What can we do to address issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion explicitly in our case writing, teaching, distribution and learning?
The most engaging cases feature protagonists, scenarios, locations and industries that capture the lived experience of diverse business practitioners and the diversity of our students, because the case discussion that is at the heart of the case method is all the stronger when participants are confident in sharing their own experience of lives lived and shaped in different circumstances and business settings.
So the most engaging case teaching is when the teacher is confident in addressing diversity, equity and inclusion in their facilitation of the discussion. When students are encouraged to contribute and reflect on a broad range of experience, analysis and opinion. When contributions are diverse and divergent, students are equal participants and each individual feels included.
Yet many case teachers lack confidence in addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in their teaching. Others, wishing to avoid cases that reinforce stereotypes suppressing student ambition and aspiration, find it difficult to identify cases that feature active diverse protagonists.
How can that dilemma be resolved?
I am excited by the degree to which case publishing schools, writers and teachers around the world are tackling these issues. Recently we’ve been working to support the Case Compendium initiative by the Centre for Equity Gender & Leadership at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business – making it easier for case teachers to identify and source cases that best support diversity, equity and inclusion in their case teaching.
We are making it easier to search for cases in our catalogue using diversity, equity and inclusion identifiers and are encouraging all case writers and case publishers to do the same.
In our workshops, conference professional development sessions, and through our awards and case writing scholarships – we are supporting new and diverse case writers from different backgrounds and experiences, and are encouraging all case writers to represent positive, diverse protagonists, challenging those stereotypes that narrow rather than open up discussion, and to include people, sectors, businesses of all kinds that break fresh ground and reflect the lives and future careers of students.
We have compiled a resources page on our website supporting case writers and case teachers imbedding diversity, equity and inclusion into their work.
We have much to learn. This is a journey, not yet a destination. Please take it with us.