DEIB Emphasis Added To Address National, Local Needs
Lakeland University’s graduate business programs are adding an emphasis in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) to address one of the fastest growing areas in the business world.
Courses in the emphasis, which is available to students pursuing a master of business administration or master of science in leadership and organizational development, will introduce and train students in DEIB topics and provide an opportunity for students to apply their learning to their workplaces and community organizations.
Rachel Ware Carlton, dean of Lakeland’s Kellett School of Graduate & Undergraduate Studies, said the coursework meets a growing demand in corporate and non-profit organizations. According to a 2022 report released by LinkedIn, the #2 role in the U.S. growing in demand is diversity and inclusion manager with a likely salary range from $60,000-$145,000.
This need is also felt locally. In a focus group conducted by Lakeland of area businesses (both corporate and non-profit), there was widespread interest across organizations for individuals who had exposure and training in issues related to DEIB.
The group which included representatives from United Way, Kohler Co., Sheboygan YMCA, Mead Library, Airbnb, Prevea, Rockline Industries and others, confirmed individuals with training in DEIB topics would increase their employability and that the need for employees with this training would continue to expand.
“A growing number of Lakeland’s corporate partners have inquired about offerings that we might provide to train current employees to lead DEIB initiatives and training,” Carlton said.
The emphasis is also shaped by the tradition of the ministry of the United Church of Christ, Lakeland’s founding church and a longtime advocate for the needs and rights of the marginalized.
“An emphasis within our MBA and MS-LOD program that enables students to learn deeply about and work for social justice belongs at an institution whose values are shaped by this tradition,” Carlton said. “The acquisition and application of knowledge through the liberal arts and practical learning opportunities is central to the design of the emphasis with its inclusion of community-centered, experiential learning.”