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According to a 2022 study on the future of diversity, equity, and inclusion, most of today's organizations lack effective DEI+ programs. In fact, results showed that only 9% of the organizations studied rated their DEI+ initiatives as highly effective.

Today’s workplaces are becoming more and more diverse, and up and coming talent are looking for a work environment that aligns with their values and supports them in ways that allows them to perform at their best.

In fact, for younger job seekers, diversity and inclusion in the workplace are not a preference--they are a requirement. Millennials and Gen Z professionals tend to avoid companies without a diverse workforce, clear promotion track, and a commitment to confronting systemic inequities that are still in place.

To create true inclusion and belonging your organization must:

  1. Establish a CULTURE that values differences,
  2. Create a CLIMATE of respect and understanding, and
  3. Develop a pathway to long-lasting CHANGE.

And this is what the DEI+ Leadership Academy is designed to accomplish.

DEI+ Leadership Academy Details

The Academy is for forward-thinking organizations that want to ensure they have successful and long-lasting DEI initiatives. The end-result will be an organization that is truly inclusive and is able to attract and retain top-talent.

The Academy is based on Mastering Cultural Differences’ unique framework: The 3 Cs of DEI+ EffectivenessSM: Culture, Climate, and Change.

In the Academy, leaders will become familiar with the undercurrents and challenges that are at play on a day-to-day basis and not only impact the productivity of their employees but can also create a toxic work-environment (costing organizations good employees) and even lead to litigation, in some instances.

They will learn how to recognize and navigate blind spots and use their influence to incorporate positive change which will collectively shift the climate and culture within the organization.

As a result, your workforce will be happier and thus perform better, and as an organization, you’ll gain a competitive edge and be seen as a sought-after workplace. In fact, studies show that organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion are more innovative, better able to grow their markets, retain top talent, and are twice as likely to exceed their financial targets.

While I do offer stand-alone training to address specific issues, I find that to create a truly inclusive work environment and long-lasting change, you need to:

  1. Establish a CULTURE that values differences,
  2. Create a CLIMATE of respect and understanding, and
  3. Develop a pathway to sustainable and long-lasting CHANGE.

This is why I created the DEI+ Leadership Academy which imparts leaders all of the awareness, knowledge, skills, and tools their organization needs to create mature and effective DEI+ initiatives.

To accomplish this, we work in three phases:

Phase 1: Establish a CULTURE that Values Differences

What many leaders don’t realize is that, in any given organization, many employees feel like they are walking on eggshells. They may have been told at one point or another that comments they have made are offensive, and now they are afraid of being embarrassed again. Or, on the other hand, employees may be afraid someone will make incorrect assumptions because of their personal values, beliefs, or even ethnicity.

These invisible undercurrents create a lot of stress and anxiety in the workplace and have a negative effect on communication, productivity, and performance.

In this phase, participants will be introduced to what an effective DEI+ culture looks like and begin to formulate a vision for the type of environment they will create for their employees.

We will cover topics like:

  • Societal factors impacting today’s organizations and why DEI+ needs to be a priority.
  • Understanding what diversity, equity, and inclusion actually mean and why DEI+ initiatives often fail.
  • What it looks like to move from diversity to inclusion. 
  • Understanding and preparing for the challenges that arise when creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization.

Phase 2: Create a CLIMATE of Respect and Understanding

Data shows that happy employees are more productive. Also true is that a toxic work environment negatively impacts morale, performance, as well as the physical and mental health of employees. 

In Phase 2, we will focus on the interactions between employees as well as between employees and clients that make up the “climate” of the organization. In this phase, participants will gain the awareness and skills they need to facilitate healthy and productive conversations.

The topics covered in this phase include:

  • Understanding and identifying microaggressions in the workplace and how to create an environment of inclusion and belonging.
  • Why unconscious biases are a blind spot that impacts who we hire, how well teams work together, and customer relationships.
  • How unconscious biases can result in lost sales, poor production, and, in worst cases, even litigation. and how to combat them.
  • The role race plays in someone’s identity and why ignoring race can actually be detrimental when creating an inclusive environment.
  • How to engage in productive dialogue about race and brainstorm ways leaders can act as allies for those in need.
  • How to handle difficult situations such as when an employee is called a racist.
  • How to gain a deeper understanding of where everyone is coming from when conflict arises and facilitate difficult conversations in a productive way.

Optional--for organizations that are working internationally or are hiring international employees--the “Global Academy” modules can be added to this curriculum within Phase 2 either as part of the live program or as a separate self-guided course.

In such organizations, the potential for misunderstandings grows exponentially due to language differences, differences in value orientations, or differences in communication styles.

These modules focus on helping individuals understand the significant cultural differences that impact the global workplace and learn the skills to work more effectively across those differences.

And likewise, in the same way U.S. individuals need to recognize cultural differences so they can work more effectively across borders, so do your international partners. 

The Global Academy modules can also be adapted to an international audience to help them work more effectively with U.S. Americans.

Phase 3: Develop a Pathway to Sustainable and Long-Lasting CHANGE

By now, leaders will have developed a better understanding of the role of DEI+ in their teams and departments. Now comes the task of effecting change based on their new awareness.

In this phase, leaders will:

  • Understand the steps they need to take for creating organizational change.
  • Formulate a vision for what they would like their division or department to look like in regard to DEI+.
  • Develop a short-term execution plan for changes that can be immediately implemented.
  • Create a long-term plan for sustained change across many levels of the organization.
  • Assign roles and responsibilities for key players to execute both plans.

Next Steps

You can’t change what you don’t measure. In addition to a pre-assessment, the Academy will include follow-up surveys after three, six, and twelve months so leaders can measure progress, and make any necessary adjustments to their originals plans. 

Depending on your organization's needs and vision, we will develop a curriculum that will facilitate the fastest path to achieving your goals.

All modules are delivered through a virtual classroom with Luiza Dreasher and, in addition to short teaching sessions, they include case studies, skill-builder activities, self-assessments, small-group discussions, role playing, Q&A, and other interactive pedagogy. This will give participants an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during each of the modules.  

The DEI+ Leadership Academy is designed to create long-standing change and goes deeper than one-and-done training sessions. 

For most organizations, this training can be completed in 8-12 weeks. Full implementation of organization-wide initiatives can take up to a year; the benefits, though, will certainly be long-standing. 

The end result will be a culture of inclusion that empowers employees and creates an environment where everyone can thrive.

Ready to get started? Click here to schedule a consultation with Luiza!