Advancing Inclusion:
Fostering Innovation, and a Happier and Healthier Workplace


This dynamic and interactive program described below lays the groundwork for fostering a truly inclusive workplace—that not only produces innovation, but results in happier and healthier teams. This full-day session offers practical learning and tools around Inclusive Leadership, Disrupting Unconscious Bias, Intercultural Essentials, and How to Be an Ally. This is an excellent opportunity for all staff to identify where they are on the journey towards inclusive excellence, and contribute to an organization’s goal of being one of the best places to work, for all.

The following modules and sequence have been adjusted to reflect the feedback collected from the pilots run through 2018 in tech companies, financial institution, and legal firms. If you have a specific question around diversity and inclusion, please feel free to use the form at the bottom of this page, or send me an email at

10-minute breaks will be provided between each module.


Session A: 
Inclusion Literacy & Six C-Traits for Inclusive and Healthy Workplaces
8:30 AM to 10:00 AM (90 minutes)

Inclusive workplaces are promised to be the heart of innovation and are the key to optimizing the health and well-being of employees. The capacity for leaders and colleagues to model inclusive attitudes, language and behaviours is the litmus test of the collective commitment to empowering each other to be and perform our best. Failure to demonstrate inclusivity at work drives people away, harbours discrimination, normalizes inequity and has a direct impact on the mental health of our workplace.

In this opening session, participants will examine the different kinds of diversity in the workplace, the Diversity Business Case for a more inclusive workplace, and using the Diversity Change Curve also explore the organizational stage-by-stage process towards fostering a work environment where people with profound differences thrive. Participants will determine where they are in the D&I journey and what diversity business case benefits are most relevant to your organization. 

This module explores the most recent report by Deloitte on when employees feel included, provides a research-based framework around the key traits for inclusive leadership, and further examines differences in what various employee groups perceive as inclusive leadership behaviours. 


Session B:
Confronting Unconscious Bias in the Workplace
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (90 minutes)

All company staff are faced with the critical responsibility of acknowledging and disrupting bias. This session establishes a foundational understanding of how bias affects decision-making and explores the impact of three kinds of bias that impact selection processes: implicit or unconscious bias, cultural bias and systems bias.

With a specific focus on bringing awareness to and disrupting unconscious and cultural bias in the selection process of new hires, this session will provide an understanding of how biases are formed in our unconscious, and specifically addresses the following kinds of unconscious bias that affect recruitment:

  • Affinity bias;

  • Confirmation bias;

  • Social comparison bias; and

  • Attribution error.

Gender Biases:

  • Maternal bias;

  • Competency/Likability trade-off bias;

  • Performance attribution bias

This session will also discuss strategies for recognizing and disrupting the unconscious and cultural bias which tend to occur during the recruitment and interviewing process.

Please see the following link for the pre-work instructions:

+ For more information see Unconscious Bias Workshops

Session C:
Intro to Intercultural Fluency & Confronting Cultural Bias
11:30 AM to 12:00 PM; 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM (90 minutes)

This engaging and interactive session provides a frank conversation about the complex difficulties of leading more diverse and inclusive organizations and/or teams, the intercultural afterthought, and what is required to convert a team’s diversity into innovation. This module covers:

  • The impact of cultural differences

  • The stages of personal change that must occur to formalize an intercultural mindset

  • Developing Intercultural Fluency

  • Whose responsibility is it to adapt?

  • Overcoming the fear of saying the wrong thing

This module will also examine the idea of a colleague sense of “fit” and the related points of cultural conflict in a diverse team. An adaptation of the Bennett Scale (also called the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity) will be presented. The Intercultural Fluency Model will be introduced and participants will be invited to identify area of future development.

Related Resources:

  • Preparing the Workplace for successfully hiring and on-boarding internationally trained professionals (DIVERSEcity)


Options for Session D:

The following module is chosen by the client, depending on their particular need:

Option 1: 
What Does it Mean to be an Ally?
2:00 PM to 3:15 PM (90 minutes)

This module brings together all the preceding learning and makes it applicable and practical, by introducing what it means to be an active bystander (as opposed to being a passive bystander), and the key five traits of an ally. This module will also provide strategies around disrupting non-inclusive behaviour and language. This module can be expanded to include an introduction to Active Bystander Training, which provides strategies on disrupting non-inclusive behaviour and language.

Option 2: 
Practical Tools for Suspending Judgement
(60 minutes)

Building upon the preceding modules on intercultural leadership, this session delivers an introduction to practical tools for suspending judgement in cross-cultural interactions and provides specific strategies for improving cross-cultural communication. Participants will then have an opportunity to practice using these tools with case scenarios.

Option 3:
Confronting Systemic Bias: If they’re good, they’ll get in. Or will they?

This workshop is an extension of the preceding session on unconscious bias, focused on analyzing the pathway through various stages of recruitment and professional advancement and their impact on the successful hiring and retention of culturally different recruits. This activity-driven session brings together the previous content around cultural differences and implicit bias, and examines the assumed benefits and potential hazards of self-identifying as a minority, visible or otherwise.

Option 4:
Building the Capacity for Courageous Conversations

Advanced levels of equity, inclusion and intercultural fluency within an organization requires difficult conversations about high-risk topics. The aspirations for inclusion are ultimately limited by the individual and organizational capacity to have difficult conversations about race, gender equity, cultural differences, privilege and power.  This segment is focused on the fundamentals to building the capacity within organizations to have more meaningful dialogue.

This session can be substituted with the facilitation of an actual courageous conversation about the implications of an effort towards inclusive excellence.

Option 5:
How to Be an Active Bystander
(90 minutes)

This module aims to empower participants to be active bystanders as members of the community: allies who are prepared to respond and disrupt the impact of non-inclusive language and behavior. By refusing to be passive observers, active bystanders create safer environments in the workplace and in the community at large.

The session will also provide specific strategies for confronting peers, including:

  • How to overcome fear of retaliation or embarrassment;

  • Questions to ask when considering intervention;

  • Reframing intervention as personal, caring, or non-critical;

  • Group intervention after repeated patterns of inappropriate behaviour.


Session E: 
What? So What? Now What?
(15 to 45 minutes)

The closing workshop is a space for attendees to ask questions, digest and self-reflect on what they have learned or discovered through the day, and what impact this might have on their aspirations as well-intentioned leaders in their organization. It will also provide space for honest dialogue and reflection on how leaders can further develop the courage and commitment to lead inclusively, disrupt exclusion and most effectively be an ally to women, people with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, people of colour, and LGBTQ2S+ employees. 


Session F: 
Implications of Being a Male Manager
(60-minutes; Conversational)

For male dominant workplace and industries, the following conversation provides a space for male managers to reflect on the previous material, and engage in courageous conversations about power dynamics, gender dynamics and what impact the pursuit of diversity and inclusion (and Radical Candour, clear leadership, sexual harassment training and conversations about #MeToo) have had, and will continue to have, on male managers. This facilitated conversation will explore:

  • How to navigate the perception of male feedback to women;

  • What does it mean to treat everyone with respect, across gender and cultures?

  • What happens when the personality traits of staff don’t align with corporate culture?

  • How to have robust conversations, while holding respectfulness; and

  • The implications of being in a position of power in the workplace.

For more information about EDI training for men, please see NAVIGATING MALE LEADERSHIP: INTENT vs. IMPACT WORKSHOP FOR MEN


Advance Questions

If you have a pressing intercultural challenge or diversity and inclusion question, please feel free to use the form below (names and contact information is optional):