Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Moving From Ideas Into Action

Shift mindsets, behaviors, and practices so everyone in your organization attains their full potential.

Multiple studies have proven that diverse teams drive better business performance and organizations with greater diversity become more resilient and innovative. And inclusion is required for diverse groups to thrive. 

Yet there’s little point in considering how to recruit a more diverse workforce, nor how to ensure talented individuals from different backgrounds are fully included, if your organization has not yet considered what different people need to be successful. And to do that, you need to understand equity.

Equity is fair and contextually appropriate access to the resources required for an individual to attain their full potential.

To see real, sustainable change, and to leverage the full potential of all their talent, organizations must go beyond diversity and inclusion to focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Leading with equity is about recognizing that different people have different needs and being committed to giving people what they need to succeed. When that happens, everyone wins.

Leading With Equity & Why It Matters

Elevating equity is critical because even in organizations that are both diverse and inclusive, individuals who come from different backgrounds can still run into policies, practices, or assumptions that prevent them from being fully engaged, supported, and able to reach their potential.

That’s why rather than DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), at CCL, we refer to EDI — placing equity as the first consideration in EDI training, before diversity and inclusion, to emphasize its importance.

When it comes to EDI vs. DEI, without a focus on equity, well-intentioned diversity initiatives can appear disingenuous. Ensuring your organizational practices and policies are equitable is essential to the sustainability of your investments in diversity and inclusion — and your ability to retain top talent.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace training at the Center for Creative Leadership

Our History of EDI Training and Research

At CCL, our approach to equity, diversity, and inclusion is rooted in decades of pioneering work with leaders and organizations around the world — from our groundbreaking research into women’s leadership development, to our African-American Leadership development program, to our deep analysis of what different generations want from work.

Through it all, we’ve learned that when it comes to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace, language, challenges, norms, and solutions shift based on context, culture, and climate. Above all, leaders must consider people’s different lived experiences to help their teams achieve their full potential.

Our Framework for Enacting Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace: REAL™

We understand that EDI can be complex, and addressing systems of oppression is challenging. That’s why we created our evidence-based REAL™ framework to help shift mindsets, behaviors, and practices toward more equitable and inclusive leadership for individuals, teams, and organizations.

It focuses on helping leaders make the leap from raising awareness to taking meaningful action and driving sustainable culture change to support equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Our REAL™ Framework for EDI

Infographic: 5 Powerful Ways to Take REAL Action on DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) and EDI
  • Reveal Relevant Opportunities
    Identify specific actions with curiosity and appreciative inquiry.
  • Elevate Equity
    Prioritize fair and contextually appropriate access to resources and opportunities — establishing a meaningful difference between EDI vs. DEI.
  • Activate Diversity
    Acknowledge, celebrate, and catalyze different characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, and behaviors.
  • Lead Inclusively
    Intentionally create and sustain an environment that supports direction, alignment, and commitment from everyone in your organization.

Our Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Solutions to Help You Shift Your Culture

No one single solution can create equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace, so we offer a variety of EDI training solutions and bring our decades of human-centered expertise and understanding of intergroup challenges (social identity, outgroups, discrimination, and privilege) to this work. We are ready to partner with you to craft custom EDI solutions for your organization’s specific needs, context, and culture. In addition, we also offer women’s leadership development solutions.

We can work with you to create a human-centered, research-based equity, diversity, and inclusion program that’s tailored to your needs. Partner with us to understand the dynamics of EDI in your particular organizational context and identify specific actions to take to drive real results.

Powered by decades of our global research and in-the-field experience, our world-class EDI solutions can help you build a stronger organizational culture and equip your leaders to work together more effectively.

Let us craft a custom initiative for your leaders at all levels for that builds greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in your workplace.

  • Create lasting change by aligning beliefs with behaviors

Whether you want your team to communicate more effectively across differences, align behaviors with beliefs, or address unconscious bias, this program can equip everyone at your organization — from the front desk to the corner office — to hold better conversations every day.

We can partner with you to strengthen coaching and conversation skills across your organization through a lens of building a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive culture.

  • Scale a more inclusive, psychologically safe culture of feedback to increase equity and inclusion and unlock the power of diversity

We can help you move beyond unconscious and implicit bias by equipping your team to identify the unintentionally harmful beliefs and practices that undermine equity, diversity, and inclusion at your organization. Our answer to conventional bias training, Beyond Bias™ provides a realistic, research-based, and effective roadmap for recognizing and responding to the biases we all experience.

We also offer a variety of other world-class leadership topic modules you can use to upskill your team or package together into a custom solution. Offerings include our proven content on emotional intelligence, listening to understand, psychological safety, and more. We can deliver these world-class, research-based leadership topic modules — or you can. Either way, you’ll go beyond raising awareness to taking meaningful action on EDI.

What Our Clients Are Saying​

At CCL, we measure success by lives touched and impact made. That’s why the organizations we work with and the leaders we transform consistently tell us the same thing: their experience with us is a game-changer. We’ve helped strengthen organizational cultures and build equity, diversity, and inclusion at literally thousands of organizations.

But don’t just take our word for it — take theirs.

“I love the networking experiences, practical tools, and the bonds I was able to build with my fellow participants. I was able to utilize some of the tools I have learned in my daily work. It’s been a great experience and by far the best training program I have attended.”

Program Participant
Major Pharmaceutical Company

Honing Leadership Skills for High-Potential Leaders of Color

Among hundreds of international applicants, 2 EDI-focused leadership programs that we developed for separate clients have both received awards from the research and analyst firm Brandon Hall Group, in their acclaimed annual Human Capital Management (HCM) Excellence Awards.

Our Work to Elevate Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Earns Acclaimed Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at CCL

We know that a true commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace starts from within. At CCL, we’ve made a concerted effort to focus on EDI internally, and realize there is more work yet to be done. Learn more about our EDI journey and commitment to racial justice and equity.

Meet Our EDI Team

Michael DePass

Michael DePass

Vice President, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Practice

As leader of our global EDI practice, Michael combines his extensive professional experience and passion for social change with his gifts for strategic leadership, innovative thinking, and business development. Previously, he served as director of our K-12 education portfolio, designing and delivering transformative educational leadership development. Prior to joining CCL, he worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and at several international development organizations.

Abigail Dunne-Moses

Abigail Dunne-Moses

Senior Faculty of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Abigail is a trusted leadership advisor with 20+ years of experience in performance management training, leadership training, organizational development consulting, and nonprofit leadership development. As a business-minded change agent, she has advised many Fortune 500 companies on how to build and sustain equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives. Her passion for EDI consulting is borne out of her life and educational experiences on 3 continents —  namely Africa, Europe, and America. 

Regina Eckert

Regina Eckert

Client Engagement Director, Europe

Gina is a consultant, facilitator and leadership development expert who has led projects in over 40 companies across the EMEA region in various industries, ranging from 60 to 1.6 million employees. She keeps a high focus on tangible behavioral and business impact and a deep care for the people who trust her for their development and the development of their companies. Initiatives around equity, diversity, and inclusion are an area of expertise and passion for her.

Valerie Ehrlich, Ph.D.

Valerie Futch Ehrlich, PhD

Manager, Societal Advancement Insights & Impact

Valerie manages the Insights & Impact group, overseeing evaluation and applied research projects in the nonprofit, K-12, higher education, and population health sectors. Her research background is in social identity and human learning and development. She is committed to data utilization and visualization and effectively leveraging research in service of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Jayke Hamill

Jayke Hamill

Faculty, Societal Advancement

Jayke is a designer for much of our equity, diversity, and inclusion work with nonprofits, foundations, and other social sector organizations, and is particularly vested in growing the field of leadership development to be more accessible and inclusive of all leaders — including individuals with disabilities, neurodiverse learners, LGBTQ folx, first-generation college students, and beyond.

Dr. Darryl Spivey

Darryl Spivey, PhD

Leadership Solutions Partner

Since joining CCL, Darryl has managed and produced comprehensive leadership customized solutions for global clients. His course design and facilitation create tremendous value and yield clear and measurable outcomes. Darryl spent time heading up leadership development for several companies, including PNC Bank and Highmark. He also held adjunct professor positions at UConn and Pitt.

Let's Talk About Building Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at Your Organization

Our experts are here to help. Get in touch with us about your organization’s equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives and needs. We’d love to partner with you!

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Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace: Research & Resources

Frequently Asked Questions About Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

EDI is an acronym that stands for equity, diversity, and inclusion. In the workplace, EDI relates to actions taken in order to shift mindsets, behaviors, and practices toward more equitable and inclusive leadership for individuals, teams, and organizations. 

You may hear references to both the terms DEI and EDI when discussing diversity initiatives. While both of these acronyms describe the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion, at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)®, we prefer to use the term EDI because it places equity before diversity and inclusion. We believe that without equity, efforts to promote diversity and inclusion are not sustainable. So when it comes to DEI vs. EDI training, we recommend that organizations re-orient their DEI training efforts as EDI initiatives, to emphasize the importance of pursuing greater diversity and inclusion only after investing in a culture of equity as the foundation.

At CCL, we believe that without equity, efforts to promote diversity and inclusion are well-intentioned, but unsustainable. We emphasize the importance of starting with equity to support diversity and inclusion, and we use our evidence-based REAL™ framework to help organizations understand the dynamics of diversity, equity, and inclusion within their unique context. 

Equity, diversity, and inclusion training, or EDI training, is an organizational change initiative designed to move participants from building awareness to taking actions that shift mindsets, behaviors, and practices toward a more equitable and inclusive leadership culture for individuals, teams, and organizations. At CCL, we believe that sustainable and lasting workplace culture change for EDI requires a systemic approach

More questions? Our experts are here to help. Let’s have a conversation!

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