More than 110,00 register for free "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion" Certificate Program
By Rich Shopes
TAMPA (March 22, 2021) -- The University of South Florida Muma College of Business’ online certificate program about workplace diversity is sparking interest worldwide with more than 110,000 registrants – from corporate executives and small business owners to educational leaders and others – signed up for the seven-week course.
The program, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace, starts this week and runs through May 5. It was created in partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jabil to provide business and community leaders with tools to increase employee diversity and create a sustainable business model that embraces equity and inclusion.
“That is an impressive number, but I don’t think it’s surprising that so many people have signed up, given what is happening in our country and across the world with regard to diversity, equity and inclusion issues,” said Alexis Mootoo, assistant vice president in USF’s Office of Student Success. “It’s very exciting and encouraging that so many people have signed up for this program, indicating there is strong desire to be part of the solution with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
The registrants represent 15 countries, including the United States, which leads all nations with the most online registrations. The program was offered at no cost and consists of seven two-hour modules. Those who complete the program will receive a digital certificate and Credly badge to display on LinkedIn.
Moez Limayem, Lynn Pippinger Dean of the Muma College of Business, and leaders from Jabil and the Tampa Bay Lightning endorsed a framework for the program and recruited guest speakers for each module.
Muma faculty and other experts in the field lead the modules, which show how workforces of differing races, religions, ages, genders and sexual orientations, and persons with disabilities, can help companies develop novel business practices, increase revenue and improve productivity.
While well suited for C-suite executives and human resources professionals, the program was designed as well for business managers and community and educational leaders. Among the program’s attendees are about 400 faculty and administrators from universities and colleges worldwide.
The modules are organized to guide participants through a range of lesson plans to enhance their emotional intelligence and understanding of bias, including bias within themselves. They also urge companies to include diversity, equity and inclusion in their action plans as well as long-term objectives. Participants are taught to perform organizational assessments and create detailed plans that focus on inclusive change.
“Transformational change cannot happen within the workplace until business leaders and employees at all levels understand and acknowledge their own unintentional biases,” Mootoo said. “Once that occurs, the work can begin to create a workplace where employees of every race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age and disability are respected and encouraged to contribute and build a sustainable, innovative and profitable workplace.”