Cultural diversity the key to business success, says global award winner

17 February, 2021

Monash Business School alumna Div Pillay

Monash Business School alumna Div Pillay has been honoured as a global leader in business education for her work in championing inclusive work practices and promoting the benefits of racial and cultural diversity in the workplace.

Global business education network, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has named Ms Pillay, who is CEO and co-founder of MindTribes, as an AACSB Influential Leader honouree for 2021 in the area of diversity and inclusion.

Now in its sixth year, AACSB’s Influential Leaders honourees include nearly 250 business school graduates who have created lasting impact in business and society, nominated from among the 871 AACSB-accredited Business Schools in 57 countries.

Since 2013 Monash Business School has been accredited by AACSB, the longest-standing, most recognised form of specialised and professional accreditation an institution and its business programs can earn.

In order to earn and sustain accreditation, a Business School must align with AACSB’s rigorous accreditation standards, which ensure continuous improvement and require excellence in areas relating to strategic management and innovation; student, faculty, and staff as active participants; learning and teaching; and academic and professional engagement.

Ms Pillay, who studied a Master of Human Resource Management at Monash Business School, is a Telstra Business Women’s Award Judge in 2020 and was named one of 100 Women of Influence in 2018-2019.

She received the prestigious Monash Business School Alumni Excellence Award in 2019 and took part in Monash University’s ‘Change It’ campaign as an Agent of Change.

“Monash Business School was really pivotal to my personal, professional and entrepreneurial development – it gave me opportunity and choice, which I took and maximised,” Ms Pillay says.

Ms Pillay promotes social and cultural inclusion to senior leaders in the community by pointing out the financial benefits, among other positives.

“We know from various studies that the Australian economy loses out about $75 billion annually from excluding diverse customers,” she says.

“Some of the biggest issues we are facing now actually could be answered by diversity of talent that sits in this country.”

MindTribes provides an online platform called Culturally Diverse Women to promote the career progression of women who face barriers in Australian business or government due to their culture or gender. More than 73 per cent of participants have reported achieving improved leadership levels, increased pay and greater educational support from their employers.

Monash Business School Deputy Dean (International) Professor Michaela Rankin congratulated Ms Pillay on the honour, saying that it was testament to Ms Pillay’s significant and ongoing impact on workplace practices.

“We celebrate Ms Pillay’s achievements in this area, which also reflect diversity and inclusion as an important strategic goal of Monash Business School and Monash University as a whole,” Professor Rankin says.

“We’re also very proud of our accreditation with AACSB, which forms part of our ‘triple’ accreditation with other global bodies, including the EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) and the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

“These reflect both our world-class standards in learning and research and commitment to continuous improvement.”