Earlier this month, Learn@Forbes, Forbes Media’s certificate learning program, announced the release of its Diversity and Inclusion specialization certification.
The program contains nine courses, which Forbes says intend to “challenge you to examine your leadership style, unconscious biases, and the relationships you’ve formed with employees,” as well as “root out unfair, intolerant, and bullying behavior so that you can develop a positive company culture.”
The release is part of a larger push toward diversity and diversity-focused positions in American corporate culture. In its 2020 Jobs and Hiring Trends report, job posting website Glassdoor reported that diversity and inclusion job postings increased by 30% in 2020, and mean salaries have grown to over $83,000.
Learn@Forbes' Chief Operating Officer Dhiraj Bansal said the new program is an effort to reflect this growing need.
"Today's workforce is tremendously diverse with a mixture of generations, ethnicities, genders, orientations, races, and backgrounds," he said. "Those who complete the Diversity and Inclusion Specialization will learn how to maintain awareness of cultural differences and sensitivity to various cultures and to develop and maintain inclusive cultures and high-performing organizations."
Widespread Corporate Pledges to Diversify
The move also comes amid large corporate promises to diversify and donate to ethnic equity causes. Corporations as large as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Netflix have committed to diversifying their workforce and donating hundreds of millions of dollars to social justice causes worldwide.
Such changes are increasingly important to younger generations, many members of which see diversity as crucial to their sense of belonging at work.
“It is increasingly important for employees to work somewhere that welcomes people of different backgrounds, provides equal opportunities for underrepresented minorities and people with disabilities, and is LGBTQ+ friendly,” wrote Barbara H. Whye, the chief diversity and inclusion officer and corporate vice president of social impact and human resources at Intel Corporation in PCR Magazine.
She continued on to say that, in order to foster the sort of environment in which members of younger generations wish to work, companies should focus on diversity in leadership, nurture altruism toward social causes, and foster inclusive practices.
In implementing these changes, Whye said, companies will see dramatic benefits, including heightened innovation and delivering results.
“Diversity and inclusion have become essential workplace priorities—not just due to demand, but due to the benefits diversity brings,” Whye said. “...But, this is not a one-and-done field; it’s a journey and we have more work to do than ever.”
Forbes’s Elearning Platform — a More Inclusive Workplace
The web page accompanying Forbes’s course expresses much the same sentiment and says that the Diversity and Inclusion specialization is intended to help facilitate such a journey.
“Today’s professional workforce is an amazing amalgam of diversity, with workers of separate generations, genders, ethnicities, races, and other backgrounds all coming together to complete common goals,” the post reads. “This transformation has challenged leaders to rethink their company cultures and develop an approach that is inclusive and fair to everyone… so you can become an inclusive leader and ensure your organization remains productive while your employees feel respected and recognized.”
Currently, the Learn@Forbes platform offers 20 certification programs in digital marketing, social media, project management, and other topics, as well as over seven hundred individual courses. The nine courses included in the Diversity and Inclusion specialization program, which include Creating a Respectful Culture, Diversity and Cultural Awareness, and How to Implement a Workplace and Inclusion Program, among others, are a continued fulfillment of the company’s professional certification program.
For Whye, efforts like Forbes’s that emphasize having a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and lifestyles, are crucial in creating a more fair, just, and equitable workplace.
“We must approach this work as we do our tech innovations: learn, fail fast, iterate often, and continue stretching ourselves to achieve greater results,” wrote Whye. “It’s critical, now more than ever, to create and foster an inclusive workplace and give employees confidence that they will not be left behind.”
Those who wish to take the course can do so for free with a two-week trial and a $12.50 monthly cost after.