Fun Friday: Top online courses for diversity

To build an inclusive culture, HR pros need to cultivate their leadership skills through constant dialogue and training

Fun Friday: Top online courses for diversity

2020 is more than halfway through, but the year has already seen seismic shifts in the way organisations operate their business and lead their community.

Many are taking a hard look at how they can “do better” as employers. Companies are recognising the need for a more inclusive workplace where employees are not only free – but encouraged – to speak out, and leaders take time to listen to a diverse range of voices.

Read more: On diversity and inclusion: Why the misfit may be the best fit

In fact, a recent PwC survey showed 87% of organisations worldwide are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in their workplace.

Successful organisations are intentional about it: they give rise to people leaders who are ready to step up and answer the hard questions, as one CHRO points out.

But to build an inclusive culture, HR professionals need to demonstrate empathy, patience, commitment and understanding – all of which are values that can be cultivated through constant dialogue and training.

Read more: How to deliver online training for a diverse audience

Whether it’s navigating sensitive issues on gender and sexuality, tackling unconscious bias, or promoting allyship in an already diverse environment, HR professionals need to be equipped with the right knowledge of social interaction and workplace dynamics.

HRD has put together a list of the best online courses for today’s HR practitioners so they can hone their skills as D&I advocates.

Understanding Diversity and Inclusion – Purdue University
As one of the highest-rated courses on D&I on the e-learning platform Future Learn, this program provides a comprehensive look at the factors that influence one’s identity: race, ethnicity, gender, age, appearance, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, education and political beliefs. It covers topics such as phases of “diversity dexterity,” unconscious bias, and ethnocentric and ethno-relative mindsets.

Develop Your Cultural Intelligence – Purdue University
CQ, the shorthand for cultural intelligence, is the ability to collaborate with people who come from a diverse range of backgrounds. The course outlines similarities and differences across cultures and teaches participants how to adapt when working in a multicultural and global environment.

Communicating with Diverse Audiences – University of Surrey
This program takes a closer look at nuances in the way different varieties of English are used. The aim is to help learners employ new strategies that overcome communication barriers with people who might not share their life experiences or cultural/professional practices.

Ally Up: Using Allyship to Advance Diversity & Inclusion
Dr. Victoria Mattingly, the organisational psychologist who developed the program, defines allyship as the use of one’s power and status to advocate for underrepresented and disadvantaged groups. Lessons include checking one’s bias and “leveraging [one’s] privilege for good” as well as navigating tough conversations and working towards systemic change.

How to Implement a Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Program
Consisting of nine lectures on topics such as recruiting and performance management, this program from Illumeo was developed specifically for HR practitioners who are about to build a strategic D&I plan and corresponding programs, or who are already auditing their initiatives. Unlike other online courses, this set of lectures provides more technical training for program managers.

Inclusive Leadership – Catalyst
Course developer Catalyst defines inclusive leadership as realising the potential of employees by empowering them and valuing their unique contributions.This professional certificate program teaches four leadership skills: empowerment, accountability, courage and humility (EACH).

International Leadership and Organisational Behaviour – Bocconi University
Taking only about 15 hours to complete, this course draws insights from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, sociology and anthropology to uncover what influences individual/group decision making; what affects team performance; and how to build social networks in diverse environments.

Gender and Sexuality: Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace –University of Pittsburgh
This four-week program uses interdisciplinary concepts, tools and methods to help professionals from all fields examine how identity shapes cultural experiences, particularly in the workplace.It offers an in-depth look at LGBTQIA identities and tackles issues such as gender and sexual discrimination at work.

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