Corporate Class Inc. Launches The Centre for Diversity and Inclusion

centre for diversity and inclusion

Corporate Class Inc. (CCI), industry experts and thought leaders in the leadership training and coaching space, announce the launch of the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) to further move the needle on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

CDI aims to help organizations and leaders be inclusive, free of bias and discrimination, while educating and training individuals through interactive, experiential methods to move towards safe spaces for dialogue and initiate action. Dr.Georgette Zinaty, Executive Vice-President, CCI, will be the Practice Lead for the new division under the CCI brand.

Why Are We Launching the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion?

Around the world, we have been witnessing movements, activism, and unfortunate events underscoring the need for inclusive leadership that supports ensuring marginalized groups get a seat at the decision-making table. From #MeToo to Black Lives Matter, different minority groups have been pushing against systemic fault lines to be heard.

As subject matter experts and long-term advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion, we at Corporate Class Inc. (CCI) want to leverage our skills and expertise to help organizations move beyond strategies on paper to make inclusivity a reality in the workplace. Thus, the idea for the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) was born.

Our mission is to help organizations and leaders build a better way of life for our diverse workforce, and move people from good intentions to the integration of inclusion. We conducted extensive research and drew from our experience and expertise to create a plethora of:

When employees feel respected, their engagement and performance increases, leading to a rise in the overall team performance.

Our CDI offerings aim to help organizations and leaders achieve this phenomenon by being free of bias and discrimination, right from recruiting and training to empowering their employees.

What Does the Future of Leadership Look Like?

The blog from our Executive Vice President, Dr. Georgette Zinaty, Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is No Longer Nice to Have – It’s a Must Have, delved into the current state of leadership and the increasingly discriminatory effect the pandemic has had on women and marginalized groups. In terms of job loss and greater marginalization, the most affected by the pandemic are women and BIPOC communities, to the extent that we have seen a regression in the progress made for equity.

Research and recent data point to an increase in organizational performance when there is true diversity and inclusion within organizations, particularly at the senior levels.

Indeed, inclusive organizations gain the competitive advantage of being able to attract the best talent, with diverse skill sets and perspectives, who will contribute to the employer’s goals with their insights and knowledge. This competitive advantage increases when employees feel a sense of belonging and are invested in their own professional growth and that of their employer.

Therefore, inclusive leadership is a must. Not just from a social perspective, but also from an economic outlook. Organizations and individual leaders must buckle up and focus on reducing inequity and creating more inclusive environments where diverse individuals feel valued, respected and secure.

How Does CDI Plan to Build Better Leaders?

Many organizations today are making efforts to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive in their culture. However, having a DEI plan or committee is a start but not enough to address systemic changes that are often needed.

We at CDI can help align policies and practices across business functions and verticals to integrate DEI strategies and leverage qualitative and quantitative methods to determine policy gaps, identify a baseline and critical areas for measurement, along with supporting the setting of metrics and goals to measure performance.

Below we highlight some of the steps CDI aims to work with clients on.

For results, we work with you to identify, assess and create measurable action points to ensure the short and long-term sustainability of D&I strategies in the workplace and generate tangible outcomes. The results allow organizations to elevate the quality of life for employees and be a true employer of choice.

Through our assessments, consulting, training and surveys, we go beyond the usual data and dimensions generally tracked by organizations, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. We work closely with clients to understand their requirements for hiring, employee retention and engagement, promoting employees, supply chain and vendors, among other things, to determine how we can help them develop a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture.

We work on the what, the how, the why and the when. Today, great organizations must have DEI strategies for a strong talent pipeline and as part of their larger ESG strategy; and they lead by example. Let us help you raise the bar and be the best example in your sector.

CDI is a resource for organizations and leaders who aim toward making D&I strategies easily accessible and implementable for their teams, their business and individual leaders alike.

We want to create a new generation of leaders who take the effort to create sustainable change, not just from a competitive advantage perspective but also to create a more equitable social order.

We want to further move the needle on diversity and inclusion through effective strategy, policy-making, and training, so we can have a brighter and more inclusive future.

Here’s more about our new division, the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI).

Why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is No Longer Nice to Have – It’s a Must Have

When organizations set goals and aspirations related to diversity, equity and inclusion we see this reflected in their mission and vision statements.

These goals are quite often ambitious.  To their credit, many organizations may very well have good intentions in terms of their diversity, equity and inclusion strategies, however, the challenges in achieving their outcomes often rests in the organization’s abilities to identify the what and the how.

What do you truly want to accomplish and how will you do that effectively?

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion —The WHAT:

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) it will take 100 years for the gender gap to close and for there to be gender equality.

Recent research validates that the gender gap is alive and well, with the pay gap equally existent.  To give context to the slow pace of change, in 1999, the number of female CEOs of fortune 500 companies was 2%, today that number is 6.6% or 33 women, despite more women in the workforce than ever, and women holding higher levels of education than their male counterparts.

Women, women of colour and Latina women have been the hardest hit by COVID 19 and exiting the workforce at alarming rates.

Why?

In some cases, COVID-19 has increased the burden women have always had of balancing work and life, and compounded with the stay-at-home restrictions it can be difficult, overwhelming and challenging to raise a family and work from home. In other cases, women in service industries or Pink Ghettos – industries dominated by women, were closed indefinitely due to COVID-19, ensuring these most vulnerable women exited the workforce.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion —The HOW:

We must begin to seriously ask, as leaders and as organizations:

  • How are we supporting this important segment of our population and workforce?
  • How will we ensure they have the tools and skills to re-enter the workforce stronger and better than pre-COVID 19?

Some key statistics, according to an RBC report, amid the pressures of the pandemic: 

  • Men are picking up jobs at thrice the rate that women are leaving the workforce
  • 20,000+ women left the workforce between Feb-Oct, 2020
  • 68,000 men joined the workforce during this same time

The report stated that the pandemic and the demands of raising a family are most likely to blame for women exiting from the workforce.

On the contrary, men are benefiting from growth in the fields of technology, science, and engineering — fields they already dominate in to begin with.

So, should women and leaders accept this fate or should they revisit their DEI goals and vision and double down on an important resource — women?

According to Harvard Business Review, women have been better leaders, prior to and during the pandemic:

The report concluded that:

“Perhaps the most valuable part of the data we’re collecting throughout the crisis is hearing from thousands of direct reports about what they value and need from leaders now. Based on our data they want leaders who are able to pivot and learn new skills; who emphasize employee development even when times are tough; who display honesty and integrity; and who are sensitive and understanding of the stress, anxiety, and frustration that people are feeling. Our analysis shows that these are traits that are more often being displayed by women.”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion —WHAT’s Next:

Continuous investment in developing this important talent pool with proven successful programs and diversity, equity and inclusion training that empower women and develop their confidence and skills is not a nice-to-have, but a must have today.

At Corporate Class Inc., our Live Online Women in Leadership Masterclass is a two-day program that is simply transformational.

Why?

Because the program is unique in tackling some of the biggest challenges’ women face — bias, the imposter syndrome, the confidence gap, work-life balance and more.

The program is interactive and highly experiential, allowing each participant to dig deep into who they are, what they want their brand to be, how they make a first (and many other) impressions and teaches them the tools and skills to be confident, compassionate and to lead with executive presence and focus.

Why should organizations invest in a diversity, equity and inclusion program for women?

Given that women remain scarce in the C-suite and in the workforce, and that number has diminished due to race, culture and ethnicity – organizations who want to be global leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion must invest in the development of the most critical talent in their organizations and society.

Women are shaped by unique experiences and intersecting identities, so it is important to recognize and address the divergent challenges and barriers they face in a safe space to share stories, experiences and learn from one other. Women experience a journey of self-discovery and reflection, resulting in strengthened performance and confidence.

Real growth. Real change. Real development. Real Return on Investment.

Ready to step into your power with confidence?

Discover CCI’s Live Online Women in Leadership Masterclass for individuals or corporations.

What Should Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Look Like?

“Diversity is counting the numbers, inclusion is making the numbers count.”

Take a pause and think about that for a minute. This is one of my favourite quotes and it comes from Harvard Professor Borys Groysberg.

Let’s be honest. Many organizations have embraced the ideas of diversity and inclusion in the workplace at some level and have D&I polices in place, along with employee resource groups. Some companies have even created new roles such as directors or officers who have oversight of D&I for the organization.

  • But what does diversity and inclusion really look like in an organization?
  • Who do these roles report to and where does the ultimate authority rest for making changes?
  • Are they just counting numbers or do the numbers really count?

McKinsey has published a number of reports on this topic. Most recently they found that,

“…the business case remains robust but also that the relationship between diversity on executive teams and the likelihood of financial out performance has strengthened over time. These findings emerge from our largest data set so far, encompassing 15 countries and more than 1,000 large companies.” Therefore, expanding the diversity of an organization may be linked to enhanced bottom lines and ROI.  Is this a result of causation or correlation? McKinsey found that, “Our 2019 analysis finds that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile”.

This is not surprising given how global the world has become, immigration patterns and greater access to education. Simply a diverse talent pool exists – no question. Thus, any excellent organization that is looking to support and expand its offerings in the diverse and international marketplace needs to reflect, at the highest level of the organization, its consumer base and global outlook.

While the dial is moving slowly on diversity, inclusion remains a challenge for many organizations.

When assessing for inclusion through ‘social listening’, McKinsey found that organizations were failing.

As a D&I strategist, this is not surprising.  Organizations often lump diversity with inclusion but they are not the same.

So, how do organizations create more inclusive environments?

Let’s be clear – this requires commitment – and work – from all levels of leadership starting from the top. And (not but) the rewards are significant in organizational performance and in terms of perception.

Ensuring the leadership team is diverse, particularly in key roles within the organization, is important, ensuring accountability, transparency and openness in hiring processes and key decisions is also critical to inclusion. Addressing bias when it occurs and using opportunities as teaching moments to affect change is important all the while taking a multipronged approach to inclusion practices.  Organizations should tap into experts – external and internal to the organization – to help navigate this.

If diversity is counting the numbers and inclusion is making the numbers count, then embracing, supporting and celebrating our differences is perhaps what successful integration looks like.