Leading Diverse and Inclusive Organizations

2 credit hours

Executives at the world’s top organizations know that creating diverse, inclusive organizations is a business imperative. In 2017, more than 350 CEOs pledged to build “productive, diverse, and inclusive workplaces” as part of the CEO Action for Diversity Initiative. Leaders from Walmart, General Motors, AT&T, Wells Fargo, and other Fortune 500 companies committed to three initial goals:

  1. Making their workplaces “trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion”
  2. Implementing and expanding unconscious bias education
  3. Sharing “best—and unsuccessful—practices”

These leaders recognize that diversity is “good for the economy” and “improves corporate performance, drives growth, and enhances employee engagement.”

While organizational leaders increasingly acknowledge the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts, success is often elusive. Recruiting, hiring, retaining, and advancing individuals from a diverse array of backgrounds and with a variety of personal perspectives is challenging, especially when organizations pay more attention to the diversity of their workers than the inclusivity of their workplaces. To overcome these challenges, organizations must embrace inclusive practices and policies, and leaders should develop personal practices and behaviors that support all their colleagues and employees.

In this course, we’ll explore the impetuses for, best practices of, and challenges related to D&I. We’ll use recorded lectures, interviews, and roundtable discussion to connect industry and academic research with individuals’ experiences at work. During our synchronous sessions, we’ll critically analyze course material, discuss contemporary cases, and practice having difficult conversations around D&I topics. Course assignments will help you synthesize information and determine if and how you’ll make your personal D&I impact.