Written on 17 May 2021.
On 26 March 2021, Robert Baker, EDHEC MBA “Disruptor in Residence”, was the guest speaker at the Diversity & Inclusion Webinar hosted by GMBA Programme Director Sandra Richez. Robert, a champion of Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace, talked about the critical role of diversity and inclusion in the future of work.
Even though greater Diversity & Inclusion is being fostered by many companies, we are still a long way off truly diverse and inclusive workplaces across the board. Initiatives are launched and money is spent but this hasn’t yet been translated into real improvements for people from different backgrounds and cultures, or who are of different gender and identities. We still live in a world where 80% of leaders are men.
That said, the business value of Diversity & Inclusion is gradually being recognised as an essential factor for success, both by companies and talents. “Companies need to pay more attention to D&I because it’s going to help them attract and retain better talents and have a better understanding of their customers who are becoming increasingly diverse”, says Robert Baker, Potential Talent Consulting CEO. “It also helps them satisfy their investors who are demanding more diverse boards as well as projects and values which don’t just focus on profit making.”
According to Robert Baker, evolving towards a truly diverse and inclusive marketplace requires new capabilities. “Leaders of tomorrow need to acquire a set of skills based on emotional intelligence and awareness of their own privileges and biases in order to become Diversity & Inclusive fluent. They need to understand how to include people with different backgrounds, culture and identities in their teams and how to get the most out of it.”
EDHEC has already made excellent progress in achieving a better gender balance in classes and is a longstanding cultural diversity champion. Robert Baker joined EDHEC as Diversity & Inclusion “Disruptor in Residence” in March 2021, because he believes that EDHEC is going to be one of the leading business schools in terms of D&I and will differentiate itself in the global MBA student market. “We need to increase the pace of D&I development in business”, he says. “EDHEC will stand out by helping tomorrow’s leaders make a difference in business and greatly impact D&I issues. My role is to inspire students in the Global MBA programme and to inject more D&I thinking into it so that future leaders better understand how to include people with different backgrounds, culture and identities in their teams.”
“We are proud of the EDHEC MBA’s commitment to Diversity & Inclusion. I strongly believe that an MBA education should be accessible to a broader set of profiles. To do that, we offer generous Women in Leadership and Cultural Diversity scholarships and provide support for families and schooling for example. We set diversity targets in our Admissions process and support actions on campus with the Diversity & Inclusion Club”
Sandra Richez, EDHEC Global MBA Programme Director
“Sometimes just being and showing as you are can impact other’s perceptions. In the business world, it means to conquer spaces where you were not considered before: that’s the real power of promoting diversity and inclusion”
Cris Campos Gomez, Global MBA Candidate
“I am delighted to have been invited to play a part in the EDHEC Global MBA programme evolution. I would like to thank Sandra Richez for inviting me to take on my role and to Cris for sharing her passion and the student perspective. Both helped me hugely in shaping my contribution to the webinar”
Robert Baker, Potential Talent Consulting CEO