In recent years, the requirement for diversity and inclusion has increased to the point where most people use it as a deciding-factor when choosing employers. That’s why a lot of companies are now focusing on improving their efforts with diversity and inclusion training.
Providing diversity and inclusion training isn’t just about doing it as a formality, rather it’s about helping employees understand that the company places value on diversity, building inclusive working spaces, and overcoming all sorts of unconscious biases.
Most of the time, people have an unconscious bias without even realizing it, and diversity training ensures that those people realize it and work on it.
In this article, we’ll go over the best diversity and inclusion training programs you can set up for your company and its employees in 2021.
Let’s dive right in.
6 Top Diversity and Inclusion Training Programs
The following are the best diversity and inclusion training programs you can use to create a more inclusive environment for your coworkers. You can work with your human resource department to bring the program to life.
You can choose between in-person or online training programs, depending on your budget, company, and location.
1. eCornell’s Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program
Duration: 2 Months (Course Length of 2 Weeks)
Cornell University’s online course platform offers a wide range of courses and certifications that can be taken completely online. With over 80 different training programs on accounting, human resources, supply chain, marketing, and various other topics, it proves to be a valuable learning platform.
One of its star programs under the human resources category is its diversity and inclusion training program. It’s geared toward managers, HR professionals, business owners, facilitators, supervisors, and executives.
The main idea behind the course is to help you make your organization a more engaging place. That involves creating an understanding of various institutional, perceptual, and psychological processes and how they impact other people and team members.
The course goes over four major parts:
- Improving Employee Engagement – it delves into how employee engagement can result in lower turnovers, better returns, and higher performance.
- Countering Unconscious Bias – secondly, it covers the process of countering and acting against any unconscious biases in the workplace.
- Workplace Diversity and Inclusion – thirdly, the course delves into the history of diversity, where it’s at today, and how to build a more inclusive workplace.
- Fostering Inclusiveness – lastly, the course focuses on the ways of fostering and upholding an inclusive climate in the workplace, including bias training, compliance training, and inclusion training programs.
By the end of the course, you’ll be assessing and improving employee engagement levels. You’ll also be able to enhance organizational culture, recognize unconscious bias, and understand the dimensions of diversity.
Furthermore, you’ll receive a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell ILR School and 32 Professional Development Hours (3.2 CEUs).
You can learn more about eCornell’s Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program here.
2. Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace on Coursera
Duration: 4 weeks (2 Hours a Week)
Being one of the biggest online learning platforms, Coursera offers tons of free courses and certifications from experts all over the world. You can practically do courses and get certifications from top-tier universities at a fraction of the price and, in some cases, for completely free.
Coursera has a course called Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace that was designed by the ESSEC Business School.
You can enroll in the courses for free, but if you want the certificate, you have to purchase it. Almost 12% of the users reported that after they completed the course, they got a pay increase or a promotion.
During the course, you will be learning the following.
- Understanding the paradoxical nature of diversity.
- Understand the dynamics of diversity and inclusion.
- Identifying ways of managing diversity within one’s organization.
The course is divided across four weeks and only has a 2-hour per week class. Each class is divided into separate videos, reading materials, and a quiz.
It’s a great training program for individual employees who are looking to learn more about diversity and inclusion.
You can learn more about Coursera’s Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace course here.
3. Diversity Works by HRDQ
The company’s vision is that creating more inclusive and intertwined workplaces helps support and foster diversity. That is why their program is based on an interactive exploration toward diversity awareness that uses different cues to develop opportunities for real conversations.
Designed to be interactive, the program aims to get the learners into station-based activities. Each activity is catered toward specific learning preferences, technology options, and interaction types.
Essentially, it takes the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) process in mind as it works to be part emotional, part social, and part experiential program.
According to the representatives, the key to creating a diverse team and a diverse workplace is a few learning objectives. That’s why their program tends to focus on the following.
- Understanding of the Self – understand what makes you a unique person as yourself.
- Your Understanding of Others – understand what makes others (you team members) unique people.
- Communication – understand various differences, such as cultural diversity, ethnicity, sexual orientations, and other things, and act accordingly and respectfully to create a healthy work environment.
The games are designed based on different interaction types, such as individual, partner, or group. Furthermore, the learning experiences are divided into visual, kinesthetic, auditory, competitive, reflective, and problem-solving categories. Lastly, the technology types are divided between high-tech and low-tech options.
When you buy a toolkit, you get materials for up to 25 participants, and you can also get refill kits if required. That means that the course will cost up to $40 per employee.
Considering that, it’s a pretty good deal where you get a diversity training program and also an opportunity for employee engagement and interactive games. It’s great for not only retention, but also fostering multicultural environments.
If you want to learn more about Diversity Works by HRDQ, you can go here.
4. Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program by AMA
Price: $3,295 for Non-Member, $2,995 for AMA Members, and $2,837 for GSA.
Duration: 3 Online Lessons or 3 Classroom Day Lessons
The American Management Association (AMA) is known as the official management association that provides training, corporate solutions, certifications, and various resources.
Their Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program is considered one of the most important ones if you’re looking to show it officially.
The program and training course is offered in a classroom, online, or at your company location. The price and schedule remain the same whether you opt for online training or in-person training.
It’s designed for leaders of all levels, including HR professionals, managers, and more. Furthermore, the 3-day certificate program also helps develop skills that will help you create inclusive teams through inclusive leadership.
The program covers everything from the importance of diversity to things like microaggressions and what it means to provide Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).
Other than that, you also get some post-course resources, including the following:
- Best practice skill refreshers to get your skills sharp and ready
- On-demand lessons to help you shape and reinforce important skills
- Various written articles that offer practical tips, techniques, and tactics
When you receive the certificate, you will be getting 1.8 CEU, 18 PDU. That can add to any other credits you’ve received, and eventually, it can help you get established and licensed.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program by the American Management Association, you can do so here.
5. Leading with Effective Communication (Inclusive Leadership Training) by edX
Price: Free (Verified Certificate for $49)
Duration: 4 Weeks (1-2 Hours Per Week)
edX is known to provide great online courses, certifications, and resources in various categories. They are also known to provide some of the best diversity-related online courses and training programs.
Their Leading with Effective Communication course is considered as the best one on diversity and inclusion. It aims to help leaders develop the appropriate communication skills to develop meaningful relationships with everyone in the workplace. Furthermore, it also aims to open up their mindsets and teach them how to appropriately respond in various circumstances.
The institution that offers it is called CatalystX – they offer a lot of courses on similar matters like training employees, removing unconscious bias, fighting racism in the workplace, gender equity, and more.
By the end of the course, you’ll have learned the following.
- The way effective communication and inclusive leadership intertwine with each other.
- Effectively working through various everyday communication roadblocks.
- Various approaches, tools, and frameworks for communicating more effectively.
- Discovering your own communication strengths so that you can use them to build more meaningful and stronger relationships in both your personal and professional lives.
- Various strategies for creating authentic and transparent communication, where people from all backgrounds are comfortable.
While you can attend the entire course for free, you can only get the official verified certificate if you pay the $49 fee. It will be an instructor-signed certificate that you can show to improve your job prospects. It can be linked to your LinkedIn account or can be added to your resume or CV.
If you’re looking to learn more about edX’s Leading with Effective Communication training program, you can do so here.
6. eLesson: Unconscious Bias by Microsoft
Microsoft is one of the biggest employers out there, and considering that, they created their own electronic course on diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias. According to them, it’s better to opt for e-lessons today rather than webinars, seminars, and classroom training.
You can start the e-lesson at any time and complete it over a certain period of time, as per your availability. The course is completely free and available online at all times.
It aims to help you get a better understanding of various unconscious biases and how they influence your behavior. Furthermore, it delves into the impact of these biases on you and others. More importantly, it offers information on what actions you can take to counter said bias in your work environment.
When you open the link to the e-lesson, you will be prompted to a presentation-like window. Since the course is online, you will be completing the presentation online, and it will help you keep track of it.
According to Microsoft, the course is best viewed at 100-125% screen resolution. It ensures that you can read all the content effectively. Once you’ve set it up, you can click the arrow in the down-right corner and start the program.
You can also view the entire program in six other languages, including Spanish, Deutsch, and French, among others.
When you reach the end, the course will be showing you actions you can take to fighting bias. You can also read about Microsoft’s approach to diversity and inclusion here.
Lastly, you can download their ‘Make It Real’ worksheet that can help in countering bias in the workplace.
If you want to learn more about Microsoft’s e-lesson on Unconscious Bias, you can do so here.
If you’ve learned about diversity and inclusion in business school, that’s one thing. However, if you want to truly learn about it and stay up-to-date, you need to go through a training program that’s designed to show you how the workplace should function.
Reading and learning about it is one thing, but live training based on your workplace experience is a whole way of understanding diversity and how a diverse workforce works.
Most people consider themselves extremely lax and understanding. However, what they don’t understand is that they may have various unconscious biases and stereotypes ingrained in their minds.
That’s why diversity and inclusion training programs should be attended by everyone, regardless of their typical behaviors and experience.
Every company aims to be an equal opportunity employer, but it’s hard to live up to that standard if all your employees and leaders don’t fully grasp the concept of diversity. Therefore, you should probably book one of the diversity and inclusion training programs listed above to get your work environment up to the standard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers of some of the most common questions about diversity and inclusion trainings:
What is diversity and inclusion training?
Diversity and inclusion training is an opportunity to create a more inclusive workplace. It's important for employees to learn about different cultures and how they can work together better as one team.
Why is diversity and inclusion training important?
Diversity training will help your company develop into a culture where people from all walks of life are respected, valued, included, and appreciated. This will make the best environment for learning because everyone feels like their voice is heard.
What does diversity and inclusion training cover?
This type of training includes topics such as: cultural competency; inclusivity; bias awareness; anti-discrimination law; managing difficult conversations with diverse populations (including race/ethnicity, gender identity/expression); dealing with microaggressions or unconscious biases, and more.
What is the best diversity training?
The best diversity training includes topics that are tailored to your audience, so it is important to look for diversity training providers who can help you create a custom program.
What should be included in diversity and inclusion training?
In your diversity and inclusion training, you should include material that provides a historical overview of diversity and inclusion. This will help your employees understand how they can contribute to the movement for equality in our society.