Hi all, Welcome to the 2nd edition of our CJBS DEI Student & Alumni Digest! This month, we had the pleasure of speaking with incoming CJBS Director, Professor Mauro F Guillén. Despite not officially being on the job yet (he starts in September!), Professor Guillén took some time to introduce himself and share his point of view on important topics such as diversity, his family, and time at Wharton. You’ll find this in the attachment. Before we dive in, we wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the last couple of weeks. There's a lot that happened in the world and our community since we last connected with each other in April:
COVID vaccination roll out accelerated in parts of the world, while India faced a resurgence putting the country into a critical state. If you want to donate, here’s a GoFundMe a alumni has recommended that's been vetted..
Derek Chauvin was convicted in the murder of George Floyd. He, alongside 3 other officers, were also indicted and now face civil rights charges for violating Floyd's constitutional rights.
Acts of anti-asian violence and discrimination continued to increase, many heart breaking incidents captured and documented.
The UK Commission on Race and Ethnics Disparities released a report on their findings of institutionalized racism within the UK. This garnered mixed reactions and questions on the government's ability to really listen and help enact change.
And a few weeks ago, our own Kamal Munir hosted an excellent panel reflecting on Black Lives Matter 1 year later. The panel balanced optimism with reality and the fact that despite transnational solidarity in support of BLM, we've also seen a fair amount of resistance surface in response to it.
There are many emotions and thoughts that raced through our heads reading these headlines one by one. How are we really doing one year later? What’s changed? And what are we doing at the individual level to support anti-racism, diversity and inclusion. May 25th marks the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death. We’ll go deeper on the impact of last year's events. More to come on that in a few weeks for our next edition. Your feedback and suggestions for future topics are welcome. Want to get involved or opt out? Want to share your stories or expertise? You can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org - Sami, Mandeep, Omar (EMBA 2020), Nancy, Ghazaleh (EMBA 2015), Liliana (EMBA 2012)
Learning Corner: Meeting Professor Mauro F Guillén
This month we had the pleasure of connecting with incoming CJBS Director, Professor Mauro F Guillén. Professor Guillén has been with the Wharton School since 1996 and is also the author of “2030: How Today's Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything”. He has long been a champion of diversity and we look forward to hearing more from him when he officially begins his role on September 1, 2021. Can you tell us more about yourself? Where are you based now and what excites you most about joining the Judge Business School? I’m a professor at Wharton. There has never been more need for managers who are technically well trained and understand the big transformations of our time. CJBS is uniquely positioned to educate the managers of the future because of its innovative curriculum, and its place within the University of Cambridge, an institution that is so strong in the areas of science and technology. That’s why I am so thrilled about joining a School that is poised to be a central player in this transformation. You come from a very large family, one of your great great grandmothers in Spain went through twenty one pregnancies, giving birth to nineteen babies. How does being part of a large family shape your professional choices? My family back in the early 1900s was not unusual in its size. I am one of five siblings. I remember having to fight for food at the table and for the use of our one bathroom at home in the morning. That instilled in me a keen sense of how important it is to both assert yourself and respect the needs of others. Professionally speaking, my early life experiences have made me a listener, a team player, and a consensus maker. In your book "2030 How today's biggest trends will collide and reshape the future of everything", you talk about the need for people and companies to compartmentalize everything, putting customers into little boxes. In your own professional experience, how were you able to navigate this compartmentalization at work and life when you moved to the US? I actually argue that compartmentalizing is the wrong approach. It’s important to raise the perspective, adopt lateral thinking, and connect the dots. When it comes to talent management, it’s important to promote inclusion and diversity because research indicates that diverse teams and diverse organizations are much more effective. In addition, work satisfaction increases. My own experience resonates with this. I came to the U.S. to get my PhD. I was lucky to get a good job upon graduation, so I stayed. This is a unique country, in which one can see both the enormous contributions that minorities play and the abysmal way in which they are often treated. The real challenge is to overcome unconscious bias, which is just pervasive. I entirely agree that categorizing people according to their background can be detrimental to them and to the organization they work for. It was exciting to read that you’ve been a champion for diversity. What does diversity mean to you? How do you apply this in your everyday, personally and professionally? Diversity, essential, and inclusion are essential to the functioning of organizations. My approach is to never lower the guard when it comes to these issues. We need to deploy every tool at our disposal to ensure that the student body, the faculty, and the staff are diverse and inclusive as a whole, and that there is equity. The reason is simple. We are an educational institution focused on creating the best possible learning environment. It’s simply impossible to create such an environment without diversity and inclusion. One of the challenges of increasing diversity at CJBS and high ranking university MBA/EMBA programs in general is that their rate of application is low. Do you have any ideas and strategies on how to source candidates from under representative groups? Broadening the pool of applicants for degree programs is an essential tool in achieving DEI. Identifying potential applicants from under-represented groups must become a priority at every university and school. There are several approaches to enlarging the pool, and all of them need to be employed in order to address the underlying issues. Are there best practices that you would like to see CJBS implement or improve on and what strategies you envisage would help achieve this goal? Adding a DEI module would be a good idea. Another approach is to incorporate DEI issues throughout the curriculum, given that they are relevant in the context of marketing, strategy, finance, HR, and business operations. This second approach is especially pertinent given the systemic nature of the problem. What are the greatest challenges and opportunities you see in implementing these strategies and initiatives to reach this goal. There are always challenges, but that cannot deter us from pursuing our mission and our goals, inspired by a set of values about DEI that make everyone happy at CJBS and enhance the learning environment for everyone. DEI is always work in progress, so one must take every opportunity to achieve the goal of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environment.