a cause against his own family members. That can be brought into the classroom.

[02:01] Which means a rightful action has against outcome. What it talks about is action without being attached to the outcome. Rightful action being more important than the outcome. The journey being more important than the destination. The means being more important than the ends. Those are the values which is to be embedded in the curriculum.

[02:33] As far as the Indian traditional values are concerned, these are certain critical components which business education globally can derive lot of value from.

Geoff Perry: [02:47] All business schools exist in a specific location. Their sphere of influence might be local, regional, national, or international, but the location where they are, and the culture that exists in that location influences their identity, influences how they work with their stakeholders, but also influences what they do.

[03:13] To give you an example. My business school, the Auckland University of Technology Business School, is based in Auckland o Te Arawa, New Zealand. New Zealand is a bi cultural country with a multicultural character. In Auckland, there are 184 ethnicities. What does that mean for us as a business school?

[03:34] It means that we're used to dealing with diversity, to recognizing the different values, abilities, and cultures that people bring to us. It means that the way we work and the way that our students are educated, they're taught to work in cross cultural context. Which is really powerful for our students when they go out into the market and to the world.

[03:56] We have international students who come. They are also permeated with this cross cultural context in learning. Our domestic students, it's a tradition in New Zealand that when you finish your degree you do an OE, overseas experience, and many of our graduates end up around the world.

[04:15] Having been in a culture where we emphasize recognizing diversity, different opinions, different views, and different cultures, has prepared them well for life after graduation.

Filmed April 2019 at AACSB's International Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM) in Edinburgh, Scotland.