Diversity and Inclusion

Mark Anthony Johnson

Diversity and inclusion has been a topic particularly close to my heart – from my undergraduate in Social Anthropology (yes they allow people to do this degree!) through to working in the Middle East with an organisation providing a mentoring programme for women. It has become a discourse that is rightfully at the centre of an organisations future strategy, rather than something they ‘do’ as part of CSR.

At the same time, I have been diving into some pretty heavy reading, including the latest book by Madeleine Albright on Fascism. A fascinating personal account of her youth and a stark reminder of the importance of history in understanding where we are today. Especially when it comes to marginalised and excluded groups and individuals.

You would be right at this moment to ask what is the point to all this? Isn’t this a little heavy for a Friday?

Good question. Well, all of this got me thinking about what is the true value of an INSEAD MBA. Of course, a huge part of this is the tools individuals will gain the tools to go forth and start a business, become a c-suite executive, or push the boundaries of industry across the globe. However, and this may just be my own opinion, it is also the tools, sub-conscious or overt, that they gain in diversity and inclusion.

The structure of INSEADs MBA, from their study groups to the vast array of clubs, provides the mechanisms for individuals to understand and internalise the importance of different ideas that are born out of an incredible amount of diversity in upbringing, culture, religion, ethnicity – to name just a few of the areas that impact who we are.

The value of this is all the more important in a world where these ideals can often feel like they are under attack.

If each year 95% of our 1000 graduates are able to take these learnings with them, then that is a powerful community of like-minded individuals influencing society at every level. On a personal front, this is the real value of an MBA at INSEAD.