2022. 3. 16.

Business education trends in 2023 and beyond: diversity & inclusion

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Diversity and inclusion efforts will continue to impact business education. As our society becomes more preoccupied (and rightfully so) with tackling inequality and exclusion, we must create a business environment where everyone is represented and feels welcome. Business education will be central to that.

Business education is not business as usual anymore. The external factors impacting it have multiplied significantly in the past two years and will lead to its complete transformation.

To help you navigate this fast-changing landscape and ease your transformation journey, we have published a trend report with the key trends that will impact business education.  

We predict ten trends, split into three categories:

  • societal trends like diversity and inclusion, that will challenge the purpose of business education
  • industry trends that will change the way it is taught
  • tech trends that will open new avenues and make the transformation of business education possible. 

Keep reading our sneak peek into diversity and inclusion then download the 38-page Business education trend report 2023 in full. 

Defining D&I and its impact on business education 


1. Diversity refers to the similarities and differences among individuals accounting for all aspects of their personality and individual identity. Some of its dimensions are age, language, (dis)ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, gender identity. (Society for Human Resource Management)
2. Inclusion describes the extent to which each person feels welcomed, respected, supported and valued in a place. It´s the practice of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded.


In business education, the focus on diversity and inclusion will be noticeable in three major areas:

1. Admission and recruitment processes. Their intricacies are deemed to change, in order to become more inclusive and result in a more diverse group in question. Practices can include: ensuring the hiring or admission team is diverse or educating them on this matter, expanding channels of communication and making your organization or institution reach out to a broader pool of candidates, evaluating processes and data to discover any existing bias or severe discrepancies.

2. Curricula and training programs that will educate about the importance of diversity and inclusion and how to convey its values in the working or learning place. These programs can include acknowledging the variety of human identities, awareness of underrepresented groups, cross-cultural communication skills, explaining and addressing bias and prejudice, etc.

3. Methods of delivering learning that are digital and virtualized, synchronous or asynchronous. These enable accessibility and flexibility, allowing people to join wherever they are and lowering costs.

Young group of people discussing startup business plan

In business schools, 67% of the students believe diversity and equality are essential to business education according to Tomorrow’s MBA, an annual survey by consultancy Carrington Crisp, cited in Financial Times.  

What are the benefits of D&I programs?

  • improve access to your institution or organization and will make for a fairer work- or learning place. 
  • promote tolerance, understanding and harmony, open minds and break down barriers between cultures, and reduce the potential for discrimination and misconduct.
  • ensure that all groups and identities are well represented, that everyone feels welcome and enjoys an equal place at the table. 
  • provide a more rewarding, richer learner or employee experience, create a melting pot of insights and perspectives, support a diversity of skills, increase creativity and innovation. 
  • keep your business thriving

According to McKinsey, the topmost ethnical and culturally diverse organizations outperformed the bottom by 36% in profitability. In terms of gender parity, the same report found that organizations with over 30% women executives were more likely to outperform organizations with few to no women executives by 48%. 

64% of L&D pros globally and 73% of L&D pros in North America report that D&I programs are important and ranked number two in the top programs that L&D pros globally are deploying.

LinkedIn Workplace Learning report 2021

How can virtual and hybrid learning improve your D&I efforts?

The delivery method will support your organization or institution´s D&I efforts via virtual and hybrid teaching and training methods. How?

1. They can bring together more diverse learners or employees thanks to the scaling potential to global capacity. People from all over the world can attend programs that were beyond their reach because it will no longer matter where a participant is geographically.

2. They allow for more accessible and flexible learning, enabling those who cannot afford to interrupt their career, who have family responsibilities or other impairments, including physical, to continue their studies. Participants join from any space connected to internet, watch recordings or attend evening, weekend or lunch break classes.

3. They can lower costs in terms of travelling, accommodation and catering but also rental space, maintenance and paper. This way, diversity & inclusion results can be enhanced by reducing tuition or training fees and by increasing the number of scholarships.

4. They allow all personalities to shine and are excellent for introverted participants who prefer not to share their thoughts in a face-to-face setting. This type of learner will feel more comfortable and open to speaking up via digital means, be it the chat section, a breakout room, or to be very responsive to interactive content, such as quizzes and polls.

Diversity and inclusion is just one of the ten trends that will impact business education across all organizations and institutions. Would you like to find out more of what lies ahead in the future?