Diversity Resource Guide

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become a hot topic in today’s workplace due to the benefits and opportunities that diversity provides for innovation, creativity, profitability, culture, and bias reduction. In a 2021 meta-analysis of diversity’s effects on the workplace, Ceren Ozgen discovered that ethnic, gender, and educational diversity can promote innovation, creativity, and economic benefits. Other resources, such as the Western Governors University of Texas, communicate that the benefits of diversity include increased productivity levels and improved workplace cultures (WGU, 2019). Furthermore, research done by Sean Darling-Hammond, Randy T. Lee, and Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton suggests that having racially diverse employees reduces employees’ propensity to engage in racial bias (2021). Because of the wide-ranging benefits DEI offers, this Diversity Resource Guide has been created to shed light on how companies worldwide have developed and embraced diversity, so you—and your clients—can too.

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“Diversity is the engine of invention. It generates creativity that enriches the world.” - Justin Trudeau

Workplace diversity programs

According to a study by McKinsey and Company, companies in the top quartile for being “ethnically diverse” are 35% more likely to outperform companies with less ethnic diversity. They also found that “companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.” In the United States specifically, McKinsey and Company found that “for every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and tax rise by 0.8%.” Their research suggests that “diversity is a competitive differentiator” (Hunt et al., 2015). Furthermore, research from the Academy of Management has indicated that “lower-management racial diversity positively impacts firm productivity” (Richard et al., 2021).

One way that employers can harness the power of DEI is through the implementation of workplace diversity programs. While this is only a stepping stone on the path to a diverse workplace, according to Leah Kyaio of BenefitsPRO, training programs that encourage discussion and accountability, give employees tools for DEI, and span over a long period of time can be effective methods of DEI implementation (2021). The following programs are only a few examples of those available but are the most scientifically-based and widely-supported we have found currently available.


Exude’s diversity and inclusion training program focuses on four “core behaviors”:

  • Being self-aware,

  • Being inclusive,

  • Being well, and;

  • Being accountable.

Their training programs can be done virtually or in person, both in large and small groups. One key feature of Exude’s training program is the pre- and post-communication recommended between the trainer and trainee. They provide a diversity survey to help business leaders know “where to start or how to continue” with their “diversity and inclusion initiatives.”

Exude’s training program is flexible and acknowledges the differences between trainers and trainees. Their training is focused on interactive and activity-oriented activities that provide reference for use in the workplace. DEI consultant, Leah Kyaio, states in her 2021 publication that “effective training must include time to dialog... as well as time to practice and apply the tools” learned during DEI training. Exude incorporates both of these important factors into their DEI training program.

HRDQ Diversity Works

HRDQ Diversity Works has been considered to be one of the best diversity programs by several outside sources including The Balance and Business News Daily (Treece, 2021 & Sabih 2021).

Diversity Works offers business leaders an “interactive exploration into diversity awareness” that uses “the science of learning to create opportunities” for genuine conversations about diversity and inclusion.

Diversity Works focuses on three learning categories:

  • Understanding self,

  • Understanding others, and;

  • Communication.

In their program, learning stations are set up around a room and training participants are allowed to select which training activities they participate in. HRDQ’s training methods closely align with Scott Smith’s statement in his 2017 paper “Adult Learners: Effective Training Methods.” Smith states that “Adult learners do not want to be taught. They want to play a part and need to perceive training as something that will improve them as individuals” (2017).

One key feature that makes HRDQ Diversity Works particularly impactful is the opportunity for training participants to interact with each other. In one case study provided by HRDQ, a trainee stated, “I felt safe enough in this environment to share my personal experiences… when others shared their personal experiences, this helped me consider different perspectives and learn to be more open-minded.”


MESH offers training programs that are based on “science-based metrics” regarding “safety and inclusion.” They use live training sessions and assessments to quantifiably assess the improvement of trainees’ and their organization’s diversity and inclusion perspective. These assessments can be used to “accurately measure progress towards” diversity and inclusion goals.

Several successful organizations use MESH training programs including Habitat for Humanity and Silicon Valley Bank. Julia Deans, President and CEO at Habitat for Humanity Canada, states in her review of Mesh DEI training, “Our partnership with MESH has given us the ability to move beyond talk and use a proven strategy to implement anti-oppressive change across our organization. With its decades of D&I expertise, backed by cutting-edge data science and well-honed inclusion metrics, and its ability to deliver complex and difficult messages in a clear and supportive manner, MESH is helping us fulfill our mission of strengthening families and building up communities.”

One of the factors that makes MESH unique is its extensive use of data which measures several variables such as “self-acceptance,” “problem-solving,” “rapport,” and “integrity” for both the group and individual. The training is based on individual scores on their DEI assessment which can help adult learners establish what they need to learn and how they can learn it through the training course.

In 2020, Chapman University, released an article about their own “roadmap” to greater DEI. Their faculty supports the use of training that is “agile, adaptable, useful, and targeted” to the needs of trainees (Chapman University, 2020). MESH’s DEI training program is directly targeted to the needs of its trainees with the use of a DEI assessment. Chapman University faculty also request that “educational efforts” are “tracked and analyzed.” This request is also completed by MESH through their use and measurement of individual and group inclusion metrics.

“Greater diversity drives better business results.” - Sallie Krawcheck

Society of Human Resource Management: “Inclusive Workplace Culture: Leading and Sustaining a Culture Transformation”

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) has released a team training and development course called “Inclusive Workplace Culture: Leading and Sustaining a Culture Transformation.” This program includes 4 modules which can be completed in 2 days in person or 4 weeks virtually. They structure their training around scenario and discussion-based learnings about the “characteristics