Breaking Down Barriers for a More Diverse Workplace

Women Working Together

What can we do to create a more diverse workforce?

That is the exact question being answered by a collaboration between the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and Babson Executive Education in their All in for Advancement corporate program.

Breaking Down Barriers

The program is a result of a yearlong planning exercise with the Chamber staff, the Chamber’s Women’s Network, and Babson College, and is sponsored by Comcast and Workhuman. Its goal is to build a culture of inclusive leadership where women can succeed in the workplace, while also creating more opportunities and equitable representation for women on boards and in the C-suite.

Inclusive leadership is needed to truly reimagine how to change an organization from within. Companies that are truly inclusive have been proven to be better at innovation, gain more market share, are more competitive in the hunt for top talent, and outperform less diverse competitors.

The Program

Since it debuted in early 2019, notable companies including Comcast, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Foley Hoag, Google, JLL, Putnam Investments, PwC, Rapid7, Tufts Health Plan, and Wells Fargo have participated in the All in for Advancement program.

Each company sends three or four staff members representing diverse races, ethnicities, seniority, genders, and business functions. Over the span of four months, the cohort participates in three workshops taught by Babson faculty, as well as three coaching sessions tailored for the participants from each organization, all delivered virtually.

Then, fueled by what they’ve learned, the real work begins.

Returning to their day to day roles, the participating members from each organization work together to launch a scalable pilot effort that supports inclusion.

A full year after the program kickoff, the cohort reassembles to demo their projects to company executives and share both their progress, and impact, with their peers.

“One of the most exciting components of All in for Advancement is the camaraderie and networking we see across the cohort,” says Alyson Weiss, Senior Leadership Initiatives Manager at the Boston Chamber.

“Participants from different companies really committed to helping one another out; hosting networking sessions, sharing corporate policy documentation, and coming together around the shared goal of a more inclusive workplace culture.”

Interested in having your team participate in All In for Advancement? The next cohort begins in September. 

The Impact

“In the program, we teach what culture is and what culture change means,” says Susan Duffy, executive director of Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL), a partner in the creation of this program.

“These companies learn about gender and inclusion and use the entrepreneurial mindset to design projects that will be the seeds of broader culture change for their organizations.”

The curriculum is designed to give participants a better understanding of how they can shift their cultures to increase gender equity and inclusivity. It includes sessions on gender acumen, entrepreneurial behavior and design thinking, stewarding culture change in the workplace, and more.

“Babson prides itself on helping leading-edge companies that are ready to support inclusive cultures that will drive innovation and bottom-line results,” says Duffy.

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