Tag: Diversity & Inclusion committee

Diversity of thought, diversity of people should be the fabric of the institution. If we think about what we want in the end, we have to start with the end in mind. If we want to represent ourselves as diverse and inclusive, we need to think about our brand. What does the Olin brand currently say? Despite what we say or believe, does it truly say diversity and inclusion?

Therefore, if we think about the end in mind, we must start today with increasing our number of diverse and underrepresented minority candidates. Simply increasing numbers doesn’t necessarily mean diversity, but when you increase the number of people with diverse talents and backgrounds with the focus on inclusion, that will bring about a change.

I believe we are setting the course for this path by admitting the largest class of Consortium* students in 50 years, pictured above.

A strong applicant pool and Olin’s commitment to diversity and inclusion have paved the way for admitting 18 talented students who bring with them a variety of backgrounds, thoughts, and ideas.

Olin has demonstrated a continued commitment to diversity and inclusion by increasing the number of diverse candidates. While this is a milestone, it is not the end of our journey towards a diverse and inclusive community.

This blog post was contributed by Jacqueline Slack Carter, Graduate Programs Registrar & Student Affairs Advisor.

*The Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management (CGSM) was founded in 1966 by Olin Prof. Sterling. Today, the CGSM is the premier national organization involved in promoting and helping gain access to graduate business education for historically underrepresented minorities. Through business school and corporate partnerships, the Consortium provides scholarships, mentoring, networking, internships, and career placement advice to each class of MBA fellows. 18 world class universities admit nearly 500 CGSM students annually to MBA programs. Since its founding, CGSM schools have graduated more than 8,000 leaders to the benefit of businesses and communities around the world.

If you told me five years ago that I would have an MBA degree, I would have laughed in disbelief. The main reason is that I simply could not see myself excel in a white, male-dominated field. As a first generation Latina you can imagine my hesitation, the challenges I would face, and the energy I would need to exert to push back. My reality was that no one I knew had had this experience, and with no support system in place, pursuing an MBA promised to be a very isolating road.

Later this month I will graduate with a joint master’s degree in social work and business administration. The joint track has provided me with the best of both worlds—the tools to fight for social justice combined with the management and analytical skill set to scale the impact I wish to achieve. While the social work experience has helped keep me grounded and motivated to be proactive about the change I wish to see, the MBA experience has been a rollercoaster.

MONDAY, AUG. 31, 2015 - This is the Olin Diversity & Inclusion Expo at Washington Univeristy's Olin Business School. ©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

It took some time for me to find my place at Olin. As a nontraditional business school student the learning curve was steep. More so, I had willingly walked into an environment in which I knew I would have to pave my way to belong. I could count on one hand the number of Latinas in the full-time MBA program and on the other the number of black students. Admittedly, diversity is not only about race, however, having access to a community of people who share a similar background makes a world of difference.

It would have been easy to remain on the sidelines, to just attend classes and complete assignments without ever stepping out of my comfort zone. But because I wanted more, I had to do more. Diversity and Inclusion work, for me, is not only a personal matter; it is my civic responsibility. Helping Olin create space where people from all walks of life feel included, known, and cared for is key in making it a successful and welcoming learning environment.

Through my involvement with the Olin Diversity Council (ODC) and the Olin Diversity and Inclusion Committee (ODIC), I found the support systems I needed to excel at Olin. The road has had its ups and downs. At times I’ve felt like I’m preaching to the choir of the 20 usual suspects, but deep down I have to believe we are moving in the right direction. Diversity and Inclusion matters beyond Olin; to dismiss them not only impedes self-growth, but also represents a disservice to our collective ability to make a difference in the business world and society at large.

I chose to embrace discomfort these past three years of graduate school and I learned to face my own biases, not shy away from difficult conversations, and, most importantly, to meet people half way. So, I dare you to jump in and embrace the beautiful complexity of feeling discomfort in a journey of self-awareness and the exploration of our ability and willingness to be inclusive.

This blog post was contributed by Fabiola Paz, MBA 2016, and Olin Diversity and Inclusion Committee cochair

The Olin Diversity and Inclusion committee is encouraging everyone in the Olin community to watch “Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America” and then post your thoughts and comments to this blog post.

Artists of different races and ethnic backgrounds, including Pharrell Williams, John Legend, P!nk, and Ed Sheeran, are joining together to give once-in-a-lifetime performances. In addition, the program will include powerful conversations on race in America from Charleston, Baltimore, Ferguson, and more. The entire effort will support a Fund for Progress on Race powered by United Way Worldwide and a memorial for the Emanuel 9 in Charleston.

The concert is on tonight. That’s Friday, November 20, at 7:00 p.m. CT on stations in the A+E Networks (A&E, Lifetime, HISTORY, LMN, FYI, and H2) at 7:00 p.m. It will also be broadcast on 150 iHeart radio stations.