Diversity as a business asset

Mark Pittman is a first-year MBA student also working on his J.D., and he’s writing for us today in his role of president of the Diversity in Business Society, a student group dedicated to “helping students to foster and encourage diversity in business and to understand the value it brings to organizations.”

Mark writes:

Utah is not exactly known for diversity, but when Ted Robinson, Vice President of Sales and Partnerships at Kaplan12, came to speak with students at the David Eccles School of Business, he put the focus of his talk squarely on diversity in the workplace.

Robinson attended at the request of Dave Harris, program director for the Full-Time MBA program, after being approached by the leadership teams of Women in Business, Out for Business and Diversity in Business Society–three student groups at the David Eccles School of Business.

Students have noted the potential to increase diversity in the program and the business school in general, understanding that any workplace or business field they’ll enter after graduation is likely to have people from a wide array of backgrounds. Robinson’s engaging discussion helped put the students attending at ease, offering tools for making sure all people in an office or business are treated with proper respect and professionalism.

Speaking on the differences between the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson-era “affirmative-action” mentality and the 21st century’s strategic vision of using diversity as a competitive advantage in business, Robinson caused a lot of students on hand to think differently than they had before. Students who had never been exposed to thinking about diversity as tool for creative thinking found themselves strategizing about the benefits that more diversity would have had in their former workplaces.

For the Diversity in Business Society, the primary sponsor of the event, Robinson succeeded in expanding the conversation about diversity. No matter where you live, even a state not known for its diversity, it can be necessary–even beneficial–to shake up attitudes and expose students to new ideas.

The best academic institutions think outside of the box to challenge their students and really boost their intellectual abilities. For the David Eccles School of Business audience, Robinson did exactly that.

Ted Robinson’s Six Pillars–ideas students should embrace as they move into the workplace

  • Respect
  • Kindness
  • Empathy
  • Conscience
  • Self-control
  • Fairness
  • Looking for something specific?