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How can business schools help to build more racially diverse businesses?

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 16:30 to 17:30
OUBS Events Team
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Three experts on diversity and inclusion will be sharing their views and answering questions on the ways business schools can help to build more racially diverse businesses.

Award-winning OU MBA alumna Rachel Blackburn runs a consultancy, US2U, which helps organisations with diversity and inclusion. As a former student and now an active alumni, she will offer her perspective on how OUBS can help to meet the challenges of managing diversity and inclusion in business today.

Professor Devendra Kodwani chairs the OU’s Race Equality Charter steering group, and is the Head of OUBS and Executive Dean of the Business and Law Schools. He will be providing insights into OUBS’ current activities and its future plans.

Dr Habib Naqvi MBE, Director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory, completes the impressive trio to expand on what organisations are looking for from business school graduates to equip them to contribute to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Watch the recording


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Claire Maguire

Claire joined The Open University Business School in 2018 as a Lecturer and Student Experience Manager (SEM). She was previously employed as a Career Coach for the MBA programme at Cranfield University having worked in the NHS as National Lead for the Graduate Schemes and Gateway to Leadership Programmes. Her involvement in the NHS Breaking Through programme has given her an enduring interest in, and commitment to, diversity and inclusion.


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Rachel Blackburn

Rachel Blackburn started her career in the financial services industry before moving into management consultancy when she found out she had a flair for coaching. After achieving significant success at a leading consulting and recruitment firm, she decided to set up her own business and formed US2U Consulting in 2006.

As a black woman, Rachel has delivered managing diversity programmes, initiatives and investigations during the last 20 years. Extremely focused, self-motivated and enthusiastic, she was highly commended in The Open University Business School’s Alumni Achievement Award in the summer of 2016, in recognition of her success since achieving her MBA in 2004.

Image of Dr Habib Naqvi MBE

Dr Habib Naqvi MBE

Dr Habib Naqvi is the Director for the NHS Race and Health Observatory, and has a background in public health, health psychology, healthcare policy and strategy development.

Between 2013 and 2020, Habib worked at NHS England where he led on national equality and diversity policy and strategy for the NHS. He oversaw the development and implementation of programmes such the Equality Delivery System (EDS), and the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES).

Before joining NHS England, Habib led national equality and diversity policy at the Department of Health and Social Care, including leading on the health sector’s response to the UK government’s review of the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Habib is a Trustee for the Mary Seacole Trust. He is reverse mentoring the NHS Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens, and was listed in the Health Service Journal’s 80 most influential people in health 2020/21. Habib was awarded an MBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to equality and diversity in the NHS.

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Professor Devendra Kodwani

Professor Kodwani is Executive Dean of The Open University Business School and Law School. The Open University Business School pioneered the part time distance learning model, and is a leading Business School known for online management education. It also has the distinction of being triple accredited by AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. The Open University Law School is one of the largest providers of part time online distance qualifying law degrees in the UK.

Professor Kodwani joined The Open University Business School in 2004 and is Professor of Financial Management and Corporate Governance based in the Department for Accounting and Finance. He was previously employed in India at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; Gujarat University and the Tolani Institute of Management Studies. He also chairs the OU’s Race Equality Charter steering group.