The future of ESMT is inclusive

Students walking in front of the Berliner Dom

ESMT Berlin advertises the diversity of its student body proudly – as it well should! I will fully admit to bragging frequently about my Master’s in Management (MIM) class, which is comprised of students from upwards of 37 different countries. This internationality enhances our learning, builds personal networks around the world and, simply, it’s really fun. 

But the reality is also this: when we bring students together from around the world, friction is inevitable. It makes us better managers and leaders to anticipate and even embrace it, but that friction can also manifest in ways that reinforce harmful stereotypes and unconscious biases. 

The fact is, diversity can only be a true asset to a community if that community does the work to ensure the safety, comfort, and inclusion of its members. This is the need out of which the Inclusive Leadership Roundtable (ILRT) was formed. 

The Roundtable is a group of staff, faculty, and student representatives who have the goal to make this community more proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to inclusive practices on campus. 

In the last year, this group has taken steps to establish its role in the community by surveying students about their view of the campus climate (results to be shared soon!), and by composing a year-long strategy document, breaking down their goals and suggestions for the community at large. 

One of their key principles is to be totally transparent about these goals and suggestions, so I want to take this opportunity to share the over-arching ones here. The full document will be dispersed throughout the ESMT community via email, and it is also accessible via the ILRT Moodle page, which anyone can register to join. 

  1. Identify and share ESMT diversity and inclusion goals
  2. Evaluate ESMT programs, regulations, and output against inclusion and diversity goals and contribute to improvements/change where needed
  3. Help ESMT leaders recruit and retain women and members of marginalized groups as leaders, faculty, staff, and students
  4. Identify and collaborate with external and internal leaders in inclusion and diversity efforts
  5. Engage and promote women and members of marginalized groups in ESMT’s seminars, conferences, and formal collaborations

These will be referenced throughout the course of the year as new opportunities and challenges arise, with the aim that the strategy document will allow the ILRT to prioritize tasks and stick close to their mission.

The Roundtable is a young organization, born first out of a need to put out fires, to tackle small but significant issues as best they could. But this year the time came to pause and look to the future and to the bigger picture. Because truly, the diversity of ESMT is one of our greatest strengths. We should do nothing short of making the most of it.

1 Comment

Comments are closed.