The soon-to-be-released Best Business Schools 2020 issue from U.S. News & World Report features Scheller College in an article "What to Consider About Business School Diversity - MBA programs are stepping up efforts to recruit and retain women and minorities."
The article noted that bias training and similar exercises are becoming more routine at business schools. Jasmine Howard, Scheller College MBA candidate (2020), spoke about her and her classmates’ experience with unconscious bias training that is incorporated as part of the College’s MBA orientation and the value it added. She highlighted the class exercise about what groups students identify with and the learning that took place. She commented, “There was a mix of visually obvious traits like race and ethnicity, but also some less obvious ones like ‘I am or love someone who is LGBTQ or struggling with addiction.’” The key takeaway of the exercise was to “learn on a deeper level all the different aspects that make up a person and what they bring to the table.”
About the importance of diversity and its overall incorporation, Scheller College Dean Maryam Alavi said in the article, “It’s just not enough to bring in diverse groups and then leave them to fend for themselves. It’s important that they feel appreciated, respected, and supported, so everyone can fulfill their potential.” Scheller College values and respects the diversity in its myriad forms represented throughout the College. Scheller has a long-standing commitment to recruiting, supporting, and advancing women and professionals of color across all of its programs.
The article continued by highlighting efforts of business schools to tap into young talent and organizations including Forté Foundation, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), National Black MBA Association, and Reaching out MBA. As an example of how colleges are building their own avenues to increase diversity, the article included Scheller College's MBA Pathway which offers deferred admission for undergraduates at Georgia Tech, Agnes Scott, and several historically black colleges in Atlanta, including Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University. In this program, undergraduate college seniors who apply to the program and are accepted receive guaranteed MBA admission after completing 2-3 years of professional work prior to returning to pursue their MBA. For interested Georgia Tech students, there is an upcoming on-campus MBA Pathway information session April 9 at 11 a.m. in Clough Commons Auditorium.
Scheller’s Diversity and Inclusion Fellow Ph.D. Dionne Nickerson spoke about the implicit bias workshops that she developed and implemented for faculty members. Through her work with the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program, Nickerson set a goal to equip fellow doctoral peers in academia with the skills and knowledge needed to help their students succeed, especially those carrying an underrepresented status. Her projects focused on their awareness of implicit biases and creating inclusive classroom environments. U.S. News included information about her sessions on implicit bias and creating inclusive classrooms. About these workshops Dionne commented, “There’s a chance to create a learning opportunity and really go there as opposed to shying away from the issue or just moving on to the next subject.”
The article concludes with “While the move toward great diversity isn’t always as rapid as some would like to see, Scheller’s Alavi puts it this way: ‘The important thing is that we are making progress and not going backwards.’”