Design for Diversity: What's Holding You Back?

This is an online class, offered on Zoom from 9am-4pm.

Leaders are beginning to recognize that diversity is a topic that can’t be ignored, especially in light of recent social uprisings and conflict in the spring of 2020 which will have a ripple effect on everything we do. Diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environments have been shown to: enhance worker productivity; spark creativity and innovation; and improve performance. Yet, diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DE&I”) are often very hard to tackle and talk about. Because of the complexity of designing and leading DE&I team, organizations need employees and leaders with a complex understanding and high-quality training, which this course provides. To become a better leader and help your organization address DE&I topics, you’ll learn to think critically about DE&I from personal, communication, organizational, and leadership views.

This course consists of four parts:

  1. Part 1 introduces DE&I, including how to understand and discuss it. We’ll overview: why DE&I matters, various DE&I topics, DE&I strategies that work and don’t work, and how to build dialogue around hot topics surrounding DE&I.
  2. Part 2 focuses on “knowing thyself,” or how our beliefs affect how we lead and manage. We’ll learn how we can challenge our own thinking to be better leaders.
  3. Part 3 covers “knowing others,” or how to extend DE&I strategies to others and build dialogue within groups and teams.
  4. Part 4 will apply what we’ve covered to your own teams, including strategies and examples of how to design, manage, and lead diverse and inclusive groups.



This one-day course will be taught by Dr. Elizabeth Dickinson, Clinical Associate Professor of Management and Corporate Communication, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.


Dr. Elizabeth Dickinson has a BA, MA, and PhD in Communication Studies. Dr. Dickinson has taught numerous communication and interdisciplinary courses to diverse undergraduate and graduate students in universities across the United States and in China. Dr. Dickinson is also a diversity educator and consultant and has worked with corporate, nonprofit, business, government, and academic groups.

At Kenan-Flagler, Dr. Dickinson teaches in the undergraduate, full-time MBA, Masters of Accounting (MAC), and Executive Development programs. Dr. Dickinson also works as a specialist for students, staff, and faculty, both in Kenan-Flagler, UNC, and across North Carolina.

From an interdisciplinary, humanities approach, Dr. Dickinson’s work focuses on: workplace communication; diversity, equity, & inclusion; gender & organizations; gender & parenting; critical management studies; and how cultural ideologies are produced, consumed, performed, hidden, & resisted through communication. Mostly, Dr. Dickinson is interested in figuring out how to facilitate connection and have difficult conversations about and across difference.

Dr. Dickinson has publications in numerous academic outlets and has won research, teaching, and mentoring awards. In 2016, Dr. Dickinson was awarded the Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholar Fellowship, where she conducted research about how business schools manage diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Dickinson has experience in corporate, nonprofit, business, government, and academic environments, and she has international experience working and living in Japan, China, and the Netherlands.

There currently are no scheduled offerings of this course.


For all registration questions, resetting passwords, or login issues please contact:

Dale Zuckert

Assistant Registrar
For questions regarding course details, including location, schedule, materials, and continuing education credits, please contact:

Jennifer Fulton

Program Manager, Management, Administration, and Leadership Group
Teaching Assistant Professor, Center for Public Leadership and Governance