Michigan Ross Alum Named a ‘Young Visionary,’ Celebrating His Diversity and Inclusion Work


If you’re looking for an inspiration for celebrating diversity, look no further than Courtney Schroeder, MBA '13. 

Schroeder, who serves as diversity and inclusion manager for General Mills, was recently awarded the Phyllis Scott Buford Young Visionary Award by the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, celebrating his work toward developing equitable workplaces and amplifying the importance of diversity in business.

The Young Visionary Award is given each year by the Consortium to a young MBA graduate who “demonstrates vision, collaboration, and creativity in driving diversity and inclusion in their professional life.”

For Schroeder, that vision involves creating workplaces where everyone feels welcome and supported. 

“The future we’re moving toward is one where the companies who have a competitive advantage, are the ones who create a workplace where people feel like they truly belong,” he said. “It’s become a business imperative that not only do you need to recruit, train, and retain diverse talent, but you also need to know how to leverage that diversity to your advantage.”

At General Mills, Schroeder has spent the last 18 months developing new initiatives across the 153-year-old company to do just that. These include creating new employee networking and mentorship opportunities, and implementing a series of “Courageous Conversations” that bring the organization and outside speakers together to discuss tough issues impacting the diverse communities that make up the General Mills workforce. 

Schroeder said to be recognized by the Consortium for his work means a lot to him, as the organization has played a big role in his MBA and post-MBA career. 

“The Consortium is how I found my career at General Mills. So, in some respects, they provided me a job. But, they also provided me a family. This is a network of people I still heavily rely on to this day. It’s a community of people I have a differential bond with that I won’t have anywhere else,” he said. “To be recognized by this organization that I hold near and dear to my heart is an incredible honor.”

The award is named for Dr. Phyllis Scott Buford, a former leader of the Consortium, who the organization said is remembered for modernizing the program and expanding the organization’s collaboration with corporate partners.

Congratulations to Courtney — Go Blue!