Importance of DEI in Business Schools

by John Heinrichs John Heinrichs | Nov 13, 2022 8:15:29 PM


Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are important concepts that should be at the forefront of business schools, organizations, companies, or universities. Specifically, for colleges and schools, fostering a DEI-friendly environment can establish an inclusive learning space for all students. However, there are challenges that organizations face when implementing DEI policies and practices. Yet, individuals can address these challenges by contributing to the success of DEI initiatives by becoming informed about these concepts and joining the Mike Ilitch School of Business (MISB) DEI committee. There are many best practices for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. We hope that you will join us in our commitment to promote DEI in our business education curriculum, our school, the workplace, and in the community.

DEI Mixed Media from Jasper Art

What Is Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion (DEI)?

DEI is an acronym for diversity, equity, and inclusion. DEI generally refers to the initiatives, actions, and efforts taken to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive society or workplace. DEI can be used in relation to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, national origin, disabilities, age, socioeconomic status, religion, and any other number of factors. The ultimate goal of DEI is to break down barriers and create opportunities for everyone, regardless of background or gender identity. DEI is about much more than just hiring a diverse workforce. It’s about creating an environment where everyone feels appreciated, valued, and respected. It's about creating a welcoming culture. When done properly, DEI can lead to a more productive, creative, and innovative workforce. It can also help to create a sense of belonging and connectedness among faculty, staff, and students which can boost morale and ensure people feel valued. DEI is not only the right thing to do – it’s also good for attracting and recruiting students to become part of our school.

Why Is DEI Important In Business Schools?

Business schools play a crucial role in the development of young adults as they are preparing to enter the workforce. Schools provide an environment where individuals can learn about the world around them, explore their passions, conduct research, and develop the skills and capabilities that they will need to succeed in life. For schools to meet their full potential, they must be inclusive of all students. This means creating a learning environment that is diverse and welcoming to everyone, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, or background. Thus, by valuing diversity and encouraging inclusion, MISB can create an environment where all students can thrive. Additionally, by promoting diversity and inclusion in schools, we can help create a more just and equitable society. We have the power to shape the future, and it is imperative that we embrace DEI so that all students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

How Can Schools Foster A DEI-Friendly Environment?

There is a growing recognition that AACSB-accredited business schools need to do more to foster a DEI-friendly environment. This is especially true of MBA programs as we discuss business case studies in diverse teams and encourage students to share their perspectives baused upon their different backgrounds and experiences. One way to foster a more inclusive environment is to commit to hiring a diverse faculty. This includes recruiting scholars from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and ensuring that the curriculum in all departments reflects the diversity of the business world. Another important step is to provide support and resources for faculty and students from underrepresented groups. This may include items like scholarships, mentoring programs, and student organizations. These ideas must be instilled in the MISB decision-making processes to create that special culture.

Creating a DEI-friendly environment can be challenging, but it's very important work. By taking steps to increase diversity and inclusion, business schools can help ensure that their students are prepared to succeed in an increasingly global marketplace.

DEI image based upon Jackson Pollock from Jasper Art

What Are Some Challenges That Business Schools Face When Implementing DEI Policies And Practices?

Business schools across the country are facing an important challenge: how to best promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This is a complex issue, and there is no easy answer, yet it must be recognized that inclusion matters. To build a more inclusive environment, business schools must critically examine their policies and practices. They must also work to raise awareness among faculty, staff, and students about equal access and inclusion. Additionally, business schools must provide critical resources and support for those who are historically underrepresented. While DEI initiatives can be challenging to implement, they are essential for creating a business school that is welcoming and accessible to all.

How Can Individuals Contribute To The Success Of DEI Initiatives?

As business schools continue to emphasize DEI initiatives, faculty, staff, and students can play an important role in contributing to their success. Many actions can be taken to support these initiatives, both inside and outside the school and/or community. For example, individuals can participate in workshops and training sessions to build their understanding of diversity and inclusion. They can also join employee resource groups or take on leadership roles in these groups or committees. In addition, they can serve as allies and mentors to marginalized students and promote awareness of DEI issues within their social networks. By taking such actions, individuals can help to create more inclusive environments and contribute to the success of DEI initiatives.

What Are Some Best Practices For Promoting Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion?

Business schools can promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in several ways. Some common practices include recruiting a diverse student body, hiring a diverse faculty, and offering DEI-related courses, events, and programming. By taking these steps, business schools can create an environment that is more welcoming and inclusive for all members of the community. Additionally, business schools can also work to raise awareness of DEI issues and racial equality and promote an understanding of the importance of inclusion. By creating an atmosphere of respect and open-mindedness, business schools can help create a culture where tomorrow's business leaders will be better equipped to champion DEI in their organizations.

DEI image based upon Norman Rockwell from Jasper Art


Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are important concepts that should be at the forefront of all business schools. By fostering a DEI-friendly environment, MISB can create an inclusive learning space for all students. However, there are some challenges that business schools face when implementing DEI policies and practices. To address these challenges, faculty, staff, and students can contribute to the success of DEI initiatives by becoming informed about these concepts and joining committees and/or student organizations. There are many best practices for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We hope that you will join us in our effort to promote DEI in business education and beyond.


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