We foster an inclusive community by working together

At the Wisconsin School of Business, cultivating a collaborative, diverse, and inclusive environment is a strategic priority.

Our efforts focus on building a shared understanding of diversity and inclusion, as well as developing skill sets that enhance our individual capacity for business leadership and citizenship. We recognize that we must learn together how to nurture greater inclusion, and our initiatives reflect an understanding that we are always learning.

All diversity and inclusion programming at the Wisconsin School of Business is informed by academic research. Our cross-disciplinary approach integrates the latest knowledge from neuroscience, organizational behavior, psychology, and other related fields. We take advantage of the extensive knowledge base at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, as well as best practices shared by our corporate partners.

To further strengthen our commitment to inclusion and diversity, the Wisconsin School of Business maintains an on-site Office for Diversity and Inclusion that provides support and consultation to students and other members of the learning community.

Binnu Hill
Binnu Palta Hill
Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Demonstrating Our Values Every Day

Our faculty and staff play a crucial role in building the School’s culture of inclusion through their actions and behavior. This, in turn, helps inspire and reinforce inclusive, respectful behavior among Wisconsin School of Business students.

We are very intentional about investing in the growth of our faculty and staff, so they’ll continue to make positive contributions to the Wisconsin School of Business culture. All new members of our learning community are introduced to our strategic focus on diversity and inclusion during onboarding, and receive professional training in progressive levels of cultural competence. Faculty and staff actively participate in workshops which encourage courageous conversations about inclusion, and enable them to overcome their own unconscious biases. Our commitment to creating a positive, inclusive learning environment is further reinforced by insightful seminars for faculty members, focusing on strategies to create more inclusive classroom experiences.

Through these and other efforts, we are continually making progress in building an exemplary learning community.

Engaging and enlightening monthly forums scheduled throughout the academic year invite students, faculty, and staff to share their perspectives and consider important topics related to diversity and inclusion.

Every member of the Wisconsin School of Business learning community participates in exchanging ideas and building a respectful culture of inclusion, not only within the classroom, but also in society as a whole.

Dorri McWhorter (BBA ’95), CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, speaks to the Wisconsin School of Business community about how a sense of mission has shaped her career.

Ongoing Learning Forums Touch Every Member of Our Community

We view diversity and inclusion as a lifelong journey, with each individual at a different juncture in that journey. Programming for students, faculty, and staff is designed to support each individual in advancing cultural competence, starting from wherever they are and moving forward.

Each month, our community of students, faculty and staff engage in enlightening, thought-provoking forums that feature academic research accompanied by open, honest explorations of how these learnings apply to all of us in our daily lives. These shared learning experiences serve as a powerful catalyst for individually and collectively enhancing inclusion on campus, in the workplace and beyond. Recent topics have included redefining gender norms in business, seeking unity through diverse perspectives, and cultivating growth from difference.

In these sessions, and often in classroom discussions, we ask ourselves hard questions, but we explore the answers together, within a culture that is empathetic, respectful, and forgiving. These explorations equip students to make significant contributions in their careers and as members of their communities.

Leading the Way

Wisconsin MBA alumni who are former Consortium students connect with incoming MBA students at the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management’s annual career fair.

The Wisconsin School of Business has demonstrated a long-standing understanding of the importance of sustaining an inclusive learning community and diverse workplaces. The University of Wisconsin–Madison was one of three founding members of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, a diversity network linking top-tier students, MBA programs, and leading corporations. The organization has played a leading role in promoting diversity in education and business for more than 50 years.

The Consortium’s mission is to increase the representation of African Americans, Native Americas, and Hispanic Americans in education and business. Consortium students are connected to a vast and committed alumni network and more than 80 corporate partners representing top U.S. companies, such as General Mills, 3M, SC Johnson, Eli Lilly, and PepsiCo. Historically, the 19 Consortium member schools have graduated more than 400 MBAs annually—approximately half of the under-represented MBAs entering the workforce.

The Wisconsin School of Business is also a founding member of The PhD Project, a network of supporters, sponsors, and universities dedicated to increasing the diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty.

Equipping MBAs to Become Inclusive Business Leaders

The business case for diversity and inclusion is now well-established. Research provides ample evidence that embracing differences improves individual and organizational performance, leading to increased profitability and sustainable organizations. The Wisconsin School of Business equips MBA students to contribute to these positive environments in their careers, and to lead their organizations and communities to greater inclusiveness.

The Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program puts considerable emphasis on preparing students to excel in a global and multicultural business world. Diversity and inclusion programming begins at orientation and continues throughout the two-year program, often interwoven with related concepts such as leadership and teamwork. Students have numerous opportunities to work with others in diverse teams, tackling real-world business problems and traveling together to company sites in the United States and abroad.

The topics of diversity and inclusion are also fully integrated into the Wisconsin Evening and Executive MBA programs. Specific sessions are held to examine these issues, and once a shared vocabulary has been established, the challenges of sustaining an inclusive workplace become part of many class discussions. Evening and Executive MBA students are in an ideal position to bring these insights back to their organizations and “move the needle” in favor of greater inclusion.

Students in the Evening and Executive MBA programs examine the issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace through open and respectful dialogue.

Full-time MBA students participate in a variety of curricular and co-curricular activities that prepare them to excel in a global and multicultural business environment.

In the LeaderShape Institute program, BBA students engage in team-building exercises with a diverse group of peers, exploring their values and developing leadership skills.

Introducing Undergraduates to Diverse Teams

Undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) degree are asked to complete curricular and co-curricular elements that enhance their ability to work in and lead diverse teams. Students learn to work across differences in order to improve individual and organizational performance and be effective in their careers.

The undergraduate program benefits from an engaged, collaborative, and talented student body. To help ensure that this student community is sufficiently diverse, the Wisconsin School of Business offers the Business Emerging Leaders (BEL) Program for high school students. This program serves promising students who come from diverse backgrounds and have strong academic records and demonstrated leadership skills, but who may be new to the college experience. Students in the BEL Program join a diverse community in self-exploration, team building, academic growth, and career development, gaining a distinct advantage when they enter college.

A Shared Responsibility

The challenge of building and sustaining an inclusive environment is shared by every member of the Wisconsin School of Business learning community, including students, faculty, staff, and campus and corporate partners. Together, we all act as equal partners in learning.

A foundational aspect of our program is an examination of unconscious bias. By becoming aware of the unconscious bias that influences our behavior and perceptions of others, we can begin to change it. We are most successful when we engage with others who bring different perspectives and experiences that challenge our own.

Campus Diversity

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is committed to creating a community where every person feels welcome, valued, and able to succeed. Discussions on diversity and inclusion are taking place across campus. Learn more about ongoing initiatives to make our campus more inclusive for the diverse members of the UW–Madison community.

Campus diversity

Julio Angeles 

“At the Wisconsin School of Business, you can witness the level of commitment to diversity and inclusion by observing how involved the faculty and staff are. This commitment goes beyond making sure important topics are covered in the classroom; it also translates into active participation and support for student-led organizations and events to ensure that we carry with us a culture of diversity and inclusion well beyond our time in Madison.”

—Julio Angeles, MBA
Senior Marketing Manager–Health, Household and Baby Care, Amazon