Diversity's Vital Role

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Diversity is vitally important in today’s management classrooms.

Diversity comes in many forms. It doesn’t have to be about race or gender. It can be as simple as a view different from your own.

After all, learning is advanced through people challenging each others’ beliefs and views - not through quiet acceptance of the status quo or the “popular” answer.

Diversity is important because it affects everyone’s experience. It is more than race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. It encompasses the whole range of human experiences -- age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class, physical disabilities, geographical location, political orientation, and appearance.

Executive MBA programs attract professionals from numerous industries who have spent 10-25+ years in the workforce. Their experiences add significantly to the classroom - whether it is how to conduct business successfully in a particular country or how to negotiate with workers who are threatening to strike. There are people issues and operational issues that benefit from diverse viewpoints and thought processes. Students question and push each other in order to get to the best possible solution.

At Chicago Booth, we encourage pushing - the kind that leads to a well-researched, well-discussed solution. Without an appreciation for and embrace of diversity, learning would move very slowly.

Patty Keegan