Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at MBS

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A Diverse Network

Mannheim Business School embraces diversity in ways that few organizations can match. Mannheimers, i.e. our program participants and alumni, come from more than 110 countries spread across all continents, reflecting the world’s myriad cultures, religions, identities, genders, and sexual orientations. In addition, Mannheimers have a wealth of knowledge and experience from their academic and professional backgrounds, which they bring to their classes and network events.

Since our graduates are tomorrow’s leaders, and diversity in business leadership is increasingly critical for overall, long-term business success, we continuously work on making our network even more diverse. Among other things, we strive for a higher proportion of female participants in our programs, thus supporting women in achieving their full potential. Our Women in Business and Women in Tech scholarships are a way of showing this commitment.

An Inclusive Environment


Inclusive leadership is not just a buzzword at our school – it is something we foster in our participants. In order to prepare them to lead culturally diverse teams, we apply the Multi-Competence Team (MCT) concept in all of our programs, assigning participants to heterogeneous teams in which they conduct group work as well as their master projects.

Team-building workshops and MCT coaching sessions encourage participants to develop personally and hone their leadership skills. This enables them to learn from each other, overcome biases, appreciate each other’s differences, and benefit from a diversity of views and approaches to solving problems, which promotes the kind of collaboration and innovation needed in today’s organizations.

A Place Where You Belong


At Mannheim Business School, we want to make sure that every Mannheimer does not just feel included but also empowered and valued. We put a lot of effort into creating an environment in which participants and alumni can be true to their authentic self, feel welcome to contribute, and know that they belong.

We are also committed to making the selection of speakers lined up for our network clubs more diverse, to ensure that a greater spectrum of voices and viewpoints are heard and that all Mannheimers feel represented.

We take a holistic approach to creating a sense of belonging at Mannheim Business School: small and close-knit program cohorts, a large variety of clubs, regional chapters worldwide, and regular events that are open to Mannheimers across programs. These all nourish the Mannheim spirit.

Are You Passionate about Diversity Too?


If you want to enhance diversity in your (future) company or are simply interested in the topic, we invite you to get involved in our Diversity Club, Women in Business Community, or Pride@MBS Community for the LGBTQ+ members of our network and straight allies.

Many of our events in these communities are co-organized with other clubs, such as the Technology & IT Club and the Financials Club, to make sure that they are firmly embedded in the network.

Find out more about our network clubs here and sign up for the Diversity Club or one of its communities here. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Upcoming Diversity Events

No events available.
  • Past Events - Diversity Club

    • 24.11.2018 - Elizabeth Ascherl, LingoFacto, MBS Alumna
      Power and Pizazz: How Extraordinary Women Communicate
    • 14.03.2019 - Britta Mues-Walter und Carolina Yeo: How Do you Brand Yourself with Authenticity and Have Jobs Chase You?
    • 24.05.2019 - Kathrin Schmid und Yiwen Zhu: Startup "Wanderlust" - A Female Founders Case
    • 27.06.2019 - Ibrahim Köse, DFB GmbH: Sports Marketing and the Rise of Womens Sports
    • 11.10.2019 - Rukayyat Kolawole, MBS Student: Women and Investing
    • 23.11.2019 - Katrin Redmann and Katrin Lehmann, both at SAP, MBS Student and MBS Alumna: Diversity at SAP
    • 08.05.2020 - Eva Gasparino, Founder EBG Real Estate, MBS Alumna: Is Diversity really still an Issue?
    • 05.06.2020 - Pride@MBS Kick Off Ceremony with Erik Lüngen, SAP, MBS Alumnus
    • 07.08.2020 - Pride @ MBS Community: Digital Coffee Chat Session
    • 14.08.2020 - Women in Business Community: Digital Coffee Chat Session
    • 19.11.2020 - Meet Stuart Bruce Cameron, CEO and Founder of Uhlala Group
    • 11.12.2020 - Carolina Astorga, Agata Niehage and Silvia Fischer, MBS Alumni: Challenges in COVID19 Times
    • 12.03.2021 - Dana von der Heide, Co-Founder at Parcelperform: Scaling startups is hard - being a female founder in Logistics Tech is harder
    • 26.03.2021 - Krestina Kirchmann, MBS Alumna, and Anette Bazin, both SAP: Women in Tech/IT – Leading Your Career
    • 06.05.2021 - Alexandra Kammer, Diversity Manager and Florian Dyballa, CEO and Co-Founder, both from Aivy: Overcoming Unconscious Bias in Hiring
    • 29.05.2021 - MBS Online Diversity Day 2021: Diversity. Inclusion. Belonging.
    • 15.12.2021 - Women in Business Community: The Best & Worst Career Advice for Women in Business with EMBA alumni Laura Hausmanns and Atli Saevarsson 
    • 24.02.2022 - Black@MBS with Mannheimers Pamela Dekpo, Rukayyat Kolawole and Joshua Oluwagboye
    • 12.05.2022 - Johanna Leisch, Founder greenling and MBS alumna: MBS Women in Business Community | Experiences from the First 100 Days of Founding a Startup
    • 13.08.2022 - Group of MBS alumni, participants and staff took part in the CSD Rhein Neckar
    • 08.09.2022 - Karin Overbeck, CEO Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions GmbH: MBS Women Business Leaders Speaker Series


Review: MBS Online Diversity Day 2022


Diversity intersects with a lot of different topics. At our MBS Diversity Day 2022 we talked about gender, Africa, finance, startups, blockchain, investing, venture capital and many more aspects.

In the panel on “The Future of Finance in Africa”, experts discussed future visions of Africa, how the finance sector can help innovation, how to leverage innovation without harm to social, political, and economical developments, what Germany can learn from innovation in the African finance sector, and how to invest in African startups. The panelists were:

  • Dr. Ola Brown, Founder of Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company, a company that wants to make healthcare more accessible and affordable. She invests in startups and businesses along the healthcare value chain.
  • Mouna Kadiri, Head Africa Development Club at Attijariwafa Bank Group. The Club is an information platform to enable new sources of wealth creation; identify opportunities for investments; facilitate rapprochement between African business operators. Mouna is an alumna of the ESSEC & MANNHEIM Executive MBA 2015.
  • Armand Zorn, Member of the German Bundestag and among others Member of the Finance Committee and the Committee on Digital Affairs. Armand has a background in legal consulting and as digital transformation manager.

The panel was moderated by Wilfride Petnga and Michael Khan, both participants Mannheim Full-Time MBA 2022.

In the second panel on “Gender Differences in Investing”, we discussed how men and women deal with saving or investing money, why they act differently and how financial education for women could help fight old-age poverty. The panelists were:

  • Prof. Dr. Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi, Chair of Corporate Governance at the University of Mannheim. Her research has a particular focus on the study of gender differences in capital markets and is published in prestigious international journals.
  • Karolina Decker, Founder and CEO of finmarie, the first online wealth management platform and mobile App in Germany, which helps women realize their financial and investment goals. She also founded Mind the Gap, a nonprofit organisation working to close the wealth, income and knowledge gap through empowering, educational events and content for all women.
  • Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Founding Partner and CEO of Aruwa Capital Management, one of the few women owned and led private equity funds in Africa. Adesuwa launched Aruwa Capital Management with her own money in Lagos in July 2019 and left the comforts of a six-figure salary, in order to make an impact in society with her skills and track record and change the narrative for women and small businesses across Africa.

The panel was moderated by Rukayyat Modupe Kolawole, CEO of PaceUP Invest in Germany, ESSEC & MANNHEIM Executive MBA Class of 2020.

Review: MBS Online Diversity Day 2021


Diversity in business leadership is increasingly critical for overall, long-term business success. In order to ensure that employees can live up to their full potential, they need to feel included, empowered and valued. Organizations of all industries and sizes have therefore started initiatives for a more diverse management and workforce as well as a more inclusive work culture. But there is still a lot to be done. How do you advocate for diversity in your company? What is the role of inclusive language for businesses? And what is the situation of women and belonging in startups? Participants found answers and inspiration during our MBS Diversity Day. The MBS Diversity Day was open to members of the Mannheim Network as well as corporate diversity professionals.

Agenda and Speakers

  • Opening Talk with Nina Strassner (Head of Diversity & People Programs Germany at SAP SE)
  • Panel: How do I advocate for diversity in my company? 
    • Kevin Heyer (Mannheim Part-Time MBA participant, member of the “CO-Pride” network at Continental)
    • Evelyn Ramforth (Mannheim Full-Time MBA alumna, Co-founder of the “SN Women” network at Springer Nature)
    • Tiziana Trefiletti (Co-founder and Co-chair of the “ECB DiversAbility Network” at the European Central Bank)
    • Moderated by Dr. Sven Stromann (Diversity Manager at Mannheim Business School)
  • Workshop: The Importance of Inclusive Language for Businesses (Noah Fleischer, Deputy Managing Director for Strategy and Data Analytics at LUB GmbH) 
  • Panel: Women & Belonging in Startups. 
    • Alisée de Tonnac (CEO & Co-Founder of Seedstars)
    • Kate Hsu (Mannheim Full-Time MBA alumna, Team Lead Hong Kong and Taiwan at Emma – The Sleep Company)
    • Moderated by Bettina Meltzer (Diversity Manager at Mannheim Business School)

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Located in the heart of the German and European economy, Mannheim Business School (MBS), the umbrella organization for management education at the University of Mannheim, is considered to be one of the leading institutions of its kind in Germany and is continuously ranked as Germany’s #1.


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