More diverse leadership facilitates innovation, which is critical to capturing and maintaining market share
Written on 25 July 2022.
According to Forbes, there are numerous important benefits to having a more diverse leadership team within a company. These benefits are mirrored in a greatly diverse Global MBA programme since participants become immersed in an intercultural and inclusive dynamic. Their experiences and expertise gained as members of a diverse cohort prove to be invaluable in their future business projects and leadership mindsets. In 2022, the Economist ranked the EDHEC Global MBA #1 in the world for diversity in both student and faculty members. During the same year, the Financial Times ranked the EDHEC Global MBA #5 in the world for international mobility in terms of international career opportunities. Why is EDHEC deserving of these rankings and what is the correlation between the two? Read on to find out.
At EDHEC, the push for cohort and faculty diversity in the Global MBA is intentional. To successfully evolve on an international playing field, whether within a start-up or large global organisation such as L’Oréal, Henkel, and Smurfit Kappa, individuals must feel, think and strategise with a full appreciation of what diversity represents. What better way to develop such reflexes than by being an active member of a significantly diverse MBA environment! 43% of the 2021/2022 Global MBA cohort is international, while 46% of participants are female. Year after year EDHEC alumni members appreciate the benefits of having been a part of a culturally rich cohort.
“I had never before been immersed in such an international environment. With people from all over the world, from different backgrounds and experiences, EDHEC helps you grow in terms of your vision of business in this globalised world.”
Mario Decaret, EDHEC Global MBA alumnus, 2017.
On recounting the invaluable experience that his cohort’s diversity provided him with, EDHEC Global MBA alumnus, Scott Perry, said:
“My classmates came from every continent in the world, for some, it was their first time in Europe, for many it was their first time in France. So, you learn from each other, you share your experiences. And it changes your mindset and your viewpoint. The experience made me a much stronger leader and team player and it helps me now in terms of encouraging collaboration, fostering a positive environment, and generally being able to manage conflict and find solutions. My MBA gave me a true mindset shift and an incredible experience. This isn’t something you can read about and learn, it’s something you have to live.”
Scott Perry, EDHEC Global MBA alumnus 2018, Head of Customer Success at Yara International, Berlin.
It is essential not to underestimate the importance of a very diverse MBA environment when selecting a top-ranking Business School for your Global MBA. According to Sandra Richez, Global MBA Programme Director at EDHEC: “Working day-in, day-out with people from different cultures, countries, professions, and industries is key to developing authentic, inclusive, and ethical leaders. We carefully select each participant, recognising not only their individual strengths and experiences but also how they can contribute to the wider class. In the end, such ability to think and act globally is what companies really value when they recruit MBA graduates.”
EDHEC faculty and alumni experience first-hand how diversity within the Global MBA programme leads to:
The above-listed MBA diversity benefits, as well as those described by the Forbes Coaches Council, provide insight into why the EDHEC Global MBA ranks so highly in having international career opportunities. Organisations are keen to recruit MBA graduates who already have a very strong appreciation of the indisputable riches of diversity, and feel confident within diverse environments. As Ellie Shefi, one of the Forbes Coaches Council members put it: “Diversity in leadership means greater depth and breadth of experience and perspective, which in turn allows for a greater ability to relate to employees, clients, and prospective clients. Experience, perspective, and relatability facilitate innovation, which is critical to capturing and maintaining market share.”
"Diversity in leadership means greater depth and breadth of experience and perspective, which in turn allows for a greater ability to relate to employees, clients, and prospective clients. Experience, perspective, and relatability facilitate innovation, which is critical to capturing and maintaining market share."
As interconnectedness prevails in our globalised world, socio-economic, geopolitical, and other unpredictable crises have a significant knock-on effect on businesses across borders. This is why forward-thinking, agile, and diverse leadership is critical to long-term survival and success. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) refers to this as the Business Imperative of Diversity. According to BCG, diversity and inclusion must become the core part of a company’s collective purpose. This is because, in addition to the benefits already discussed, diversity increases an organisation’s ability to innovate and reinvent its processes so as to meet changing global demands. In 2017, BCG conducted a study of over 1,700 companies which revealed that diverse leadership was synonymous with a higher innovation revenue. It found that expanding the range of a company’s ideas and options leads to better financial performance. Similarly, in 2018, an analysis by the BCG Henderson Institute demonstrated that gender diversity both correlates with, and is predictive of, future growth.
EDHEC Business School is proud of the Global MBA’s #1 worldwide diversity ranking. It has diligently embraced and incorporated the results of diversity studies both within its own business structure and in the way its Global MBA cohorts are created. To ensure that gender equality, cultural diversity, and fairness are reflected at the heart of the Global MBA cohort, EDHEC provides several scholarships as well as advice on other financing solutions that best suit the circumstances of each applicant. Optimal inclusion and diversity are central to tuition fee payment schemes. A diverse faculty and diverse class are the foundation for a truly global MBA experience, because “When true diversity makes its way into the classroom, not only do the discussions and teamwork become far richer, but also the overall learning experience becomes highly transformational. At EDHEC, we prioritise potential in all sorts of personality types and use it as a transformation lever.” Sandra Richez, Global MBA Programme Director at EDHEC.