Image of undergraduate students in masks near Roger Babson statue

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Babson is continually working to improve equity and inclusion, and we are enriched by a diversity of races, cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives—united by a shared vision to create positive change in the world.

Dear Babson Community:

Over the past year, the Babson community has worked collaboratively to advance three critical objectives outlined by President Spinelli: manage the COVID-19 crisis; promulgate the College’s strategic plan; and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Our College strategy prioritizes DEI as a key strength in entrepreneurial leadership, and our shared focus has catalyzed new initiatives and strengthened existing efforts across the College. A broad constellation of committees — with student, faculty, staff, and alumni representation — has contributed to a roadmap that thoughtfully advances DEI and creates transparency and accountability to support our ongoing success. 

Today, I’m writing to share an update on our collective efforts and progress from that roadmap, and highlight ongoing opportunities for students, employees, and alumni to engage in this work: 

Students:  

  • Intentional Diversity: This year, Babson invested more than $9 million in student scholarships to recruit and retain students who contribute to the diversity of our community. Our first-year class arriving this fall includes 32% underrepresented minority students—the largest number in Babson history. 
  • Learning Experience: Thanks to the initiative and leadership of Babson faculty, DEI is now being integrated across undergraduate and graduate programs. DEI is now one of five learning themes within the undergraduate curriculum. It will be woven into the undergraduate core and embedded in curricular experiences such as Foundations in Management and Entrepreneurship. The Graduate School will integrate DEI into the student experience during on-boarding and integrative project work, into the curriculum via diversifying teaching materials and contexts, and into the fabric of the graduate school community through on-going conversations via interest and affinity groups.
  • Co-Curricular Engagement: Diversity learning opportunities increased by 40%, enabled by the College’s support of student participation in diversity related conferences, facilitation of conversations about identity stereotypes, ongoing Global Mindset training, and a new mentorship program pairing more than 25 students (including 20 Diversity Leadership Scholars) with 21 alumni mentors. Strengthened by feedback and data, the mentorship program will continue this fall and offer tailored experiences to support students’ personal and professional development. 
  • Training: In February, the College launched a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Learning Platform (Everfi) designed to provide a foundation for inclusion and equity. Sixty percent of undergraduates and 40% of graduate students completed the pilot program. Going forward, DEIB learning will be incorporated into orientation programs to provide students with a shared understanding of Babson’s community expectations and values around DEI. 
  • Career Outcomes: Last year, starting salaries for Black undergraduate students were the highest in the history of the College: $62,140.00. Six months after graduation, 99% of the Class of 2020 was employed or continuing their education. 

Faculty:

  • Dean of the College Inclusive Excellence Committee and Faculty Training:  Established by VP Matsuno, the Dean of the College Inclusive Excellence Committee (DoCIE) advances faculty diversity and development. In partnership with the DoCIE, the Center for Engaged Learning & Teaching (CELT), has developed the College’s first Inclusive Teaching Training Program (ITTP for faculty), to be implemented this summer and fall 2021 with Everfi training as prerequisite.
  • Anti-Racist Pledge: The Faculty Senate voted unanimously on an Anti-Racist statement pledging to work with existing Babson DEI committees, councils, and clubs to provide more DEI learning, engagement, and action.

Employees:  

  • Training Opportunities: Ninety-eight percent of staff managers completed live DEI learning sessions, which concluded in April. Now, individual contributor staff are completing modules on the new DEIB platform (Everfi), with 91% participation to date.  
  • Living our Values: Through our strategic planning process, members of the Babson community refined the College’s long-standing core value focused on Diversity, and expanded it to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,. To hold ourselves accountable, we have formalized DEI as a competency expectation for all employees in our values based performance assessments. 
  • Collaborative Leadership: Babson’s current President’s Council is the most diverse in College history. 
  • Employee Resource Groups: Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) play a vital role in building inclusive affinity groups for Babson’s increasingly diverse employees. There are eleven ERGs and five core identity-based groups. As the number of these groups increased this year, so has the programming and support they provide. 

Alumni and Ecosystem: 

  • Alumni Engagement: The Office of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving is re-aligning its efforts with the College’s strategic priorities and working with alumni volunteers and campus partners to create a comprehensive alumni engagement approach. As of July 1, the office has been charged with facilitating a holistic alumni engagement strategy that provides affinity groups with a cohesive, consistent structure. Babson is fortunate to have many alumni working to advance DEI efforts at the College. In collaboration with those partners, and as part of a redesigned engagement strategy, Babson has launched a new affinity group, the Babson Black Alumni Alliance (BBAA)
  • Thought Leadership: Babson produced the first Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) US special report on Black entrepreneurs in America. The report generated 107 million impressions and a Harvard Business Review article. Additionally, Babson’s Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership is currently developing three new diverse protagonist cases.
  • Programming for a Lifetime of Learning: Through the BEE and the Babson Academy, Babson introduced new DEI education offerings for academic and corporate partners with the engagement and content of our renowned entrepreneurship Centers and Institutes.
  • Supporting Entrepreneurs: Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership launched the Black Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, an online accelerator designed specifically for Black women entrepreneurs that engaged 90 participants from 16 states.
  • These are just a few examples of the progress we’ve made as a collaborative and connected community. We know there is considerable and urgent work to be done as we take this journey together. We also know that in the past, we haven’t always gotten it right. We are proceeding with humility and active learning. As a community of entrepreneurial leaders, we care deeply about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and commit to being intentional about creating meaningful and sustainable change. Our work together is ongoing. I encourage you, as an important member of this diverse community, to continue to build the One Babson we aspire to be. Please reach out with any questions.

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to advance Babson’s vision and build an increasingly diverse, equitable and inclusive community. I wish you a safe and relaxing summer and look forward to seeing you this fall.

Best,

Sadie Burton-Goss, Ph.D.
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

At Babson, our definitions of diversity and inclusion create a common language from which our conversations and initiatives begin.

Diversity

All of the ways in which we are different and considerations in the context of: social identities; underrepresentation/underserved identities; and historical issues of bias, access, equity, disparity

Inclusion

“I belong here. I am a full member of this community.” Creating a climate in which all people, regardless of their identity feel welcomed, included, acknowledged, rewarded, and have equitable access to opportunities and growth.

We have embraced a strategic vision that states our commitment to create “a diverse, multicultural, and inclusive community of highly talented students, faculty, and staff characterized by respect, understanding, and appreciation of the uniqueness and value of all people.”

Mission

Babson College is committed to providing an exceptional educational experience for leadership and participation in a diverse society to a student population that reflects the full diversity of this country and the world. This commitment is achieved through creating a climate that supports and celebrates diversity, social justice, and an appreciation of our global interdependence. Babson will engage our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader external community to achieve this climate.

Vision

In executing its mission, Babson will be recognized as an inclusive, global community, focused on attracting, developing, celebrating, and embracing exceptional talent representing diversity of all kinds. Babson’s intentionally diverse students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners will be uniquely prepared to respectfully engage, collaborate, and lead across differences in business and in life. We will create great social and economic value everywhere.

Babson College is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment free of all forms of harassment and discrimination for all College community members.

Babson College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, religious creed, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetics, physical or mental disability, veteran status, military obligations, participation in discrimination complaint-related activities, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws in its practices, programs, or activities.

The College’s Title IX Coordinator, Betsy Rauch, is responsible for the oversight of Babson’s Gender-Based Misconduct Policies. She can be reached at brauch1@babson.edu or 781-239-5501.

The College’s Vice President for Human Resources, Donna Bonaparte, has been designated by the College to respond to inquiries or concerns regarding other College nondiscrimination policies. She can be reached at dbonaparte@babson.edu or 781-239-6434.

Three pillars—culture, curriculum, and community—guide Babson’s diversity and inclusion strategy and represent the three major areas of focus for our efforts.

Culture: the attitudes and intellectual manifestations of our students, staff, faculty, and alumni

Goal 1. Create, foster, and preserve an inclusive and welcoming cultural climate for all

Goal 2. Create an organizational structure to support our diversity and inclusion goals

Curriculum: the subject matter we are teaching in the classroom

Goal 3. Ensure that faculty development, classroom experience curriculum, and co-curriculum support our mission and strategic diversity and inclusion goals

Goal 4. Foster, promote, and support diversity and inclusion related resources and research advancing our mission

Community: the Babson fellowship of people from students to members of partner organizations

Goal 5. Attract, recruit, develop, and retain a diverse student body

Goal 6. Attract, recruit, develop, and retain diverse faculty, staff, and administrators

Goal 7. Engage and support external partners in diversity-related initiatives advancing our mission

Goal 8. Communicate, promote, and celebrate efforts, events, initiatives, and individuals advancing diversity and inclusion of all kinds for Babson College and the Babson community worldwide.

In 2009, the Diversity and Inclusion Council was formed by former Chief Diversity Officer Elizabeth Thornton and President Emeritus Leonard Schlesinger with the notion that instead of having one small task force, or one person or department tasked with the job of diversity, we should engage the entire community in the mission of diversity and inclusion. The strategy is to have the mission permeate the entire Babson community and embed principles of inclusiveness into internal operating processes such as faculty and staff recruiting, student affairs, the curriculum, and the classroom.

Council Structure

The Diversity and Inclusion Council is organized into four committees to focus on the following objectives:

  1. The Recruitment and Retention Committee: To brainstorm new ways of attracting and retaining students, faculty, and staff of diverse identities including racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, gender, religious, and sexual orientation.
  2. The Building an Inclusive Community Committee: To create and sustain an inclusive community characterized by respect and understanding of the value of all people through cocurricular activities. This committee has challenged the Babson community to “Get in the Game,” which means participating in thought-provoking experiences with faculty, students, and staff to develop the awareness, skills, and competencies necessary to think critically about ourselves and how we interact with the world around us.
  3. The Inclusive Curriculum Committee: To participate in discussion and support the Undergraduate Academic Policy Committee in incorporating inclusiveness into the curriculum.
  4. The Inclusive Classroom Experience Committee: To create and provide resources and opportunities for faculty to create and maintain an inclusive classroom experience where students feel comfortable engaging in deep, thought-provoking conversations while being respectful of each other and engaging in discussions that are inclusive of all of our identities.