Executive Education
Advancing Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in the Workplace

group of professionals standing around table meeting


In 2020, two crises emerged into national and global prominence—the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil unrest following the George Floyd murder. Both exposed many of the inequities in our society, and corporate leaders found themselves under significant pressure to publicly commit to tackling systemic bias, particularly within the workplace. From adding chief diversity officers and creating affinity groups to increasing community outreach and developing diversity performance metrics, many companies have started strong in their entities’ DEI journey. However, many are now discovering that these actions are just that, a strong start. To date, the gains of these corporate efforts have been mixed. This is because advancing DEI within an organization also requires learning to value the experiences of colleagues with different backgrounds and viewpoints, making room for their colleagues to bring the fullness of their lived experiences into the workplace, and offering the right resources for them to thrive. Specifically, companies are coming to realize that championing equity and embracing inclusion is the hard work of DEI. 

According to a recent Kantar report, a lack of diversity, equity and inclusion could be costing businesses $5.4 trillion. A commitment to equity, inclusion and belonging in the workplace enables organizations to foster inclusivity and attract, motivate and recognize exceptional individuals. This environment cultivates innovation and creates a culture where every person feels there is an equal opportunity to fit in and build a career. Through evidence-based research and contemporary practices from companies making DEI strides, participants will gain actionable strategies for successfully advancing DEI within their organizations. 

Program Details

Program Dates

September 21-22, 2023


Registration Deadline

September 7, 2023

Delivery Method Two full days, on campus

$2,350 per participant 

Promotions and Available Discounts

  • Save $100 by registering by August 21, 2023, use code EARLYBIRD23DEI
  • Discounts are available for Ohio State University employees, OSUWMC employees, Veterans, employees from non-profit organizations and organizations who send 3 or more employees.  For more information about discounts please contact Meredith Conder at conder.11@osu.edu.
Prospective Participant Profile

This program is valuable for...

  • Executives and professionals in senior leadership positions who define and cultivate the desired culture
  • Managers and team leaders who mentor and coach fellow colleagues on projects and assignments
  • HR professionals who play a critical role in shaping the employee experience
  • Professionals who work in teams to complete work assignments and achieve organizational goals
  • Professionals who serve in administrative and technical roles that support their colleagues in achieving organizational goals
Program Schedule

Download Program Schedule

Course Takeaways

  • Open/Close At the conclusion of the program you will be able to...
    • Explain the value of an inclusive workplace culture
    • Articulate the business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • More readily recognize and identify bias and prejudice in the workplace
    • Better facilitate dialog around bias
    • Be a better ally and advocate for one’s colleagues with different backgrounds and experiences
    • Identify ways to improve one’s workplace culture and increase employee engagement
    • Better position one’s organization to attract and retain top diverse talent

What You Will EarnExample certificate of completion

Once you successfully complete the program, you will be eligible to receive a certificate of completion from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. You may proudly display this certificate in your office or home to showcase your accomplishment. You may also add this certificate to the licenses and certifications section of your LinkedIn profile. This will allow you to showcase your newly acquired experience to your network and stand out in your field.

We also value your commitment to learning, and as a token of appreciation, we offer a 10% discount on future topic-based programs you wish to pursue through Executive Education at Fisher College of Business. We believe that learning is a lifelong journey, and we are proud to be a part of yours.

  • Value for Individual
    • Understand what it means to be an inclusive leader
    • Understand the history of systemic bias in the workplace and its present impact
    • Recognize and address individual biases and prejudices in the workplace (including one’s own)
    • Understand how to be a better colleague to peers with different backgrounds and experiences
    • Develop new skills in facilitating difficult conversations
  • Value for Company
    • Understand and address institutional patterns that lead to disparities in workplace culture
    • Enhance inclusive excellence within the organization
    • Increase employee engagement
    • Reduce occurrences of workplace harassment
    • Gain a competitive edge in attracting top diverse talent

Our Faculty

  • Open/Close Melanie Berman, Chief Human Resources Officer, NiSource

    Melanie BermanMelanie is Chief Human Resources Officer with NiSource (NASDAQ: NI), one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across six states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands.

    Melanie’s experience ranges from Fortune 50 organizations to small, private-equity-owned companies. Prior to NiSource, Melanie served as CHRO for The Michaels Companies, a $5 billion revenue public company, also backed by Bain Capital.  Before this, Melanie served as CHRO for a new, $2 billion division of Anthem, where she established the leadership structure and recruited the CFO, CIO, CGO, COO, and P&L leaders and created the cross-functional oversight and business processes for the new entity. She also led HR due diligence and integration planning for the acquisition of a $2 billion behavior health organization, Beacon Health. 

    Previously, Melanie served as CHRO of privately held BakerCorp, where she designed and implemented programs to create a pay-for-performance culture and redesigned the HR function network, reducing the HR budget 30+% while building a more knowledgeable and engaged HR workforce.

    Melanie also has served in executive roles with Global Power, the Alcon division of Novartis, and Celanese Corporation, where she developed human capital strategy, recruited C-level talent, and led the people integration for multiple acquisitions.

    Melanie has an MS in Industrial Organization Psychology from Baruch College, City University of New York, and a BA in Psychology from State University of New York at Albany.

  • Open/Close Lori Kendall, Senior Lecturer & Academic Director, Full-Time MBA, Fisher College of Business

    Lori Kendall HeadshotDr. Kendall has over 30 years as a serial entrepreneur and technology executive for venture-backed and publicly traded firms in B2B software, hardware, and networking. She has held VP and senior leadership responsibilities for new product development, portfolio management, and cloud services. She concurrently serves as faculty at The Ohio State University and is an operating partner at Orchid Black.

    At Ohio State, Dr. Kendall teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in entrepreneurship, leadership & professional development, experiential learning immersion, and strategy & innovation. At Orchid Black, she advises early-stage and mid-stage firms on strategy, growth, and innovation. Previously Dr. Kendall held executive leadership positions for voice and video communications and contact center industry leaders and co-founded several firms, including a multiple award-winning call center technology company acquired by Cisco Systems in 2015.

    Dr. Kendall's consulting and research centers on entrepreneurial ventures and intrapreneurship within established firms. She is a mixed-methods researcher focused on micro and meso-level relational dynamics that affect organizational sensemaking under uncertainty, which subsequently impacts innovation and firm growth. Her dominant theoretical approaches are from 1) organizational ambidexterity, 2) sensemaking and managerial cognition, and 3) relational practice. Her publications include works on entrepreneurial cognition, relational dynamics influencing contextual ambidexterity, and mental model shifts driving paradigm change with social benefit firms. She was the 2021 Recipient of the Fisher College of Business Pace Setters Daniel Westerbeck Graduate Teaching Excellence Award.

    Formerly a Distinguished Fellow at the Weatherhead Fowler Center, she led researchers on behalf of the Goi Peace Foundation to show performative shifts in the evolution from shareholder models toward becoming positive impact firms.

  • Open/Close Christopher Metzler, Chairman of The Lead Fund

    Christopher Metzler headshotChristopher J. Metzler, PhD, JD, MA, LLM, is Chair of The Lead Fund and is a widely cited and critically acclaimed DEI and ESG expert and academic leader with expertise in educational program development. He created the first DEI certification in the U.S. at Cornell University, ILR School University and pioneered diversity work by founding the nation’s first Chief Diversity Competency Models. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in International Legal Philosophy.

    His key accomplishments include:

    • Serving as SVP, DEI & ESG at The National Urban League
    • Serving as Senior Associate Dean at Georgetown University leading to the creation of seven (7) new master’s degrees
    • Serving as a key advisor for The Qatar World Cup and London Olympics on DEI and ESG issues
    • Serving as a fellow at Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine
    • Faculty at: Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine, Bellarmine University, Guilford College, Georgetown University, Cornell University, and others
    • Created Diversity certificates at: Thomas Jefferson University, AAMC, Institute for Diversity in Health Management of American Hospital Health Association
    • Created the first Virtual Reality course in Supplier Diversity in The United States
  • Open/Close Kimberly Lee Minor, CEO, Bumbershoot LLC

    Kimberly Lee Minor headshotKimberly serves as CEO of Bumbershoot LLC and on the MPS Retail Design Advisory Board. An award-winning executive with an impeccable record of building brands, finding the uncut diamonds, and creating product-based stories. Lee-Minor is a customer-focused brand advocate and marketer with expertise in building seamless, cross-functional life cycle product processes, digital to brick and mortar customer experiences, as well as recruitment, engagement, and retention enhancements.

    She leveraged her years of leadership experience to create her company, Bumbershoot, a boutique consulting firm that provides cultural and market insights to help business leaders strategically reposition their cultures for collaboration and inclusivity to provide a welcoming and empowering community for career acceleration of women and people of color; creates content and builds networks for support, enrichment and promotion of niche communities.

    Her international professional experience spans from Footlocker Global, Inc, to Brand President of London Fog and Joe Boxer to Lbrands, where she led the $2B Home business.   She is currently CEO of Bumbershoot, LLC, a boutique firm that provides cultural and market insights for inclusive, equitable, and diverse representation across brand, content and customer experience. 

    Kimberly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and an Executive Certificate in Leadership and Management from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. She is a currently enrolled in Inclusive Leadership program at Stanford University. 

  • Open/Close Todd Suddeth, Senior Instructor, John Glenn College of Public Affairs

    Todd SuddethDr. Suddeth is a Senior Instructor for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Previously, he served as the Executive Director for the Student Life Multicultural Center and Liaison for DACA Students in the Office Student Life and in multiple leadership and administrative roles in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for The Ohio State University. 

    In addition, Dr. Suddeth provides training on cultural competence, leadership, and professional development.  He has also provided consultation to higher education institutions with a specific emphasis on cultural centers and student engagement.   Dr. Suddeth has a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Akron, a master's degree in Public Affairs and a doctoral degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs at The Ohio State University.

  • Open/Close Cynthia Turner, Assistant Dean and Chief Diversity Officer, Fisher College of Business

    cynthia turner headshotCynthia W. Turner serves on the leadership team at Fisher as the assistant dean and chief diversity officer and has become a widely sought-after facilitator and guest speaker on the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion.

    After joining Fisher in 2013 as a senior lecturer of accounting, she developed the award-winning Project THRIVE program, a diversity initiative designed to increase representation within the undergraduate accounting and management information systems department. In 2018, she was honored with Ohio State’s Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award for her success in doubling the diversity within the undergraduate program in two short years.

    Since taking on the position as assistant dean and chief diversity officer at Fisher in 2019, Cynthia’s strategic efforts have helped double external funding for scholarships and DEI initiatives; facilitating the development of a formal partnership with the city of Columbus to support pre-collegiate programming for its economically disadvantaged and first-generation high school students; developing programming to engage Fisher’s diverse alumni, including the Alumni of Color Network Weekend and the Women’s Leadership Symposium; and creating a new DEI course offering at Fisher.

    Read more.

  • Open/Close Andreá Williams, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University Department of English

    Andrea Williams headshotAndreá N. Williams specializes in African American literature and nineteenth-century U.S. literature. Her first book, Dividing Lines: Class Anxiety and Postbellum Black Fiction (2013), examines the black middle class and class inequality in African American literature between the Civil War and Harlem Renaissance. Her research interests also address black periodicals and print culture, labor and class studies, life writing and auto/biographical studies, and U.S. women writers. She is currently at work on a cultural study of singleness and unmarried African American women in the first half of the twentieth century. She regularly teaches courses such as “All the Single Ladies,” “Labor, Class and U.S. Literature” and “Growing Up Black: African American Coming-of-Age Narratives.” She has won awards for teaching and leadership at Ohio State, as well as national research fellowships and grants from Rutgers University, the National Humanities Center and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Cancellation and Transfer Policy

  • Open/Close Cancellation and Transfer Policy

    All cancellations and transfers must be received in writing. Submit your request via email to Jennie McAndrew at mcandrew.28@osu.edu with the name of the program, followed by “cancellation” or “transfer” in the subject line.

    • Cancellations must be made at least thirty (30) days prior to the first day of the program in order to be eligible for a full refund.
    • Cancellations must be made at least fourteen (14) days prior to the first day of the program in order to be eligible for a 50% refund.
    • Any cancellations made less than fourteen (14) days prior to the first day of the program will forfeit the registration fee.
    • If you for any reason are unable to attend the program, please consider sending someone in your place. Participants can transfer their registration to someone else within their organization at no charge up to 24 hours before the first day of the program.
Contact Us

Jennie McAndrew
Education Program Senior Specialist, Executive Education