We get to the crux of why diversity and inclusion, also known as D&I, is important – both in a business school context and in the workplace.
We are in conversation with Joёl McConnell, Executive Director of Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions, and Leila Guerra, Associate Dean of Programmes, who are both experts and proponents of diversity at business schools and beyond.
Later in the podcast, we are joined by special guest, India Love. India studied on the Full-Time MBA 2018-19. India completed her undergraduate studies at NYU University and before joining Imperial she was a Senior Travel Manager at Andela – a company that helps companies build high-performing, distributed engineering teams with Africa’s most talented software engineers.
India is a huge proponent of diversity and inclusion, and comments from her personal experiences of D&I in the workplace and at Imperial College Business School.
In the podcast:
“Diversity is not only the number of nationalities we have at the School – we have over 100 nationalities. It is not necessarily only the importance we give to gender balance and we do have gender-balanced programmes in many of our areas. It is not just the training we offer to our students and staff such as active bystander training, unconscious – those are all ingredients that have to be there. But it’s also the environment and importance that College and every single member of this College is giving or should be giving to this important way of living.”
“I am from the US and I identify as an African American and I came from a lower-middle-class background out of Mississippi. All of those intersections together have always brought about an awareness for me because in one or all spaces that I've generally operated in – from my childhood and social environment to education into working environments – I’ve always found a lapse in one of those identities being represented in whatever social space or whatever space I was in.”
“I think that students that go to international schools that really do focus on having a truly diverse and inclusive classroom environment are much better prepared upon graduation to go and create a real positive impact for companies. That’s what cognitive diversity is about. It’s not just a great experience where you meet interesting people from all over the world… It’s really becoming better at making and working leading teams because you see and do things differently… It’s about creating more globally prepared graduates than perhaps schools that have less of a focus on an international class profile that is less able to compete in a truly globalised economy.”