Inclusion In The Classroom: How Are We Engaging

Business Schools Working Toward Building Inclusivity In The Curriculum
But Agree That Much More Needs To Be Done

New research shows graduate business schools improving their offer of an inclusive learning environment while acknowledging need for metrics as well as broad, sustained progress

 The MBA Roundtable, a global association of business schools whose mission is to advance graduate management education through curricular and co-curricular innovation, today released a new report, Inclusion In The Classroom: How Are We Engaging.  105 deans, directors, and faculty at 93 graduate business schools report their impression, effort, and activity to increase inclusivity in the business school curriculum in an MBA Roundtable research study conducted in March-April, 2022.
“Business schools are making considerable effort to make their program curriculum much more inclusive but it also tells us that we are still early on this journey.  We are just beginning to have the metrics to track our progress and to help us make GME curriculum as inclusive and representative of our students today and in the future.  There are tremendous opportunities to take this to the next level, and we hope this survey helps schools start to meet those goals. “  Dan Turner, Chair, MBA Roundtable and Associate Dean of Masters Programs, Foster School of Business, University of Washington.
The following are the key findings of the report:
Most of the faculty, deans, and directors report improvement in the business school’s offering of an inclusive learning environment during their tenure at the business school. Overall, 68 percent of the respondents rate their business school positively in terms of offering an inclusive learning environment today, up from 37 percent when asked retrospective to the time they first affiliated with the business school.

While efforts toward increasing inclusivity in the learning environment have been made according to most of the faculty, deans, and directors, they also say that too little effort has been exerted. Overall, 62 percent say too little effort has been exerted to increase inclusivity in the learning environment. About a third (30%) say the amount of effort is just right. Most say that the business school provides faculty and staff training, and policies about inclusivity. Fewer than half (48%) report that inclusivity is measured at the business school, however.

Two-thirds of faculty, deans, and directors report that efforts to increase inclusivity in the learning environment has impacted learning assets (68%) and co-curricular activities (67%). About half say instructional models (53%) and learning objectives (50%) have been impacted by inclusivity initiatives. Course offerings show less change, with 29 percent report the creation of new elective courses and 15 percent report the creation of new core courses.

A majority agree their business school encourages open communications, offers opportunities for all, and values diverse perspectives. In addition, most of the faculty, deans, and directors agree the faculty respects diverse perspectives and refrain from improper remarks. They also agree the faculty, staff, and students at the business school contribute positively to creating a participative environment for each other.

The university, current students, and staff are driving the demand for increasing inclusivity at business schools, while the need to be responsive and relevant are considered the prime impetus for increasing inclusivity according to the respondents. In addition, many say that increasing inclusivity is “the right thing to do.” One respondent wrote, “We wanted to offer a relevant and responsive curriculum. We wanted our students, faculty, and staff to feel a sense of belonging in our program. It was the right thing to do.
“The MBA Roundtable is proud to help the graduate management community make their programs more inclusive and continues to be committed to delivering valued and valuable research, workshops, and forums to drive the advancement of this important topic.  We recently delivered a workshop titled Delivering an Inclusive Learning Experience For Your GME Programs in April and are excited to be a sponsor again along with Forte, A Case for Women and Emerald Publishing, of the Case for Women Case Writing Competition to promote the increase of female protagonists in business schools cases.  The 2022 competition is still open and cases are due June 25.  To learn more visit -” – Jeff Bieganek, Executive Director, MBA Roundtable.
To download the full report click here.