Darden’s fourth annual Diversity Conference returned this November with two days of packed DEI programming. Over 200 attendees spanned the United States and across the globe, participating in breakout sessions with faculty, staff and current students. This year’s conference was inclusive of the Full-Time MBA, Part-Time MBA, Executive MBA and deferred enrollment formats. An alumni panel, virtual case discussions with learning teams and session on scholarships were also highlights of the event.

Professor Martin Davidson, Darden Senior Associate Dean and Global Chief Diversity Officer, described his experience as the first Black tenured faculty member at Darden. He spoke about how Darden’s faculty is expanding and has become younger, more international and more diverse during his time at the School.

He added that the increasingly varied perspectives were important for the Darden community, and valuable to the world of practice. To that end, Professor Melissa Thomas-Hunt, described recently returning to Darden after serving as the head of global diversity and belonging at Airbnb.

Read more insights about this year’s Diversity Conference.

‘Two Years of Business School Is Extreme Self-Reflection:’ Insights From the Darden Diversity Conference

For more ways to connect with Darden and learn about ongoing efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion, join Darden Admissions, faculty and current students for an upcoming event.

I really enjoyed attending this conference and would definitely recommend all prospective students to attend. Being a part of a learning team to work on a case study together was definitely a great experience and something which I found unique to Darden's Conference. I also got to connect with so many current students and their supportive nature strengthened my belief in Darden's amazing community.

- 2021 Diversity Conference Attendee

The case discussion with Professor Dan Murphy the next day was so engaging. I felt prepared going into the class and was ready to raise hands and share my thoughts. I was able to speak 2-3 times during the class, and I felt as long as you are willing to speak, you will get a chance. Professor Murphy did such a great job ensuring students who didn’t talk early get chances to speak later during the discussion. The most impressive part of this case method class to me was how the professor asked thought-provoking questions to guide us through the case and towards the answers. There were several times I was thinking to myself - why I didn’t think about it that way?

- 2021 Diversity Conference Attendee

I found the time with (the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team) Martin Davidson and Christie Julien to be particularly helpful. The articulation of Diversity initiatives and explanation of how Darden measures 'success' reaffirmed that difference is an opportunity not a liability.

- 2021 Diversity Conference Attendee