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When I read the headline of the article I decided that it would describe how diverse modern business schools are. And I was quite surprised to find out that it turned out to be vice versa.
I am studying at London Business School and I can say that here 'diversity' is not just a buzz-word, but it's really what LBS is about. We have 141 people in the class and less than 10% of them are British. 38% of the class are women, more than 40 languages are spoken. Faculty is also very diverse.
I'm not advertising my b-school, I just want to say that truly diverse institutions already exist. And I can say from my own experience that it gives lots of advantages to the students
I liked Dobbie's rationale behind having diversity in B schools. However, it seems that B school Dons still treat diversity as more of a legal requirement or some sort of branding exercise rather than thinking about the strategic benefits it accrues.
Indian B schools are worse in this respect. Here, ratio of women might not be even 10%. Most of the top Indian B schools have students having a uniform profile (Engineering with IT experience in some financial or business consulting domain. Whatever be the domain, the work-ex is in IT sector predominantly). Work experience is considered a taboo here and having substantial work experience (a plus in US and European B Schools) is quite disadvantageous during placements in India.
It's high time when Indian B schools addressed these issues because India is going to be hotbed of economic activity and a birthplace of emerging MNCs.
Readers (and the author) may be interested in the approach taken by the Simmons College School of Management in Boston, MA. It offers the only AACSB-accredited MBA geared solely towards women. And at the same time, it attracts students from a wide range of nationalities, ethnic identities and economic backgrounds.
Gender imbalance and racial inequity are two very different issues. Women of all sorts can thrive in classrooms that are not dominantly male, preparing themselves to become successful in highly diverse organizations.
This article promotes a number of widespread persistent claims that may seem 'warm and fuzzy' to the causal reader but strike me as quite divisive.
Particulalrly offensive is the suggestion that one's views are determined by one's race ("a mixed student body helps illuminate minority views and perspectives"). This is the very essence of racism, dressed up in the smiley faced rhetoric of political correctness.
We all agree that that discrimination is wrong and intolerable. But what excatly does it mean to 'promote diversity'? Do we consciously keep score of how many members of this or that group we have hired? When do youdecide you have "enough Chinese", for example? Who would want to work in an environment where one is seen as a representative of a race or ethnicity?
Despite the apparent attempt to soften the tone of the discussion by saying there is "no conspiracy to deny women and minorities opportunities", the fact is the sort of rhetoric used in the article creates an atmosphere in which minorities are encouraged to look with suspicion upon whites (and especially white males).
I think if we are gping to be honest and not simply accept identity politics dogma uncritically we have to acknowledge that the notion that there is widespread discrimination or 'glass ceilings' in the workplace today is absurd.
It is also not reasonable to expect that in any given worklplace every segment of society will be represented in numbers proportionate to their percentage in society at large, or if they are not so represented it is evidence of "discrimination". I have, for example, never had a co-worker of French ancestry, yet there is certainly a sizeable % of the population of French ancestry. Is this evidence discrimination against persons of French ancestry? I think not.
We should certainly make sure opportuinities are open to all, and have zero tolerance for discrimination, but this obsession with ethnic differences is counterproductive.
Everybody has a bit of entrepreneurial spirit in them - being an entrepreneur has nothing to do with age, gender, race or education. Not everybody chooses to tap this spirit though. Those who ...
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