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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economc Issues

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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This symposium is brought to you by students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University for a singular purpose, to address inequities in corporate systems and the role we can play as conduits for change.

We measure the racial/ethnic densities (RAEDs) of executives in a random sample of 523 US publicly traded companies and the S&P 500®. When we calibrate the RAEDs of executives as a whole against the RAEDs of the 2019 US population, we find that American Indians/Alaska Natives, Blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented and Whites are overrepresented. However, when we calibrate executive RAEDs against a benchmark that seeks to take into account key features of the demand for and supply of proto-executive talent, namely the RAEDs of the cohorts of students graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the broad New York Times 2017 list of the top 100 US four-year colleges and universities, matched to executives’ BA/BS graduation years, mostly different and at times opposite findings obtain.

On Wednesday, March 3, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker joined UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford for an exclusive virtual discussion. Walker discussed leading the $14 billion philanthropy, focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation's reckoning around systemic racism and how business plays an essential role in the public good.

Most organizational leaders have come to recognize that hiring and retaining a diverse workforce is a business imperative. But many struggle to achieve their diversity goals. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how organizations can measure their “organizational equity” — that is, their internal distribution of power and resources — and build a diverse workforce that leads to greater organizational success.

The factors that determine our health go far beyond what happens in the doctor’s office. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how the physical well-being of many Americans has been placed in jeopardy by upstream social and economic factors such as racism, food and job insecurity, and a lack of community and social support systems.

The nursing profession in the United States was experiencing a labor shortage and facing diversity and inclusion challenges prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Magnifying these problems was a shift in the nation’s population, both geographically and demographically. The result was changes in both where nurses are needed in the healthcare system and the nursing skill set required to address healthcare needs of a far more diverse clientele of patients—in terms of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, age, living arrangements, socioeconomic status and primary language.

American Indian communities face a growing housing crisis, compounding long-standing social and economic challenges. In this Kenan Insight, we examine the structural and historic factors that underlie the current lack of affordable housing, and identify several promising options for both addressing the immediate crisis and improving the broader economic situation for tribal communities.

Workplaces are under pressure to be more inclusive due to public demands and rapidly changing demographics in the U.S. workforce. These commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) aren't just moral, they're crucial to business prosperity. In this Kenan Insight, we explore strategies for startups to employ and explain why starting early is key to success.

In a recent Triangle Business Journal article, Urban Investment Strategies Center Director Jim Johnson and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Jeanne Milliken Bonds discuss why Americans are increasingly turning to companies with purpose and ethics, and provide a corporate reputational equity checklist to help organizations move toward greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices.

On Thursday, Oct. 29, architect, politician and former mayor of Charlotte, Harvey Gantt joined UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford for an exclusive fireside chat. Gantt discussed his career, the current political climate and the social justice movement in the U.S. This virtual experience was part of the Dean’s Speaker Series.

On Thursday, Oct. 29, architect, politician and former mayor of Charlotte Harvey Gantt joined UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford for an exclusive fireside chat. Gantt discussed his career, the current political climate and the social justice movement in the U.S. This virtual experience was part of the Dean’s Speaker Series.

Immigrant inventors produce more patents than native U.S. citizens, among other key findings, according to a new Entrepreneurship Center and Kenan Institute report.

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Experts

Kim Allen

Kenan Scholars Program Director

Anusha Chari

Professor of Economics, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Professor of Finance, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

    Sreedhari Desai

    Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior

      Olga Hawn

      Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Sustainability Distinguished Fellow and Faculty Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise

      Jim Johnson

      William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center 

      Stephanie Mahin

      Clinical Assistant Professor of Management and Corporate Communication

      Shimul Melwani

      Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School