B-Schools Put Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Front & Center

Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.


With or without a diversity index for ranking, top B-schools around the country are announcing new DEI programs and touting diversity gains in public announcements. Below are some examples, but is in now way an exhaustive list. 

  • Berkeley’s Haas School was among the first B-schools to create a 5-year DEI Strategic Plan in 2018 and recently released an updated 2021-2026 plan. Among other initiatives, it developed scholarships for minority students, hired a director of diversity admissions while expanding its DEI team, and added a required class to its MBA program: Business Communication in Diverse Work Environments. In 2018 when it first dove into its DEI efforts, Haas had 11.9% underrepresented U.S. minorities in its MBA class; In 2021, it had 23%.
  • Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University recently announced two new classes, Strategic Business Solutions to Address Structural Racism and Diversity in Organizations.(Owen ranked 28th in P&Q’s latest ranking, and 61st for Bloomberg’s diversity ranking.)
  • Georgetown McDonough reported its most diverse class in its 2021 MBA class profile, with diversity increasing from 38 to 40%, while its Executive MBA is 40% U.S. underrepresented minorities (up from 26% last year). (Georgetown ranked 24th in P&Q’s latest ranking, and 57th for Bloomberg’s diversity ranking.)

Like many other B-schools, Kellogg (which ranks 5th overall in P&Q’s ranking and 38th in Bloomberg’s diversity index) has implemented several DEI initiatives in the last year: It launched a DEI pathway, akin to a minor,  and its first ever climate survey. It raised $10.5 million last year for DEI programs, including $5 million for scholarships for underrepresented minority students. And more than 1,000 students, alumni, faculty and staff, and organizational partners volunteered for the Kellogg Inclusion Coalition that will work to advance DEI efforts and make recommendations to Kellogg leadership. Banks calls it the “merry band of volunteers.” 

Its efforts appear to be paying off. From 2016 to 2020, the average percentage of U.S. underrepresented minority students was 18%; In 2021, it was 23%, according to class profile data provided to Poets&Quants. 

“We know that heterogeneous teams outperform homogeneous teams when addressing complex challenges,” Banks says. “As the world becomes increasingly more complex and as the rate of change continues to accelerate, we have to have folks that can work well in concert with others who possess very different backgrounds, and who can find a way to unlock potential that otherwise would lie dormant.”


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