Yale offering DEI course for business leaders, as number of DEI jobs falls

The three-week course will focus, among other things, on ‘[a]ddressing known and unknown barriers to building inclusive and diverse teams.’

Multiple other universities have started offering DEI courses in business programs in the past few years.

The Yale School of Management is offering a “Fostering Inclusion and Diversity” three-week online course geared for business leaders that is set to begin on April 22.

The course, which is “designed for Managers, Directors, and Vice Presidents who aim to drive business outcomes through understanding, building, and nurturing inclusive and diverse organizations,” is focused on “identifying and building key conceptual models leaders can apply to their organization dynamically. These models include: unconscious biases, promoting behavioral change, redefining leadership, recognition of dimensions of diversity, and reinforcing patterns of (dis)engagement,” said Yale. 

One business leader praised the program, saying: “While we all know intuitively I&D are important in any organization, many of us are clueless to begin with in terms of a toolkit to use. This program shows us the path which will help us move the needle in terms of navigating from conscious incompetence to the next level and hopefully beyond,” as seen on the program page. 

[RELATED: Students learn to infuse DEI into academic work at ‘Me/We Social Justice in Writing and Research’ seminars]

The program’s “key takeaways” include “[d]efining, understanding, and leveraging different types of diversity to increase business outcomes,” and “[a]ddressing known and unknown barriers to building inclusive and diverse teams, such as making the business case and combating unconscious bias,” according to the course page. 

In recent years, several universities have launched Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs and courses targeted to potential business leaders. 

In 2021, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business announced several DEI efforts at the school conducted in 2020, including an “MBA course in the fall semester on Inclusion and Innovation, which was designed to help students understand and practice inclusive management skills that will enable them to effectively identify and develop high-impact, data-driven innovations for and with an increasingly diverse world.”

In 2023, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School unveiled a new MBA DEI major that “prepares students to face the challenges involved in creating and maintaining organizations that are diverse, inclusive, and rooted in equity.”

[RELATED: Arizona State prof sues school for mandatory anti-white DEI training]

The Howard University School of Business offers a “Strategic DEI Leadership Program” that “addresses the emerging best practices and the latest research in leading effective DEI organizational initiatives.”

Certain corporations have been scaling back DEI efforts. DEI jobs dropped by 8 percent as of February 2024, and companies such as Zoom, Meta, Doordash, and Home Depot have either gotten rid of or drastically reduced their DEI teams, as reported by The Washington Post
DEI initiatives in colleges and universities have also faced opposition, with several states recently moving toward bans on DEI in higher education institutions.

Campus Reform has reached out to Yale University for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.