Virtual Leadership, Diversity, and Race

Fuqua School of Business

What are the topics?

Fuqua School of Business


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Who should attend

Business leaders at middle to senior organizational levels, HR management, and those initiating or expanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts within an organization will benefit from Virtual Leadership, Diversity and Race. This program will assist managers who deal with team members, co-workers, or direct reports different from them racially and who want to create a more inclusive and equitable work environment. Others who observe barriers to career growth created by systemic racism in their own company but do not have direct responsibility for, or control of, these practices will gain tools to use in influencing a change in their firm. Being a racially-sensitive leader today requires that you are:

  • Knowledgeable about the different experiences people from different races have in the workplace and how disparities are perpetuated in an organizational culture
  • Understand the barriers to career growth that some employees have to overcome as a result of implicit bias, stereotypes, and prejudice
  • Able to engage in authentic conversations about diversity, race, and systemic racism in the workplace
  • Equipped to combat the adverse effects of racism in the workplace.

About the course

Be intentional. Be authentic. Be a change agent. Diversity can be a great force for organizations. Academic research and corporate business reports are replete with studies that associate diversity with greater innovation, superior decision-making, better business strategies, and improved financial performances. Once viewed as tangential to the principal tenets of business operations, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are now publicly acclaimed as organizational priorities, as companies increasingly recognize that a diverse workforce can help them to facilitate a competitive advantage in their respective industries. However, despite the public declarations, social inequity persists across countless organizations and corporations. What is the disconnect?

The Virtual Leadership, Diversity, and Race program critically examines the issues facing organizations who aspire to capitalize on the synergies of a diverse workforce, and how barriers such as implicit bias and systemic racism can sometimes prevent this from occurring. In our supportive virtual classroom environment, you'll gain an in-depth understanding of how focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion can enhance your organization and team goals, and also gain insight into tools that can help dismantle any barriers that may prohibit your organization’s ability to do so. We will explore the latest research, discuss best practices, and reflect on how you can make a significant impact when navigating and leveraging diversity, equity, and inclusion in your organization.

Program Format

If you are committed to establishing or elevating an inclusive work environment for your business unit, your teams, and your co-workers, this virtual course will provide you with tools to increase awareness of issues in your existing workplace, identify steps you can take to provide racial equity, and build a business case for implementing change.

This live, online course consists of:

  • Four 3-hour and 15-minute live-streamed virtual class sessions (held on consecutive days) and a 60-minute online orientation one day prior to the start of the course
  • Daily team exercises, which provide an opportunity to gain insights and perspectives from participants in other industries and functions
  • Robust virtual class discussions with your instructors and your course-mates, who face similar challenges and work issues to yours

Classes will be held using widely available video-conferencing technology, which has become our virtual teaching platform. The technology creates a virtual classroom where you can see the professors and presentation screen, as well as see the other participants. Similarly, the professors can see all of the students who engage online during the group session. You’ll be able to communicate with both the professors and your peers through this platform. This technology is the same as the one we use in our executive MBA classes.


The curriculum for this program includes the following concepts and themes:

Respect and Mutual Understanding

Leadership is the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how it can be done effectively, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish the shared objectives. Thus, in order to lead effectively, a leader needs to be able to capitalize on the strengths of each of his or her followers and to understand their diverse perspectives. The purpose of this session is to assess shared and differing perceptions and values in organizations that shape how diverse groups of individuals make sense of each other, their work, achievements, and their environments.

Implicit Bias, Prejudice, and Discrimination

The popular press often discusses the idea of “implicit bias”. What is it? Is it a useful idea? This session will give you a deep understanding of the psychology of stereotypes and prejudice in organizations. It will review research on the pros and cons of relying on “implicit bias training” as a tool for fixing organizational problems. Ultimately, the goal of changing organizations requires an “And”: Awareness of implicit bias can be a useful motivation to change, and new structures are essential for real change.

Maximizing Workforce Diversity

Different people and different workgroups start with different assumptions about the importance of diversity efforts and the nature of diversity. To successfully navigate these varying perspectives, this session will help you better understand varying dimensions of diversity with a focus on cognitive diversity (e.g., areas of training, experience, and expertise) and demographic diversity (e.g., race, ethnicity, age, and gender) and their overlap. Emphasizing the dual importance of diversity to foster new ideas and to motivate employees, customers, and investors by having a workforce that represents society, this session will help prepare you to identify and define the diversity advantage in your workplace.

Deconstructing Systemic Racism in the Workplace

Leaders can be quick to condemn racism, but they are frequently ill-equipped to lead authentic discussions about racism in society and in their organizations. Racism is one of the most difficult topics to discuss. To successfully tackle such a thorny topic, business leaders first need to turn inward and assess how prepared they are to lead these conversations. Through personal commitment, education, equitable policies, and targeted investments, leaders can enhance academic excellence by creating environments that reduce - rather than perpetuate - racial disparities. This session will help to prepare you to lead authentic discussions about race, racism, and systemic racism in organizational settings.

Learning Outcomes or Benefits to Individuals who participate:

  • Learn how to enhance interpersonal relationships with diverse group members through mutual understanding and respect
  • Develop an understanding of strategies that have been successfully implemented to help successfully lead diverse groups
  • Attain a better understanding of the social underpinnings that can give rise to barriers that undermine diversity efforts, such as implicit bias, stereotypes, and prejudice
  • Understand proven strategies on how to combat the adverse effects of stereotypes and implicit bias in your organization
  • Gain a better understanding of the busines case for diversity
  • Learn how to clearly articulate why diversity is an important organizational goal
  • Learn how to engage in authentic conversations about diversity, race and systemic racism in the workplace
  • Gain an in depth understanding of systemic racism, how it can perpuate organizational disparities, and strategies that can help minimize it in organizational settings

Virtual Leadership, Diversity, and Race at Fuqua School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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