What does it look like to prepare the world’s future business leaders to be stewards of diversity, equity and inclusion? For Yale School of Management (SOM), it means shaping an environment that reflects the value they place on inclusivity and the kind of culture they are striving to shape, within the school, and into the world.
A commitment from the top
In 2021 the university announced a 5-year diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) plan as part of the “Belonging at Yale Initiative,” required for all university units, demonstrating a strong commitment to change. Their constituents included students, staff and faculty, and also the broader community, including many alumni who have gone on to head up major companies around the world. Peter Salovey, President of Yale, launched the initiative with these words, “We are connected by a need to improve the world, and we are a community that holds itself to high standards of acceptance, inclusion and belonging.”
Meeting the highest standards for DEI training
As part of that plan, every school at Yale now offers DEI-related activities, education and training. Back in 2021, for Kristen Beyers, the Assistant Dean of Inclusion and Diversity at Yale SOM, that included selecting a DEI training program that could live up to the school’s high expectations and rigorous standards. And because a shared experience with common language and alignment around concepts was central to their approach, the training had to be suitable as a requirement for all Yale SOM community members. “We needed a training program with content that would resonate with our students, staff and faculty and amplify our own teachings and philosophy,” said Beyers.
Prior to going through the process of training review and selection, Yale SOM had spent years using an iterative process to find new and creative ways to weave DEI content into their programming. Kantola had already been part of Yale’s ecosystem, as other parts of the university had implemented Kantola’s harassment prevention training, but it had not yet been known for its DEI training. After an exhaustive search by the team, Kantola stood out for its “impressive cinematic quality, timely delivery, great customer service, affordable price and customization.” “In addition to meeting our high standards for content, we needed training that was interactive and provided opportunities to pause and reflect on learning. Kantola met that need,” said Beyers.
Making DEI training part of the Yale SOM experience
Integrating DEI into the fabric of the organization
Kantola’s DEI training serves as a complement to Yale SOM’s 50 plus related programs and activities that it offers throughout the year on such subjects including allyship, microaggressions and holding difficult conversations. Future plans for the Yale School of Management include continued efforts toward “promoting awareness on DEI topics, creating space for meaningful engagement, and continuing to integrate DEI into the fabric of the organization,” said Beyers.
Thoughts from Kantola
We’re proud to partner with Yale, supporting their steadfast commitment to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. Our aim at Kantola is to evolve with Yale’s needs, offering training that supports our common vision for a better world.