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, or how to ensure talent 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.

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

Leading with Equity & Why It Matters

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.

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, before diversity & inclusion to emphasize its importance.

Without a focus on equity, your company’s well-intentioned inclusion initiatives can appear disingenuous. Ensuring your organizational practices and policies are equitable is essential to the sustainability of your investments in diversity & inclusion – and your ability to retain top talent.

Our History of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Work

At CCL, our approach to equity, diversity, and inclusion is rooted in decades of pioneering research and hands-on work with leaders and organizations around the world – from our groundbreaking research on women leaders breaking the glass ceiling in the 1980s, to our African-American Leaders program in the early 2000s, to our decade-long Leading Across Differences research, to our deep analysis of what millennials and other 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.

Leaders must understand and consider people’s different lived experiences to help their teams achieve their full potential. This starts with understanding social identity and cultivating a climate of respect.

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

We understand that equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives are complex, and addressing systems of oppression is challenging. That’s why we created our evidence-based REAL™ framework for shifting mindsets, behaviors, and practices towards equitable and inclusive leadership for individuals, teams, and organizations.

REAL™ focuses on helping leaders and organizations make the leap from awareness to meaningful action and sustainable culture change to support equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace.

CCL's REAL Framework for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Reveal Relevant Opportunities

Identify specific actions with curiosity and appreciative inquiry.

Elevate Equity

Prioritize fair and contextually-appropriate access to resources and opportunities.

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, and Inclusion Solutions to Help You Shift Your Culture

We know there isn’t one single solution to create equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace, so we have created a variety of EDI offerings and can craft a solution for your organization based on your unique needs. We bring our decades of human-centered expertise and our understanding of intergroup challenges (social identity, outgroups, discrimination, privilege), and are ready partner with you to craft custom equity, diversity, and inclusion solutions for your organization’s specific context and challenges.

Most Tailored

Customized Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Solutions

Whether you’re looking for ways to address bias, overhaul your culture, or help your employees communicate more effectively across differences, we’ll work with you to create a human-centered, research-backed program tailored to your needs. Don’t see what you’re looking for? We can customize an initiative for you. Some of our popular EDI solutions include:

  • Getting REAL™ with Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion: Partner with us to understand the dynamics of EDI in your particular organizational context and specific actions to take to drive results.
  • REAL™ – LEADING SELF: Help individuals understand how EDI impacts their leadership and life.
  • REAL™ – LEADING TEAMS: Prepare managers to apply EDI principles in team settings.
  • REAL™ – LEADING ORGANIZATION: Equip senior leaders to address inequities by aligning their behaviors and beliefs.
  • Better Conversations Every Day™ with REAL: Scale coaching and communications skills through a lens of EDI across your entire organization.

Most Scalable

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Learning Modules

Powered by decades of our global research and in-the-field experience, our leadership materials on equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace can help you build a stronger organizational culture and equip your leaders to work together more effectively. Our curated modules can be delivered either virtually or in person, and are meant to be mixed and matched to fit your needs. Topics include:

  • Beyond Bias™: Go beyond simple awareness of “unconscious bias” or “implicit bias” and get a practical and effective roadmap to deal with the biases present in every person’s experience.
  • Direction, Alignment, Commitment (DAC) in an EDI Ecosystem: Enable individuals to work together as a cohesive group to produce results they could never achieve working as individuals.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Challenge your leaders to tap into next-level intelligence to practice better self-management and handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
  • Psychological Safety: Discover what it means to “bring your best self” to work and establish the conditions necessary for your team and work groups to do the same.

Most Turnkey

Moving Beyond Bias™

Move beyond awareness to taking meaningful action: upskill your team to recognize, address, and overcome unconscious bias and create a more inclusive organizational culture. Our answer to conventional bias trainings, Beyond Bias™ can help leaders identify and take action to prevent harmful but unintentional beliefs and practices that undermine psychological safety at your organization.

  • Available in multiple modalities and customizable for different leader levels
  • Can be delivered as a standalone workshop or as part of a larger initiative

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.

Jon Abeles
Senior VP of Talent Management and Diversity
Mercy Health

Our leaders got to know one another…and for the first time they saw…that they could and should work together. We have created a critical mass of leaders who are connected, collaborative, and committed to our mission. We are leveraging our strengths in ways we never anticipated.

Mercy Health

Mercy Health partnered with CCL to create a 14-month-long learning and development experience for its high-potential, C-level executives in different regions. Goals of the leadership academy included building a stronger organizational culture and a deeper pool of leaders developed and promoted from within. As part of this work, an action learning project led to a systemwide strategic plan for increasing diversity and inclusion, dramatically increasing the diversity in Mercy Health’s leadership ranks from 2.5% to 10% over a 5-year period.

Meet Our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Expert

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. 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 commitment to racial justice & equity.


Abigail Dunne-Moses
Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Practice

Let’s Talk About What Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Means for Your Organization

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

Additional Resources for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Workplace

Kick-Start Your Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives with a Focus on Equity


Discover the most common mistakes in organizations’ DEI efforts—and how to avoid them—plus how to fast-forward your own diversity & inclusion efforts.

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Join our Equity, Diversity & Inclusion experts to understand the importance of inclusion in the workplace, and how practicing acts of inclusion will allow your organization to unlock the power of a diverse workforce.

understand social identity to lead in a changing world


Leaders must understand and consider peoples’ different lived experiences to help their teams achieve their full potential. This starts with understanding social identity.

image of blocks representing when inclusive leadership goes wrong


When it comes to equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, many leaders and organizations have good intentions. But there’s often a gap between intentions and outcomes.



A key challenge for leaders is to help establish and nurture respectful relationships among many different groups. Learn 3 indicators of respect and how to cultivate respect in your organization.

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Diverse groups are better able to find creative solutions than groups of people with similar life experiences. But what if some team members don’t feel comfortable speaking up?

Other Challenges Related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion