World’s First Study on Disability Inclusion in MBA Programs Launched

MBA Blog / 9th November 2020

Little is known about the experience and representation of people with disabilities in MBA programs so far, but that’s about to change. Access to Success Organization, Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), and researchers from the University of Winnipeg and the University of Toronto have partnered to launch what is believed to be the world’s first study on disability in global MBA programs. The study will begin with an online survey asking current, former, and prospective MBA candidates who identify as having a disability to share their experiences. The results of the survey will be published in 2021. 

Levelling the field for MBA students with disabilities

The State of Disability Inclusion in MBA Programs 2020 survey aims to address a missing piece of diversity in business schools. Survey respondents will be asked about their experiences in five areas – pre-admission, academic, social, recruitment, and post-graduation. 

The data collected from the survey will help inform a comprehensive understanding of the experience of students with disabilities. This will in turn shape recommendations for making MBA programs more accessible and inclusive. The research will be led by Dr. Katherine Breward, Associate Professor at the University of Winnipeg, and supported by Dan Samosh, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto. 

“We need more people with disabilities in leadership roles, and MBA is a key gateway to these opportunities,” said Varun Chandak, founder and President of Access to Success Organization. “Making MBA programs more accessible will not only level the playing field for students with disabilities but also improve the experience of the entire cohort.”

“I believe this study will be a great enhancement to what we offer schools in terms of industry knowledge regarding diversity trends,” added Kendra Johnson, GMAC’s Director of Disability Policy & Services. “We are looking forward to building on our strong foundation of market intelligence to tap into the graduate management education patterns of this sometimes overlooked segment.” 

The study is being conducted with the support of CIBC, the lead sponsor of the initiative. Current, former, and prospective MBA students are invited to participate in the survey by visiting www.uwinnipeg.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4MIk4TXy3ytWeOh.

About Access to Success Organization: Access to Success (www.accesstosuccess.ca) is a Canadian not-for-profit that supports MBA students who have a disability. The Access to Success Fellowship provides annual scholarships totalling CAD 75,000 to MBA students at three of Canada’s top business schools. 

The Graduate Management Admission Council™ (www.gmac.com) is a mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools worldwide. Founded in 1953, the Council is committed to creating solutions for business schools and candidates to better discover, evaluate, and connect with each other. GMAC works on behalf of schools and the graduate management education community, and guides candidates on their journey to higher education, to ensure that no talent goes undiscovered

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