Below is our recent interview with Kate Chovanetz, Co-Founder and CEO at DiversityEdu:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to DiversityEdu?
A: Sure. DiversityEdu produces online diversity learning and management tools that help businesses build diverse teams and inclusive culture. There are so many benefits to focusing on inclusion initiatives. As we all know, inclusive hiring practices and culture increase retention, productivity, and innovation. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses don’t have teams dedicated to these initiatives and may not even know where to begin. That’s where DiversityEdu comes in. Whether companies are just starting out or looking to supplement existing initiatives, they can come to us.
Q: So what management tools do you offer?
A: We have a climate assessment that surveys employees about individual experiences of inclusion and exclusion and allows a company to get a holistic understanding of the culture. We also have implementation guides for successful rollout of DiversityEdu core courses. The guides have specific steps for pre-, during- and post-course rollout. Finally, we have Facilitator’s Guides for reinforcing and deepening the learning with in-person practice.
Q: Tell us more about your online courses. How are they unique?
A: We focus on skills for diversity competence, so our partners can trust our courses to deliver what people actually need and want to know. In other words, our content is always relevant. It’s continuously updated and thoroughly researched; our team has expertise in education, law, psychology, and public policy. And all our products are subject to rigorous evaluation of their effectiveness.
Finally, we understand that companies have unique challenges, so we listen to our partners and can customize our courses and tools to fit their needs and brand — DiversityEdu clients are never getting a ‘cookie cutter’ solution.
Q: What are the benefits of learning online compared to the traditional education?
A: Well first of all, the online format affords a ton of flexibility. People are busy, and they may be based in different cities—or even countries. Our online courses can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. They are cost effective, and completions can be tracked easily. But the main benefit of online diversity and inclusion learning is that it allows learners to engage with what can be sensitive content on their own terms and get comfortable with the terminology and skills. This way, they are more confident and ready to contribute and engage in in-person dialogue. The baseline of knowledge from online learning improves communication and engagement in follow-on initiatives.
Q: What are your clients saying about you?
A: They initially choose us because of our top quality content and design, and our basis in research, but they stay with us because we treat our clients as true partners. Our clients appreciate that we work to understand their unique needs and have streamlined processes for customizing our products to those needs. We are also a small dedicated team, so our partners always feel heard. As one of our partners put it, “I love the fact, which has always been the case, that we were able to pick up the phone and call when we had questions or challenges. And those calls were always answered.”
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: I worked in both finance and tech before coming to DiversityEdu. I am really excited to work with more partners in those sectors because I think there tremendous opportunities for growing sheer representation, especially in leadership roles, and making everyone feel included and heard.