CEO’s, Academia Take Action on Diversity

New organization lays out its strategy to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
CEO’s, Academia Take Action on Diversity

In November, 70 of the more than 330 corporate and academic signatories of CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion (CEO Action) gathered to discuss ways their organizations can advance D&I in the workplace and measure progress toward goals outlined in the group’s CEO Action Pledge. These goals include “making our workplaces trusting places to have ... difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion,” “implementing and expanding unconscious bias education,” and “sharing best—and unsuccessful—practices.”

The coalition has formed the CEO Action President’s Circle to translate the pledge into actions that engage students, faculty, and administration. One action includes “Check Your Blind Spots,” in which a vehicle travels to campuses to invite students to participate in multimedia experiences such as taking the Implicit Association Test, designed by researchers to make people more aware of their unconscious biases.

“A critical aspect of participating in CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion is recognizing that our view of the world may be different than that of those with whom we live, learn, and work,” says Gloria Larson, president of Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. “Though examining our own identities and learning about the experiences of others pushes us out of our comfort zones, it’s necessary if we are going to truly prepare the next generation of leaders.”

Participants in the President’s Circle include the University of San Francisco, Bentley University, Binghamton University, Lehigh University, Miami University of Ohio, Oregon State University, the University of Dayton, Xavier University of Louisiana, AACSB International, and the National HBCU Deans Roundtable.

AACSB International’s participation dovetails with its commitment to involving business organizations in the shaping of business education, says Tom Robinson, the association’s president and CEO. “Colleges and universities must continue to drive impact through innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing—and an appreciation of diverse perspectives and elimination of unconscious biases are imperative to those goals,” says Robinson.

For information about the coalition’s activities, visit or send questions to