Free courses on better leadership for an equitable workplace

Diverse and inclusive workplaces earn deeper trust and more commitment from their employees.

By U2B Staff 

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Highlighting lack of diversity and promoting inclusion across businesses and brands are not exactly new concerns. However, in 2018 the topic made headlines, drove conversations and occupied social media feeds worldwide. The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery caused outrage across not just the United States, but around the world. Impassioned protesters took to the streets and to their social media feeds, highlighting systematic racial injustices and demanding change. Part of solving a problem is recognising that it exists and when it comes to the workplace, better leaders began to address their own company’s diversity and inclusion.

According to LinkedIn, there is a growing consensus that this position — whether it’s called head of diversity and inclusion, a chief diversity officer or the diversity director — will be critical to an organisation’s ability to innovate, compete for best talent and grow.

LinkedIn’s data suggests that the number of people globally with the head of diversity title more than doubled — a 107% growth — over the last five years. The number of individuals with the director of diversity title grew 75% and chief diversity officer was up 68%. Companies are increasingly looking to hire capable executives to lead the charge on diversity and inclusion to create a more equitable workplace. 


Whether you’re a leader, manager or worker with a goal of becoming a manager, it is important to know how to navigate a diverse workforce by acquiring the knowledge to be an inclusive person yourself. Here are five free courses hosted by popular e-learning websites to help you develop the leadership skills you will need to champion an equitable workplace: 

Managing a Diverse Team

This introductory class instructed by co-author of The Female CEO, Vanessa Womack, is a great primer for managers with diverse teams. Through this course, participants learn the fundamentals of implementing an open-door policy that encourages communication, how to work with multigenerational teams, how to identify negative behaviors that could derail your team, and how to use coaching tools to work with your direct reports. 

Foundations of diversity and inclusion

This course is offered by the University of Virginia and explains how power and privilege play out in organizations. It also covers how companies can turn Black Lives Matter calls for action into new policies, how to have difficult conversations around race and power at work, and how to begin to root out bias in hiring practices. 


Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

This course begins with an overview of key diversity concepts such as LGBTQ issues in the workplace, disability inclusion, and how to avoid ageism and sexism. Learners will then begin to look at their own thought processes to examine their own bias and prejudice, to practice better leadership. The free programme by ESSEC Business School also includes a number of case studies around specific issues in certain countries, like LGBTQ issues in India, and ageism in the US. 

Gender and sexuality: Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

This course by the University of Pittsburgh gives students an overview of gender and sexuality issues in the workplace. It starts with clear explanations on the differences between sex, gender, and sexuality, explains key terms, and includes quizzes. Students then learn common examples of gender and sex stereotyping and discrimination, in order  to avoid them. There is also a section on how to be an ally to the community. 

Leading With Effective Communication (Inclusive Leadership Training)

This course by Catalyst teaches participants how the most effective communication utilises the inclusive mindset of empowerment, accountability, courage and humility. Most importantly, how to incorporate this mindset into daily life. Topics include understanding dialogue processes, debunking everyday communication myths, testing assumptions, listening, expressing yourself authentically, and communicating across differences. Short quizzes, compelling case studies and engaging videos help learners develop leadership knowledge in each topic.