Guest Lecturer Discusses Diversity, Inclusion and Bias with MBA Students
Sobhi Khatib Delivers Lecture to Human Resource Management Students
To discuss important issues related to diversity, inclusion and bias in organisations, Wittenborg organised a guest lecture with Oxford HR’s senior consultant Sobhi Khatib, who is also Equity, Diversity and Inclusion instructor at the Digital Society School. Coordinated by senior lecturer Joop Remmé, the activity was offered on 1 April to MBA students specialising in Human Resource Management.
At the start of the workshop, streamed via Microsoft Teams, Khatib explained the concept of bias, highlighting that it is inherent to all human beings and discussing strategies to minimise it. Next, he talked about the three layers of diversity, stressing that diversity can be demographic (gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, etc.), contextual (access to opportunities and resources) or cognitive (character, values and approach to problem-solving, among other factors).
Khatib pointed out that the topics discussed are crucial for Human Resource managers, especially in today’s world, where diversity and inclusion are becoming key issues in every single organisation, regardless of its dimensions, sector or size of the industry. He added that one of the most important things he has learned throughout his career is that diversity is not always visible.
“We might look at a person that is very similar to us on the outside, but they are very different inside or the other way around. This is one of the reasons I like the third layer of diversity – cognitive diversity – because many times we click with people when we feel that connection and it is really there,” Khatib said.
He also thanked Wittenborg for the opportunity to engage with the students, describing the activity as a lovely experience.
Senior lecturer Joop Remmé said that he was very satisfied with the outcome of the lecture and commented that he would like to collaborate with Khatib again. “The students were engaged in the activity and responded positively to Sobhi’s interactive style of teaching. The main message, as I see it, is that inclusivity can be much more detailed than just using labels, and these nuances are also related to individual biases,” Remmé summed up.
by Ulisses Sawczuk