Diversity in the workplace is more important to business success than ever.
The buzz around diversity is growing. But building diverse organisations that make better, bolder decisions and are more competitive in the global economy isn’t just a matter of hiring employees from different backgrounds.
Through MBA and Master in Management (MIM) programmes that bring together young professionals from a range of social and economic backgrounds, institutions such as INSEAD are developing successful, responsible business leaders who bring value to their organisations and communities.
Diversity in the workplace matters more than ever.
Research shows that companies with greater diversity in boardrooms or senior management, outperform their peers in lots of ways.
According to a 2020 McKinsey and Company report, diverse teams make better, bolder decisions. That means they can innovate faster, even when consumer demands might change. Some studies show they are more likely to outperform in profitability. The Boston Consulting Group reports that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation.
"Diversity provides access to a broader talent pool and ultimately leads to improved decisions and a healthier culture," says Annet Aris, Professor of Strategy at INSEAD.
This is not surprising. Innovation, creativity and empathy flourish when executives and managers can draw on many different backgrounds and perspectives.
But diversity has benefits that go far beyond the bottom line.
Businesses that hire and empower employees with diverse religious beliefs, who represent a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, gender identities and cultures, contribute to a more inclusive society. With inequalities widening over the past year, those efforts are especially significant. Organisations have the responsibility to lead conversations around equity and inclusion that resonate outside the C-suite.
“Diversity in all its dimensions is absolutely essential for companies today,” says Michael Landel, former CEO of Sodexo. “At the end of the day, when you hire people, you [tend to] hire people like yourself. If we don’t force ourselves to think differently, change will take a long time.”
Diversity Sets the Foundation for Success
Diversity in organisations begins by building better foundations for young professionals.
Companies are looking for responsible, thoughtful employees and leaders who are open to change and embrace differences of opinion. Top multinational firms also want skilled local talent who can advance company culture and help them achieve their goals.
"For multinational companies, what helped you grow at home is not going to help you overseas,” says Stewart Black, Professor of Management Practice in Global Leadership and Strategy at INSEAD, the non-profit, graduate-only business school with campuses in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and a Hub in North America. “You can’t get new ideas without new and different people—people who grew up in the same educational system, culture, language and so on have similar thoughts. And you can’t get new ideas unless you have people who grew up outside of that system."
MBA and MIM programmes have long been a breeding ground for bold ideas and a launching pad for future business leaders and entrepreneurs. They develop the skills most sought after today: adaptability, strategic analysis, and effective communication.
As these programmes diversify, they create new advantages for everyone in the classroom. They develop empathy and drive innovation long after the coursework is done aiming to set students on a path toward personal transformation by bridging cultures, experiences and ways of thinking. More importantly, they prepare graduates to make their mark on the world as responsible business leaders.
"With the empathy you gain, you can go back into the world and make an impact. As you do so, you continuously learn and grow" says Susan Liu, MBA 20'D in her Be More video.
INSEAD has built itself around diversity, from the curriculum to the student body. Its current MBA programme, for instance, includes 351 women and represents 88 nationalities. Its current MIM programme, meanwhile, is made up of students from 32 nationalities. Nearly 40% are women.
This is not a new trend. INSEAD’s graduate programmes have over 60,000 alumni across 176 countries and are consistently ranked among the top in the world.
MIM vs. MBA: Which Is Right for You?
“Experiencing diversity at INSEAD is not only about putting together 90 different nationalities in a single location,” says Kailing See, INSEAD MBA 17’J in her blog. “It is about actively embracing the differences in opinions and risk appetites… It is about putting aside what you think you know about debits and credits from your vocation and learning from someone who is looking at accounting for the first time with a fresh pair of lenses. The international outlook it provides you is unrivalled.”
|For recent graduates with up to two years of experience, or students in their final year of university.||10-month programme, two intakes per year.|
|10-month programme with additional four to six month professional exposure.||For people already in the workforce, with an average of six years of professional experience.|
|Prepared you for careers in a wide range of industries, including consulting, financial services, technology, FMCG, industrials, consumer and luxury goods, and healthcare.||89% of graduates received job offers within three months of graduation (Employment Statistics 2020).|
|Over 300 companies have recruited INSEAD MBA graduates.|
|The accelerated MIM programme is a launchpad for global careers, equipping you with sought-after practical skills in emerging fields such as big data, sustainable development goals, strategic analysis, international business and financial valuation.||
|The accelerated MBA programme prepares you for leadership role in business and opens doors to new opportunities. It develops successful, thoughtful leaders and entrepreneurs who create value for their organisations and communities.|
|Both programmes offer professional development through the Career Development Center (CDC), which helps graduates achieve their career goals, whether it's switching industries, careers, sectors, or all three, or becoming an entrepreneur.|
The Case For Diversity
Diversity in business has never been more important.
It drives innovation. It creates high-performing business environments where all employees feel valued. It helps shape better societies.
Diverse companies can be transformative when they attract people who understand the powerful role their organisations can play in their communities.
MIM and MBA programmes that embrace diversity, like INSEAD’s, develop leaders who answer this call in their professional journeys. Their graduates are ready to rise to the challenges the world faces.
"In a time in which everything seems to go against diversity, and in which global politics are under fire, INSEAD promotes multiculturalism and diversity," Marta Bento, MBA 17'J graduate from Portgual, says in her blog: "Say Yes to Diversity".
Article originally published on CNBC.