The Diversity Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Governance Academy
An innovative and transformative approach to governance

Strategies, competencies and confidence to advance DEI in governance and to move your board and senior management from aspirational to transformational change.

Join the thousands of professionals who have worked with us and enroll your board and senior management in the DEI Governance Academy now. 

Over the years, there have been efforts to increase the representation and inclusion of Indigenous and equality-deserving candidates in governance. Initiatives such as the 50-30 Challenge, the BlackNorth Initiative, as well as those related to ESG address the advancement of these priority groups on Canadian boards and in senior management roles. 

 

However, concerns exist over the slow pace of change. Organizations are not making the progress they have committed to undertaking, in large part because they do not know how.  

There is also a perception that increasing diversity within organizations will naturally lead to equality and inclusion.

 

Boards are struggling with understanding their governance roles and responsibilities to advance DEI and how to ensure DEI is integrated into the organization’s vision, mission, values and operations. 

AdobeStock_530513453.jpeg

While boards may succeed in recruiting diverse candidates, they may not be cultivating an environment where board members experience full participation, inclusion and belonging. These experiences of exclusion lead board members to resign, sometimes publicly, which exposes the board and the organization to legal and reputational risk, among other forms of risk. 

We have heard from board members and senior leaders about what is holding them back from making meaningful and measurable change.

Can you relate to any of the following?

“I feel I don’t have the lived experience to support diversity, equality and inclusion.”

“I believe that I’ve taken steps to implement our board's diversity and inclusion policy, but staff and senior management feel these initiatives are not enough.”

“I am very uncomfortable talking to board members and senior management about race and racism, and often don’t know what to say. I’m afraid I may say something wrong or inappropriate.”

“I don’t know how to respond to resistance from some of my board colleagues and senior management, and even some staff.”

“Our board needs more effective ways to monitor progress of our initiatives.”

“We need more guidance on how to work effectively with with the communities we serve.”

The DEI Governance Academy represents a modern approach to governance, one that centers DEI as integral to how boards govern, management leads, and organizations function. We have developed a signature model of organizational change to advance systemic diversity, equality and inclusion. We know that boards perform better when they are comprised of members that represent diverse, intersectional identities and whose input is valued and informs decision-making. The DEI Governance Academy works with boards and senior management who want to embed DEI into all aspects of governance, want to strengthen and nurture relationships with their stakeholders and the communities they serve. When DEI is foundational to governance, boards and senior management are positioned to positively impact organizational performance.  

​Not only will you have the strategies, competencies and confidence to apply a DEI approach to governance, you will have tangible resources and tools to:​

  • Advance the recruitment and retention of equality-deserving candidates. 

  • Strengthen relationships with equality-deserving people and communities and develop effective approaches to community engagement.

  • Hold the board and senior management accountable to advance diversity, equality, and inclusion.

  • Lead courageous conversations about race and racism without feeling like it is impossible. 

  • Monitor and evaluate progress and improve engagement and belonging.

THE DEI GOVERNANCE  ACADEMY

The DEI Governance Academy is a three-phased program designed for the over-scheduled but committed board members and senior leaders who envision an EDI approach to governance that is proactive, innovative and transformative. 

Learning Modules 

Foundational and advanced modules to develop awareness and knowledge of DEI approaches to governance.

Action Planning Sessions 

Devise practical approaches, tools and strategies to embed DEI across governance and to support organization-wide systemic change.

Community of Practice 

A peer support system where board members and senior management can engage in honest and meaningful conversations to advance diversity, equality and inclusion.

 

PHASE 1: LEARNING MODULES

 

The learning modules are designed for boards and senior management to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of diversity, equality and inclusion. The foundational modules to introduce key concepts around racism and other forms of inequality and how they manifest within governance, organizations, and society at large. The foundational sessions are followed by topic-specific modules to deepen knowledge about diversity, equality and inclusion in governance.

Result you can expect:

 

  • Deeper awareness of the systemic barriers that impede diversity, equality and inclusion and the impact on Indigenous and equality-deserving people and communities.

  • Strategies to embed diversity, equality and inclusion across governance and to champion DEI efforts as a board member and senior leader.

  • Strategies to track progress and measure the impact of your actions.

FOUNDATIONAL MODULES 

 

DEI GOVERNANCE
FOUNDATIONAL MODULE 

1

In this module, participants examine core concepts and terminology related to race and racism, equality and inclusion. Participants explore the dimensions of social identity using an intersectional approach to understand how systemic racism is manifested in governance. Participants deconstruct racism by challenging traditional concepts of race and racism, including the evasion of race. They examine the impact of racism on Indigenous, Black and other racialized individuals and communities, with a focus on racism in governance. At the end of the module, participants should have a deeper understanding of terminology related to race, and how systemic racism is a barrier to advancing DEI in governance.

DEI GOVERNANCE
FOUNDATIONAL MODULE 

2

In the second module, participants examine an organizational model of change to advance DEI. Through interactive discussions and activities, participants explore strategies to integrate DEI into governance structures, and senior management teams in an effort to advance organizational change. At the end of the module, participants should have a deeper understanding of DEI in governance and strategies to identify and respond to systemic barriers Indigenous and equality-deserving people face on the board and the organization at large.

ADVANCED MODULES 

DEI Board Succession Planning 
 

In this module, participants discuss strategic approaches to recruit and retain equity-deserving candidates for board positions. Participants first begin by exploring what diversity, equality, and inclusion mean in terms of board success planning. They identify barriers (real and perceived) to recruitment for equity-deserving groups and examine strategies to ensure full participation, inclusion and retention of board members. Participants exploreexplores inclusive and anti-racist strategies for outreach, nomination committees and interviews, and to identify and address problems with retention. Participants will also learn promising approaches for tracking progress. This facilitated discussion is tailored to the specific needs of the organization. In advance of the session, participants will have an opportunity to submit questions which will be addressed throughout the facilitated discussion.

Leading Courageous Conversations about Race and Racism

In this module, participants learn strategies to lead meaningful dialogue with board colleagues and senior leaders about race and racism. Conversations will explore how racism negatively impacts the well-being of employees and also how it negatively affects the organization’s desired outcomes. Participants learn to approach these conversations with an awareness of how these discussions can adversely impact Indigenous, Black and other racialized people and how those who also identify as women, disabled or queer experience additional adverse impacts. Through interactive discussions and activities, participants learn how to develop shared values to engage in courageous conversations, approaches to mindful listening and strategies to respond “in the moment”. At the end of the session, participants will have an awareness of how to approach and facilitate conversations about race and racism at the board level, identify barriers to holding these conversations as well as opportunities for having these conversations.

Strengthening Board Relationships to Advance DEI

While boards and senior management may be committed to DEI, there may be a tendency for them to work in silos. Boards may not have the necessary information about challenges and opportunities to DEI affecting the organization. Consequently, they may not always be aligned with senior management over how to integrate DEI across the organization. In this module, we explore how to strengthen the relationship between the Board and senior management to achieve an organization-wide approach to DEI. We examine strategic planning, board committees and performance evaluation as effective processes and mechanisms to collaborate, communicate expectations, and to establish commitment on DEI. We discuss the Chair’s role in guiding norms and expectations on board operations. As the steward of board culture, the Chair plays an integral role in setting the tone and leading engagement on DEI. At the end of the session, participants should have an understanding of effective ways to strengthen the relationship between the board and senior management on DEI. They will have tools and strategies to foster collaboration and ongoing communication to advance the organization’s commitment to DEI.

Disrupting Systemic Racism in Governance

In this module, participants will engage in a deeper examination of systemic racism and its socio-historical development in Canada. The session examines how systemic racism is normalized within institutions, with a focus on governance. Participants explore the forms of systemic racism and the impact on Indigenous, Black and other racialized people and communities. Participants will also discuss how systemic racism undermines corporate social responsibility. Through interactive activities, participants learn how racism is embedded in organizational culture and policies, the direct and indirect impacts of systemic racism and evidence-based practices for improving organizational culture. Participants examine anti-racism as an intentional and proactive approach to address institutional and structural barriers. At the end of this module, participants should understand how systemic racism manifests within society, organizations and within governance; and how boards and senior management can advance racial equity across the organization.

DEI GOVERNANCE
COMPLETE MODUELS PACKAGES 

Complete Modules Package: All Six Modules (Virtual)

Package includes the Foundational Modules 1 and 2 and all four topic-specific modules.

Group Sessions
(In-Person or Virtual)

 

We offer in-person and virtual modules for large groups (e.g. for the entire board). For more information please contact us directly.

PHASE 2:

ACTION PLANNING SESSIONS

 

In the Action Planning Sessions, board members and senior management put theory into practice. Over four sessions (3 hours each), participant devise practical approaches, tools and strategies to embed DEI across governance: 

 

  • Apply our signature model of organizational change to advance DEI as a board and across the senior management team. 

  • A guided approach to embed DEI throughout the board lifecycle, including succession planning, performance evaluation and strategic planning. 

  • Approaches to strengthen relationships and communication between the board and senior management in order to foster systemic change across the organization. 

  • A change management model to respond to potential resistance with an aim to encourage awareness and understanding amongst board, senior management and stakeholders. 

  • Strategies to lead courageous conversations about race and to challenge racism without feeling like it is impossible.

  • Methods to build and nurture relationships with equality-deserving employees, networks and communities.

  • Methods to track progress and measure the impact of DEI initiatives. 


Participants will have the flexibility to join multiple sessions to accommodate their busy schedule. We offer bilingual, small group sessions of up to ten participants in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid environment.
 

PHASE 3:

COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE

 

The Community of Practice consists of like-minded leaders who are committed to learning, strategizing, and collaborating on issues related to diversity, equality and inclusion in governance. 

Board members and senior leaders bring their perspectives and experience to inform emerging and ongoing issues within their organizations and across governance. They exchange ideas, experiences and share practical and conceptual approaches to identify and address systemic barriers for Indigenous and equality-deserving people and communities.

 

As part of the Community of Practice, board members and senior leaders will have the opportunity to participate in “Ask Me Anything” sessions. These sessions address issues participants may not feel comfortable raising within their organizations.

The Community of Practice represents a peer support system where board members and senior management can engage in honest and meaningful conversations to advance diversity, equality and inclusion. 

Results you can expect: 

Learn how other leaders are successfully advancing anti-racism, equity and inclusion. 

Strategies to collaboratively work with your peers towards a common goal.
 

PURCHASE THE ENTIRE DEI GOVERNANCE ACADEMY

Complete Modules Package: All Six Modules (Virtual)

Contact us to purchase the complete DEI Governance Academy:

Phase 1: Learning Modules
Phase 2: Action Planning Sessions
Phase 3: Community of Practice

Program Highlights

  • Foundational sessions followed by in-depth modules

  • In-person and virtual sessions with multiple dates

  • Customized professional development for board retreats

  • Self-reflection learning guide, interactive activities and group discussions

  • Join thousands of professionals across Canada who have completed our professional development programs

  • Registration available for individual board members, entire boards, and senior management teams  

Designed for:

  • Board members and senior management 

  • Organizations that have signed onto the 50-30 Challenge, the BlackNorth Initiative and the Catalyst Accord 2022

  • Federal government leaders who are implementing the Clerk’s Call to Action

  • Boards and senior leaders who are committed to advancing organizational-wide diversity, equality and inclusion

A Word From Our Clients

Mante Molepo is an exceptional leader, deeply and personally committed to the practice of equity and anti-racism. She is bold, solution-driven and holds in-depth understanding of how oppression and racism manifest in organizational settings. She leads with integrity and care, always centering perspectives at the margins and leaves no-one behind in her pursuit of equitable work spaces.

Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

Mante Molepo skilfully delivered the Anti-Racism Training Program to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) executives. She is engaging and very knowledgeable of all aspects of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Feedback received from participants is very positive. This training was instrumental in our journey to eliminate systemic racism in our workplace. I highly recommend Mante.

Natacha Prudent, Director General,

Canada Border Services Agency

When I was planning a Women in Leadership conference and wanted to profile a woman whose leadership has been particularly impactful I chose Mante.  Her perspective and passion for leadership in areas of diversity and inclusion are authentic and informative in ways that so many others could never advance. Her professional and articulate manner of addressing important sensitive issues add to the relevance and sincerity of her message.

Katherine Cooligan, Partner

Borden Ladner Gervais

Mante is a dynamic, engaging Facilitator whose use of storytelling is truly impactful. Her lived experience in addressing racism and her background in governance provided an enriched, and meaningful day of learning for all participants. We are looking forward to continuing our work with Mante. 

Cheryl Hodder, KC, ICD.D
CEO, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society

Mante brings a vast experience and deep insights into guiding a delicate and important conversation on inclusiveness and anti-racism. Her sessions opened our eyes, provoked introspection, and challenged us to commit to building a better workplace – for ourselves and for our organization. 

Marine Policy, Transport Canada

7B9A6624_websize.jpg

A WORD ABOUT MANTE

I began my career as a lawyer, practicing international trade law. I worked on the negotiation of some of Canada’s most ambitious free trade agreements. In my career, I advised on issues related to public health, the environment and international labour, with a focus on business and human rights. I have been fascinated with how companies and non-profits can produce goods and services that reflect their consumers and the communities they serve. At the governance level, boards and senior management that represent diverse, intersectional identities are more creative, inclusive and innovative. They perform better and remain more competitive. While organizations have focused on DEI as a workplace issue, I believe DEI also belongs at the board table, and should inform all aspects of governance. I am a Governor for the Ottawa Hospital and an elected member of the Ontario Bar Association. I am a founding member and former co-chair of Parents for Diversity, an organization committed to equitable and inclusive education. As a Director for Amnesty International Canada, the Parkdale Food Centre and EcoEquitable, I have advanced issues around diversity, equality and inclusion in governance. My legal background, my lived experience, and my passion for governance have equipped me with personal and professional insight to address unique problems, and to offer practical advice and strategies to boards and senior management. As a change management practitioner, I use The Prosci ADKAR® Model to support clients to cultivate organization-wide, systemic change.

Move from aspirational to transformational change.
Join the thousands of professionals who have worked with us and enroll your board and senior management in the

DEI Governance Academy now.