The Center for Leadership, Innovation, and Change (CLIC) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business co-hosted an Unconscious Bias discussion with MBA organizations including the Smith Association of Women MBAs (SAWMBA), Black MBA Association, Latin American MBA Association, International MBA Association, Asian American MBA Association, Smith Pride Alliance, Muslim and Middle East Business Student Association, and the Jewish MBA Association on Feb. 13, 2017.
Allison Manswell, a consultant from Cook Ross, a thought leader in the space of unconscious bias and diversity and inclusion, led a session focusing on strategies for better understanding of race, religion and generations in the workplace. Manswell encouraged students to think more deeply about the type of managers they wish to become as they reenter the workforce after achieving an MBA because they will have a greater opportunity to make a positive impact.
Students engaged in an active conversation with Manswell to understand how they, as managers, can actively work towards creating environments of inclusion in the workplace and foster a sense of belonging among their employees. Some key takeaways included:
- Question unconscious biases
- Work to create a shared understanding between people
- Find ways to give constructive feedback
- Ask questions in a constructive approach
- Celebrate differences in the workplace
- Value nontraditional paths that have led people to new roles
For more information about the Center for Leadership, Innovation, and Change (CLIC) at Smith, visit: www.rhsmith.umd.edu/clic.
For more information about diversity at Smith, visit the Office of Diversity Initiatives website: www.rhsmith.umd.edu/diversity.
- Alison Scharman, Smith MBA Candidate 2017