Simon Hosts Online Series of EDI Panel Discussions


Get a front-row seat to Simon's panel discussion series featuring business leaders from a range of industries. Moderated by Simon Business School Dean Sevin Yeltekin, the panels featured seasoned professionals as well as soon-to-be Simon graduates, all sharing their perspectives on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. 

Simon Hosts Online Series of EDI Panel Discussions  

Simon recently hosted a series of online panel discussions with industry leaders who shared their perspectives about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), drawing from the latest insights and research about the future of global business.  Each of the panel discussions focused on the unique challenges of a particular industry sector, which included Consulting, Financial Services, and Tech+Media

Moderated by Simon Business School Dean Sevin Yeltekin, the panels represented the experiences of seasoned professionals as well as soon-to-be Simon graduates. Sessions provided context on how EDI-related matters in the workplace have evolved over time and grown in significance, as well as its implications on the future of business. Panelists provided insight on how to build a roadmap to carry out effective EDI initiatives at their own organizations.

In her introductory remarks, Dean Yeltekin noted that multiple lines of research have consistently demonstrated a strong positive correlation between measures of EDI and traditional measures of corporate and organizational performance, such as profitability, ROI, and shareholder return.  However, she stated that the economic value of EDI has been under-recognized in the corporate sector.  “EDI is an underutilized tool in the corporate toolkit that can be used to boost corporate performance, and maximizing the efficacy of EDI is an opportunity to create value.”

Panelists observed that the specific economic value proposition that EDI offers an organization includes fostering innovation by bringing together diverse perspectives, the ability to recognize opportunities such as underserved markets, and more effective decision-making that considers risk factors that may be otherwise overlooked.  However, they also noted that the conversation around EDI has moved beyond justifying the business case.  “Years ago it was much more about what’s the ROI of having a more diverse workforce,” said Efrain Rivera MBA ‘89S, SVP, CFO, and Treasurer at Paychex, during the panel discussion for Financial Services and Real Estate.  “We are beyond the business case conversation… the advantage is to the talent in this market.  The case is really around building the right talent pool within the organization, and I think for most organizations, that’s where the conversation starts.” His remarks were echoed by Juan C. Jones MBA ‘88S, EVP Global Support Renewal Sales at Oracle, during the panel discussion for Tech+Media.  “Companies are looking for the best talent, and right now we’re in this business cycle where there is a fight for talent… not only to reflect the society that we live in, but from a pragmatic business point of view, to reflect the customer that we have.  We have a much different customer base today, and we need to reflect this changing set of customers.”  

Roshiana Bell, MBA ‘16S, Senior Finance Manager at Intel, also noted that the value of EDI extends beyond improving the bottom line from an innovation perspective.  “One thing we’ve started to recognize is looking at the impact on your culture and having a culture that’s inclusive.  A key part of instituting these EDI efforts is how you help with the retention piece.  The question is, you’re getting these diverse hires into the pipeline, they’re performing, now they’re leaving.  What can we do to retain these top talents within the organization?  That’s both on the qualitative and the quantitative side.”

The EDI panel discussion focused on the Healthcare sector will be held in December, with the date and time TBA.  Advance registration is required, and you can register for the event here:

EDI Panel Discussion: Healthcare

If you were unable to attend the previous EDI panel discussions, you can still watch them on the following links: 


Financial Services 

Tech & Media