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Center for Women and Business

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New Inclusive Leadership Series

Our new Inclusive Leadership Series offers innovative, evidence-based custom offerings to support inclusive workplaces striving to diversify the C-suite. Incorporating extensive discussion, exciting data, and relevant exercises, this tailored approach moves beyond awareness, with sessions exploring bias interrupters, fostering accountability, and disrupting systemic barriers. The result? Participants finish this three-part series equipped with actionable strategies to leverage diverse teams for increased productivity, engagement, and overall success.

Curious to learn more? Contact us!

Part 1: Unconscious Bias for Inclusive Workplaces
group of diverse professionals networking

In today's hybrid workplace, unconscious bias remains a significant barrier to forming an inclusive, equity-informed, and caring culture. This foundational program provides a unique and cutting-edge exploration of unconscious bias, including understanding across racial differences and the role of intersectionality. We aim to educate attendees in a psychologically safe space about the imperative for inclusive workplaces, individuals' power to make a difference, and specific strategies to implement. In each program, participants: learn about underlying DE&I issues and specifics about how historically excluded communities are impacted by microaggressions; unpack the impact of microaggressions by exploring their own experiences; increase their understanding and empathy for all individuals; and identify tools to serve as more inclusive, active advocates.

Part 2: Allyship: Justice and Equity at Work

Two people coming togetherThe need for individuals and organizations to address allyship across differences is urgent, and the positive impact that knowledgeable, authentic workplace advocates can make is well documented. The goal of our Allyship program is to fully prepare individuals to serve as allies for each other and equip organizations to develop cultures of allyship. Each program focuses on an increased understanding of the complex issues required to become an ally – including privilege, the role of intersectionality, and group dynamics; empowering attendees to become effective advocates for change with specific tools and strategies; and how to utilize our CWB framework to engage in dialogue across difference and advocate for others.

Part 3: Bridging Difference Through Brave Dialogues™

Indian businesswoman speaking to colleagueOrganizations are changing and becoming more diverse, inclusive, and values-driven, as well as changing structures by becoming virtual or global. Our research reveals that employees and managers alike have difficulty engaging in conversations expected to be complicated or tense. On the other hand, we also know that learning organizations are feedback-rich, encourage authenticity among all employees, and harness the power of inclusion and cultural differences to meet business goals. To address this gap, we developed a session where participants learn to engage in difficult conversations across and about identity differences, roles, and functions. The workshop helps participants develop this critical leadership competency that can, in turn, help organizations expedite efforts toward developing more inclusive, innovative, and high-performing teams and cultures.

What to learn more about our custom programs?

Speaking at Conference

Keynote Address: From Token to Trendsetter: Reframing How We See Our Power at the Table

Token or trendsetter? This is a question that many underrepresented leaders - especially BIPOC women who hold complex intersectional identities - must contend with. In this keynote session, CWB Executive Director Yaro Fong-Olivares explores how her experience of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and immigration shaped her leadership and ultimately shifted her mindset from feeling tokenized to feeling empowered and unique.

Participants will explore and learn how to navigate opportunities after reaching a never-before-achieved leadership position in your company. The session begins with an overview of the research behind being "the only" and provides tools to shift power dynamics in the workplace by reframing the way Latinx, and all employees see themselves.  

Interested in our DEI Certificate Program?

people of different ethnicity holding hands together as a social solidarity concept of a multiracial group working as united partners.

Creating an Antiracist Organization

This program is intended for individuals who possess basic understanding of inclusivity for all underrepresented groups and an explicit commitment to addressing race disparities within their organizations (either because they have participated in our Unconscious Bias for Inclusive Organizations workshop or they have completed their own work).

The goal of this workshop is to increase understanding of racism and its impact on employees of all backgrounds, preparing attendees to incorporate antiracist practices throughout their organizations and in their day-to-day lives. During this session, participants: learn details about racism and how it impacts all employees; reflect on their early learnings about race and racism – particularly regarding Black Americans; identify how racism shows up in their day-to-day work; and explore specific strategies to better incorporate antiracist practices throughout their organizations. We draw on interactive exercises and compassionate, meaningful discussion.

As in all of our offerings, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 2 hours.)

Diversity Wheel

Intersectionality - Broadening the Lens of Inclusion

Intersectionality acknowledges that no one lives by one identity – it honors the multiple unique traits that impact people’s day-to-day lives and workplace experience. Forward-thinking organizations and leaders understand the need embrace intersectionality to nurture inclusive cultures where all individuals can thrive and succeed.

The goal of this program is to empower participants with understanding of intersectionality and its workplace relevance so that they can leverage it for allyship and to create positive culture change. Utilizing conversation, story-telling, data, and self-exploration, this session helps attendees: become knowledgeable about intersectionality and its complexities; gain greater sensitivity and compassion related to peoples’ unique identities (including gender, race, class, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and more); and identify concrete actions they can take to use intersectionality as a tool to help underrepresented individuals and enhance workplace culture.

As in all of our offerings, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 1.5 to 2 hours.)

People of different gender identities standing next to each other forming a rainbow with their shirts that feature pronouns on them

Beyond the Gender Binary

Trans, genderqueer, gender fluid – gender identity today is expanding, and gender variance is becoming more common in today’s workplace. Organizations with an intersectional lens on diversity, equity, and inclusion embrace a more comprehensive range of gender identities and gender expressions, both as a business imperative and as a means of creating a culture of belonging for individuals of all genders. This session will explore gender variance in today’s workplace, the impact of gender-inclusive language, and the latest shifts in policies and practices that organizations can adopt. Attendees will leave the session with an understanding of key concepts related to gender variance and the best strategies to create positive allyship workplace cultures for those who are gender variant – including transgender, and beyond the binary of female and male.

As in all of our offerings, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 1.5-2 hours.)

white man and women talking at table in corporate setting with documents in front of them

The Power of Mentorship, Sponsorship, and Networks

People who can advocate for others, provide good advice, and offer strategies for navigating career challenges are vital to an individual’s professional growth, advancement, and emotional well-being. This is the essence of effective mentorship, sponsorship, and networking.

The goal of this program is to empower attendees with knowledge of mentors, sponsors, and professional networks, and equip them to serve as more effective mentors/sponsors or mentee/ protégés.  Incorporating extensive discussion, interesting data, and relevant exercises, this workshop focuses on: the differences among mentors, sponsors, and networks; the three types of professional networks and their value; how to serve as either a mentor/sponsor or a mentee/protégé; real-time mentorship practice; and specific strategies and tools to leverage the knowledge.

As in all of our offerings, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 1.5 to 2 hours.)

Disabled woman at work

Intersectional Disability Inclusion in a Post-Pandemic Workplace

Companies face a talent shortage amidst increasing complexity and volatility in our society, organizations, and families. Meanwhile, the unemployment of people with disabilities remains at an all-time high.) We should tap into the unique strengths that employees with disabilities bring to the workplace and reap benefits that will attract and retain a larger and more diverse talent pool. In this highly interactive session, we explore what motivates employees with seen and unseen disabilities to apply, join, and succeed in organizations. This session will include an overview of the human and business case in support of disability inclusion, approaches for the implementation of antiracist diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives and a module on how to build on your current inclusion activities. This session is intended for individual contributors and managers seeking to be more inclusive of communities with disabilities.

As in all of our offerings, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 1.5 to 2 hours.)

Inclusive hiring interview

Inclusive Hiring

Utilizing an intersectional antiracism lens to explore potential biases within recruitment and hiring, this program invites attendees to examine personal, interpersonal, and organization-level biases in the context of employees’ first point of contact with the organization. Participants will learn how hiring and recruitment biases impact the hybrid and flexible workplace and, in some cases, serve as barriers to inclusive recruitment and hiring. The program equips participants with critical strategies and tools proven to decrease the likelihood of preventable implicit bias. The session includes opportunities to integrate an inclusivity lens to fairly assess candidate qualifications and embed an equity and fairness lens to job posts, job descriptions, interviews, hiring criteria, and hiring decisions. 

As in all of our offerings, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 1.5 to 2 hours.)

International business people are walking together at hallway of office building

A DE&I Briefing for Executives or Frontline Managers

The current political, economic, and social climate – marked by rapidly changing demographics, new technologies, racial injustice, and political polarization – has led to an increased emphasis on leadership activism. Key stakeholders – whether employees, shareholders, or board members – often expect activist business leaders who will intentionally develop inclusive cultures, talk openly about them, and serve as visible role models.

The goal of this program is to provide managers and executives with the knowledge and tools to reflect on their organization’s current and desired work around DEIJ. The workshop, flexed for a particular group’s needs, focuses on the most workplace-critical information about unconscious bias; allyship as a leader in the current environment; micro-aggressions that can marginalize specific employees; and critical interventions including policies, programs, and systems.

As in all of our offerings, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 1.5 hours-2 hours.)

Young indian female mentor coach worker talking to male coworker teaching intern having business conversation with workmate

Effective Communication and Conflict Styles

Progressive organizations equip employees with the right competencies to engage effectively with a variety of communication preferences, to engage in productive disagreement, and to work collaboratively. This skill is crucial in the trajectory from individual contributor to manager to C-suite position.

The goal of this session is for participants to understand conflict, learn more about effective communication, and identify how to adapt to a variety of styles. Through candid discussion and insightful exercises, the program focuses on effective conflict/communication strategies that enhance team effectiveness, innovation, and workplace culture. Strategies include: listening; working with varied communication preferences; practicing critical communication skills; and learning how to effectively navigate and leverage varying conflict management approaches.

As in all of our offerings, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 1.5 hours-2 hours.)

woman of color crossing her arms standing pose with team members behind her at a table

Confidence: Owning Your Influence & Authority

Research indicates that confidence is at least as important as competence in one’s career trajectory, yet systemic and behavioral unconscious bias works against confidence, especially for women and other underrepresented groups.

The goal of this program is to educate participants about the role of confidence in one’s career, barriers that can get in the way of confidence, and how to establish one’s influence and authority by leveraging their understanding of confidence. Facilitators use a combination of interactive techniques to teach attendees how to: project confidence and leverage it to lead, regardless of their role; establish and utilize strategic relationships that expand influence; and leverage personal power to model confidence and inspire trust.

As in all of our offerings, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 2 hours.)

white woman and black male having professionals conversation

Managing Up: A Framework for Workplace Success

Learning to manage workplace relationships not only makes work more productive, it improves job satisfaction and contributes to career success. Yet managing such relationships – especially with supervisors and anyone with more conferred power – is challenging and often nuanced.

The goal of this session is to help participants understand the challenges in managing important workplace relationships and provide a wide array of strategies to improve them. This engaging and interactive session helps attendees: understand organizational hierarchies; assess managers’ styles and learn how to adapt to them; conduct a self-assessment; provide and receive feedback; negotiate workplace boundaries; and leverage actionable communication strategies and frameworks.

As in all of our offerings, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 1.5 hours-2 hours.)

Veterans ERG in a circle meeting

Employee Resource Groups – Inclusion in Action

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) continue to grow in depth and breadth. They represent an increasingly diverse workforce and, in many organizations, they are aligned with business goals and social imperatives such as racial justice.

This program is flexed considerably depending on an organization’s ERG needs, the stage of ERG development, and the role attendees play in the context of the ERGs. As such, the goal of this program is often to increase participant knowledge of ERGs and their benefits; provide guidance about how to establish an ERG; and increase understanding of how to measure success over time. The program typically: examines the role of leadership and executive sponsors; looks at how to collaborate effectively with internal and external groups; addresses challenges that can provide obstacles to success; and provides a step-by-step ERG roadmap that walks attendees through each stage involved in rolling out an ERG – including exercises to develop mission statements, goals, program plans, communication plans, and budgets.

As in all of our offerings, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 1.5 hours-2 hours.)

Black woman shaking hand with white man in a corporate setting

Getting a Seat at the Table: Effective Negotiating Skills for Women

Research shows that men continue to outpace women in their negotiations for pay and other workplace perks, and that women remain more reluctant to advocate for themselves. However, the topic is more nuanced than a quick look at the data reveals, and context matters.

The goal of this program is to increase attendees’ knowledge about the role of gender and other identities in negotiations and to equip them with effective strategies to become better negotiators. This workshop focuses on: the value of negotiations, including and beyond pay; the unique challenges that women and other underrepresented groups face (intersectionality matters); the role of power, conflict styles, and stereotypes; negotiating demonstrations; practicing and critiquing negotiation scenarios; specific success strategies.

As in all of our programs, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 2 hours.)

Close up of a group of business people stacking their hands on top of each other

Maximizing Your Talent via CliftonStrengths

Conventional wisdom shows that in order to improve as individuals and as leaders, we often dedicate resources to our areas of weakness. The CliftonStrengths approach, developed by Gallup, instead focuses on areas of strength, recognizing that most people thrive in activities that enhance their natural talents and skills.

The goal of this workshop is to help attendees unlock and maximize their top strengths since most people do not fully understand their strengths or have the opportunity to use them most effectively. (All attendees must take the CliftonStrengths assessment before attending this workshop.) This program focuses on: the unique combinations of abilities that show up in each individual’s assessment; advice and strategies on how to utilize those abilities to work optimally with others; and how to use such strategies to enhance individual and team productivity, satisfaction, and success.  

As in all of our programs, we can customize this program and the length to fit client needs. (Most often, this session is 2 hours.)

Beth Donell
The workshops that we have been running with the Center for Women and Business have helped provide a common language across our organization and have generated key insights into inclusivity. This has laid the groundwork to really open up conversations and dialogue.
Beth Donnell
Director of Talent Management for Asset Management, Fidelity Investments

Diversity and Inclusion Insights and Interventions