Fostering an Inclusive Environment
Education, Facilitation & Consultation
Our staff provides consultation, needs assessment, strategy design, coaching and a range of dynamic educational workshops and learning solutions designed to raise awareness, increase understanding and enhance skill development to optimize the working and learning environments at Duke.
We consult with department leaders, managers and staff to design and implement work processes and systems to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in employment processes such as hiring, retention and the management of a diverse workforce. We design and facilitate customized workshops, retreats and presentations on a broad range of topics including:
- Creating an inclusive and respectful workplace
- Cross-cultural communication
- Leading and managing diverse teams
- Sexual orientation in the workplace
- Breaking the cycle of stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination
- Developing diversity leadership teams and committees
- Search committee strategies for identifying qualified, diverse talent pools and conducting an equitable process
We provide guidance on diversity best practices, help locate speakers and resources to address specific dimensions of diversity, provide the framework, tools and expertise to develop a climate of inclusion in which people feel valued and respected and where ideas, energy and excellence grow from leveraging the diverse insights and capabilities of talented people across the institution.
"The culture of diversity in universities, the promotion of inclusiveness, cooperation,
and respect across boundaries of gender, ethnicity, race, religion, and national culture,
originated as (and is still meaningful as) a quest for social justice. But if this value will be more,
not less, important in the future, it is because it also promotes the collaboration across
horizons that will be the precondition for mental breakthroughs in time to come."
Making a Difference – Duke’s Strategic Plan
Inclusion Strategies for Leaders
As with any organizational culture change, leadership matters. Those called to lead diversity and inclusion efforts must be guided by a clearly-articulated vision, a set of principles and a strategic plan for ensuring success.
We provide an intensive leadership development process to enhance the competencies and accelerate the knowledge required for senior leaders to create an effective inclusion strategy for their organization.
The transformational leadership development process emphasizes the unique challenges faced when leading diversity and inclusion change efforts and focuses simultaneously on three critical leadership domains required to foster a culture of inclusion: intrapersonal, interpersonal and organizational development.
The process is aligned with the leader's strategic plan and evolves based on the specific business imperatives and leadership development opportunities and challenges of each unique leadership team. The organic nature of the process ensures that the discussions, learning and application are always relevant to the culture and circumstances of the individual leader, their leadership team and their unique school/department/unit.
The process begins with a visioning session to help leaders develop a common framework for diversity and inclusion and to "get on the same page." At this stage, we ensure that leaders have an opportunity to:
- assess their current perceptions of individual and organizational effectiveness with respect to leveraging diversity and inclusion as strategic leadership,
- set a vision of where they want to be and begin to scope an action plan to address the gap between current reality and desired outcomes and
- identify key metrics that will be used to measure progress (e.g. recruitment, retention, engagement, satisfaction levels, behavioral competencies, representation).
Subsequent to the leadership visioning process, a series of ongoing "Diversity Dialogue Sessions" are convened that engage leaders in thought-provoking conversation on a variety of relevant diversity topics (e.g. privilege, unconscious bias, gender, race, generations, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, socioeconomic class) to help build and strengthen leaders' competence in the skill of dialogue.
Additionally a “360 Leadership Feedback” tool is used so that each leader can get a sense from their different constituents about how they are perceived with respect to modeling selected leadership competencies—including valuing diversity and fostering an environment of inclusion. One-on-one coaching sessions are conducted with each leader on a quarterly basis to review their feedback and to provide a more intimate way to receive guidance and consultation on any specific diversity challenges they may be experiencing.
How We Can Help
- Provide consultation, strategic direction and expertise to senior leaders across the institution to ensure that they are equipped to model leadership excellence in inclusion
- Guide leaders in recognizing the benefits of a healthy climate related to equity, inclusion and diversity in all their interactions
- Partner with senior leadership teams across the institution to engage in the creation of Diversity Leadership Groups (DLGs) that align business and departmental goals with diversity and inclusion strategies
- Provide assessment, feedback, coaching and education on the skills and competencies involved in inclusive leadership
- Establish and implement diversity and inclusion metrics (dashboard) and assist leaders in aligning critical measures into departmental or system-wide measurement standards measurement in order to provide relevant snapshots of current state as well as inform strategies for future state goals/desired outcomes