Preparing Students for Workplace Diversity
Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business has established a center and undergraduate studies program focusing on business diversity.
The Business Diversity Center, directed by Dr. Mary Connerley, an associate professor in the management department, will focus on teaching and researching diversity issues. It will coordinate the business diversity minor, an 18-credit program for juniors and seniors that will be launched in the fall of 2008.
“Our objectives are to develop our students’ readiness and ability to take a leadership role in managing diversity and multiculturalism in their careers,” said Connerley in a statement. “The minor aims to help students develop a vocabulary and ideas around issues of gender, race, age and cultural difference within a corporate context,” she said. “It would promote awareness of cultural values, attitudes and beliefs — their own and others’ — and an understanding of how these influence behavior and interactions in the workplace.”
The minor will be restricted to eligible business majors initially, Connerley said, but, with additional resources, it could be opened up to non-business students. The program has an enrollment goal of 40-45 students each year.
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