Professor Ieva Jākobsone Bellomi on Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in Business
Professor Ieva Jākobsone Bellomi was invited to participate in the “Diversity Innovation Meeting” organized by ItaliaCamp for Poste Italiane on December 15, 2021. Poste Italiane is Italy’s largest postal, telecommunication, and banking services provider, and ItaliaCamp is an impact organization that assists companies in facilitating purpose and value driven organizational cultures. Professor Jākobsone Bellomi, who teaches Organizational Behavior and International Management at JCU, shared the University’s experience in creating a culturally diverse and psychologically safe social environment for its community.
Recent organizational research by global management consulting companies like McKinsey and the Boston Consulting Group have acknowledged that diversity has a very positive impact on the organizational bottom line. Studies carried out by McKinsey in America and Europe show that companies that are in the top quartile for gender diversity are more likely to financially outperform the ones that are in the bottom 25%. Ethnic diversity is even more impactful, as the companies that are in the top quartile outperform the ones at the bottom by 36%.
Diversity and inclusion also play an important role in innovation, which is an absolute necessity for building and sustaining a competitive edge in any organization. According to an empirical study carried out in 2017 by the Boston Consulting Group, companies with an above average diversity score obtain about 45% of their revenues from innovation, compared to just 26% for companies with below average diversity scores.
In order to create a diverse and inclusive organizational environment, and to generate a variety of ideas, companies need to institute strong internal frameworks for psychological safety, so that its constituents can feel safe to express their concerns and ideas in a mutually respectful way. Professor Jākobsone Bellomi shared John Cabot University’s experience in creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment, which is based on a respectful and collaborative atmosphere between academia, administration, and students. In 2020, JCU instituted a Taskforce on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, charged with providing leadership, guidance, and resources in support of the goal of ensuring that JCU is free from racism and discrimination.
John Cabot University attracts not only a talented pool of academics, but also culturally diverse students from over seventy countries, who are eager to develop a global, open, and understanding mindset. This mindset, supported by the values of an American liberal arts education, the celebration of differences, peer to peer coaching and mentorship, have become institutional values of John Cabot University. To highlight the importance of these values, Professor Jākobsone Bellomi, within the scope of the F. J. Guarini School of Business, has organized a series of guest lectures for the Spring 2022 semester called “Anima Mundi.” The speakers will include high level global thinkers, executives, and diplomats who will talk about a culturally and ideologically diverse global landscape and share their experiences in dealing with the complexities of the current economic and business environments.
Professor Jākobsone Bellomi, as a leadership coach who works with European and African companies, also shared with Poste Italiane’s Human Resources managers her professional best practices, stressing the importance of the organic growth of diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. She explained that internal rules and regulations alone cannot ensure diversity and inclusiveness without peer-to-peer respect and understanding at the level of simple daily human to human interactions.
Professor Jākobsone Bellomi will be teaching Organizational Behavior, International Business, and International Management in Spring 2022.