2014 Conference Session Descriptions

Welcome Reception

Emerging and seasoned executives and high potential executives that have won our individual achievement recognition attending the 8th Annual Diversity MBA Business Leaders Conference are invited to attend a Welcome Reception. Their levels range from senior director to president This is the perfect opportunity to meet with company representatives, meet new colleagues and potential clients and customers, as well as reconnect with individuals in a social setting. Available to participants are refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres and entertainment while building your professional network.

General Networking Luncheon

An important benefit of attending the 8th Annual Diversity MBA Business Leaders Conference is the opportunity to meet with industry leaders and practitioners who can provide new and different perspectives on business challenges. Share collective insights on the conference experience during our Networking Luncheon. Expand your network and enjoy the lunch provided.

Executive Women’s Plenary

While progress has been made with senior women and people of color in executive level roles, our research evidence, gender equality, equal pay, and women’s impact to the bottom line has not shifted the mind-set and is ranked low on the agenda in the private sector. Mainstreaming is the transformation of unequal structures into equal and just structures for both men and women. But for many corporations, addressing this matter will require intentional change in cultural behavior and to implement a sustainable framework to address the war for talent and emerging leadership strategies, and promotion of women in non-traditional roles and industries.

Knowledge sharing is an opportunity to understand how organizations are getting ahead and have created mainstreaming solutions. Hear from these esteemed executive women on their perspectives and best practices in their organizations. Learn strategies to secure high-level roles, finding hidden opportunities, and what to do different to get ahead.

CEO Symposium

The C-Suite symposium is designed to enable both seasoned and emerging executives to understand practical issues involved in leading a major organization and expand ways in which you think about business, boardroom, and global issues. Get an inside look at this year’s report from executive leaders on how the board and management should prepare for and respond to the events that require a shift in strategic direction – such as talent succession, mergers and acquisitions, and use of big data. With the scrutiny over executive governance, crowding out of board focus on global impacts to corporate performance has ensued vulnerability; how has board diversity influenced a new framework for looking at strategy and risk? What are leading F500 organizations doing to address and develop broad section of skills and competencies?  What are the implications for top executives in engaging their board members effectively to transform during merger and acquisitions? What are the challenges facing board members in today’s corporate environment with the use of big data?

Global Keynote

Celebrating 50 Years after Civil Rights: How Do We Fair?

The landmark 1964 law that banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin is celebrated and commemorated after 50 years of existence. The transformation of the United States began a half-century ago resulting in opportunities and access to vote and public facilities, desegregation of public schools, prohibited discrimination in employment and educational opportunities.

In 2014, we are still faced with the questions regarding equitable educational opportunities for our youth, disproportionate number of diverse schools, impoverished neighborhoods with low socio-economic class status, and high unemployment rates amongst African Americans and other minorities. While progress has been made and life has dramatically improved for many since the enactment of the Civil Rights Act, as a nation what letter grade would we receive regarding our progress? How do we fair and what represents the substance intended for the reconstruction unequal to equal rights?

Leadership Sessions

Leadership Session presentations are given by industry and seasoned professionals and cover topics such as communications, professional competencies, and share lessons learned, overviews of cutting-edge technologies, and best practices. Leadership sessions are 1 hour and 45 minutes, and run concurrently. Although leadership sessions are held simultaneously, information will be available from each session.


Industry Roundtables are two-hour long sessions that provide participants with an intimate and information forum for discussion trends, issues, and emerging topics of interest to the DiversityMBA community. DiversityMBA industry roundtables were identified (based on participant feedback from previous years and interest from key industry members), then works with a program consultant to coordinate each roundtable. These industry roundtables span across, healthcare, technology, insurance, D&I/OE, retail/hospitality, supplier diversity, and manufacturing. Roundtables run concurrently. During the session, a representative from the industry and university briefly introduces the topic or case study with a set of open questions and then facilitates an open discussion with gathered audience. Each two-hour industry roundtable is comprised of two presentations (case study, key issues), each lasting 45-minute (15 minutes for presentation and 30 minutes for audience discussion and feedback). After presentations at each roundtable participants will engage in in-depth discussion and summarize key points of discussion.

Leaders and select participants from each industry roundtable will report out during Industry Roundtable Large Group.

Note: The information and discussion notes obtained during the Industry Roundtables will be summarized as best practices and transformed into White Papers developed by university partners to reflect on action items across our industries and within our universities. 

Power Pack Toolkits

Power Pack Toolkits sessions are given by industry and seasoned professionals and cover topics such as sponsoring/mentorship, personal branding, leading an inclusive culture, and communication strategies and engaging individual with disabilities. The power pack toolkit sessions share technique and effective tools to advance leadership practices. Power Pack Toolkit sessions are one-hour, and participants can choose a session to attend. Although leadership sessions are held simultaneously, information will be available from each session.

College Leadership Summit

College Leadership Summit provides the environment for high potential young professionals to gain access and exposure to “Hidden Career Opportunities with the Best Places to Work”. Students and employers will engage in career preparation, mentoring and skill development dialog. Participants will receive first-hand training and development through panel discussion, workshops and networking.

  • One-on-one mentoring: students meet with potential employers to learn about industry opportunities and tips on how to have a successful career.
  • Exposure and access to employers: networking and exposure leading industry company representatives and top students from universities.
  • Skill development and workshops: gain access to leadership, management and communications skills from seasoned professionals across industries.