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Advancing Racial Equity: Harnessing the Power of Diversity and Inclusion in Organizations

Columbia Business School Executive Education
Training overview
5 days
Next start date: Contact the provider for more information - Online

Course description

Advancing Racial Equity: Harnessing the Power of Diversity and Inclusion in Organizations

Advancing racial equity is a stated goal of many organizations. Although leaders are committed to achieving this goal, they may not have the tools to turn this ambition into reality. This program will provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the barriers that organizations face in increasing diversity and racial equity, offering a range of solutions and hands-on tools for eliminating these barriers and creating more inclusive organizations.

Throughout this program, we will build an inclusive community for participants to learn together and from one another about issues of racial equity in organizations. Participants will work in small groups to solve a leadership challenge they are facing in advancing racial equity in their own organizations. As the capstone part of the program, each working group will present a plan to address their leadership challenge, while also sharing insights and lessons learned.

COVID-19 Update

In light of COVID-19, this provider is now delivering some or all of their courses online. Contact them for more information!

Who should attend?

This program is designed for mid- to upper-level executives that are new to leading or plan on leading racial equity and inclusivity efforts in their organization as well as executives who would like to become better at leading their teams inclusively and reap the benefits of racially equal and diverse teams for their organization.

The program is also appropriate for HR professionals who would like to learn best practices and strategies for workplace diversity and inclusion.

Columbia Business School alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for this program.

Training content

The program covers the following interconnected topics that will be shared throughout the program by the program faculty. To help integrate these ideas, there is a practical application component to the program called the REAL Challenge, which is also described below.

Topic 1: Diversity Dynamics in Systems

Gain an understanding of the influence of diversity dynamics in teams and organizations and their influence on both individual and organizational performance. You’ll get introduced to a model of organizational change to help you think systematically about the integration of diversity and inclusion into your organization.

Topic 2: Understanding the Benefits of Diversity in Teams

There has been a great deal of research that demonstrates the benefits of diversity in decisions made by groups and the costs of working in homogeneous teams. In this session, participants get equipped with the necessary logic and data to make the case in their own organizations for the importance of leveraging the diversity of teams.

Topic 3: The Role of Unconscious Bias and Stereotypes in Organizational Life

You'll learn about diagnostic frameworks that provide insight into how reliance on stereotypes results in gender and racial disparities in leadership positions. You'll also learn how a mismatch between stereotypes of characteristics required by jobs and stereotypes of individuals result in bias. Key questions that will be addressed include: How may stereotypes be playing a role in decisions I make when working with others? How can leaders combat these stereotypes in working with others?

Topic 4: How Individuals Contend with Stereotype Threat in Organizations

Stereotype threat is the expectation that one will be judged or perceived on the basis of social identity group membership rather than actual performance and potential. We shed light on the conditions that lead to the experience of stereotype threat at work, learn about three strategies that people use to contend with stereotype threat at work, and diagnose the strategy participants use most often as well as the costs and benefits associated with responding in this way for them and their organization. We will discuss ways that leaders and organizations can intervene to minimize the effects of stereotype threat as a barrier faced by women and people of color as they progress into leadership roles.

Topic 5: Diagnosing Diversity Dynamics in Teams and Organizations

Get equipped with a tool to develop “x-ray vision” to see covert dynamics operating beneath the surface. By linking overt behavior with covert dynamics, participants will learn how to diagnose diversity dynamics and develop a systemic perspective of team and organizational life. Developing a more comprehensive diagnosis of diversity dynamics and thinking systemically will help participants to more effective interventions in service of inclusive environments.

Topic 6: Creating Inclusive Climates

Research shows that employees who work in more inclusive climates report higher levels of commitment, satisfaction, perceived organizational support, willingness to engage in citizenship behaviors, and a lesser likelihood to leave the organization compared to employees working in less inclusive environments. You will be introduced to tools that will help you assess the extent to which your organization is inclusive. Understanding how organizations implement employment practices and make decisions can help participants identify where your organization can promote greater inclusion. We will discuss the importance of how this work is undertaken so that longer-term changes to the organizational climate can occur.

Topic 7: Enhancing Your Intercultural Competence

While diversity focuses on the “who” (the mix of differences and representation) and inclusion focuses on the “what” (feeling valued and engaged), intercultural competence focuses on the “how” (making diversity work). In order to enhance intercultural competence, participants will consider their own cultural programming in advance of receiving their Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) results (completed as pre-work). Participants will have the opportunity to engage in individual and small group reflection focused on individual, team, and organizational implications of their IDI results. After the program, all participants will meet virtually with the instructor, a certified Intercultural Development Inventory practitioner, for coaching related to their individual results.

Topics 8: Authentic Leadership for Inclusion and Racial Equity

In this session, participants think about how their own multiple identities contribute to what parts of their identity they show at work. We then use this self-knowledge to facilitate participants' understanding of the complexity in others that they work with. Participants learn the importance of being curious about others’ unique multiple identities without seeing them through the narrow lens of one identity. Participants also learn the importance of sharing their own journey with their team to help create conditions of psychological safety that have been shown to have a positive effect on creating an inclusive climate.

The REAL Challenge

Prior to the program, participants will identify a particular challenge they are facing regarding the REAL work in their lives. Using self-reflection and peer coaching throughout the program, each participant will have the opportunity to continuously revisit their REAL Challenge and move it towards REAL solutions.


See the schedule above or use the request information form to learn the cost of this course.

Certification / Credits

This program provides a safe environment for leaders to receive the knowledge, skills, and feedback that will make them more comfortable when talking about and managing through issues of diversity, racial equity, and inclusion.

Participants will:

  • Gain greater awareness of the roles that stereotypes and unconscious bias play in organizational decisions and how they influence systemic racism
  • Learn frameworks that can be used to diagnose individual and institutional barriers that prevent people of color from achieving their full potential within their organizations
  • Obtain strategies to create inclusive climates that effectively leverage diversity
  • Acquire tools to address power dynamics that perpetuate racial inequity
  • Build self-awareness around racial dynamics to increase the capacity of participants to lead diverse teams
  • Develop a support network within a psychologically safe community to help guide each participant in their continued journey towards racial equity in their organizations

Upon completion of this program, you will also earn three credits towards a Certificate in Business Excellence from Columbia Business School, granting select alumni and tuition benefits.


About Columbia Business School Executive Education

Columbia Business School Executive Education

Columbia Business School Executive Education provides executives from across industries and sectors with the tools, frameworks, and learning needed to lead and excel. Designed for high-impact business leaders, our offerings include over 50 non-degree, open-enrollment programs in leadership, strategy, finance, and marketing...

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