Oct 11 • 6 min read
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New center is one of the first of its kind at a U.S. business school; guided by a board of Fortune 500 executives, will focus on diversifying workforces to build healthy workplace cultures

PHILADELPHIA, October 11, 2021 — Temple University’s Fox School of Business recently launched the Center for Ethics, Diversity and Workplace Culture (CEDWC), a new hub for research, dialogue and innovation focused on diversity, ethical decision-making and the creation of healthy workplace cultures.

The center will be overseen by Leora Eisenstadt, associate professor of legal studies and the Murray Shusterman Research Fellow, and it aims to create equity- and inclusivity-focused workplaces where every person can be their authentic self. Housed within the Fox School, the center aims to educate business students to work in and manage diverse workforces. “Students need to learn about diversity and workplace culture issues in school. They need to practice having difficult conversations because they will surely have them when they enter the workplace,” says Eisenstadt.

In addition to students, Eisenstadt’s expertise in discrimination, harassment, retaliation and whistleblowing means that everyonefrom current executives to future business leadershas an opportunity to better understand the value of ethical and inclusive workplaces and take concrete actions to make that a reality. CEDWC will consider diversity from all perspectives, including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability and more.

The center’s preliminary plans include

  • A speaker series on “Race at Work” that looks at anti-racism efforts, implicit bias, and inclusion and belonging.
  • A student-initiated conference on LGBTQ+ issues in the business world.
  • A regional workshop on performing a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) audit of the business school curriculum and classroom.
  • A pilot program to provide DEI education for industry partners.
  • Sponsorship of research including a project on sexual harassment and corporate diversity.

“At the Fox School of Business, we are committed to transforming student lives, developing leaders and impacting our local and global communities through excellence and innovation in education and research,” says Ronald Anderson, dean of the Fox School of Business and School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM). “By engaging with one another in an empathic way, we are better positioned to face systemic racism and discrimination of all kinds, to make ethical decisions, and to create a culture that empowers the members of our community to grow and thrive in their careers. Through CEDWC, we are benefiting society through diversity and inclusion, and I believe the center will make us stronger—as business organizations and as people—in terms of the way we operate.”

What’s more, substantive DEI efforts require multiple voices at the table, a willingness to have difficult conversations and a sense of humility. Through CEDWC, Eisenstadt will bring together students, alumni, industry leaders, government officials and academics to address systemic racism, implicit bias, inclusive recruitment and other barriers to equitable work while also providing educational experiences for the community at all stages of their careers.

“CEDWC will also capitalize on the thought leadership from some of the largest firms in the world,” says Eisenstadt. “The Senior Advisory Board brings together experts in talent management, culture change, and diversity, equity, and inclusion from major corporations to provide funding for CEDWC’s activities, help guide its agenda, share best practices, and continue to make the business case for DEI.”

The Senior Advisory Board is comprised of 14 senior executives from multinational corporations, including Chair Ben Hasan, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Walmart, Inc.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion factors are one of the most critical business considerations of our day, and I believe they will continue to be a central pivot point for defining fiscally successful and socially conscious organizations long into the future,” says Hasan. “As a Temple grad, I’m excited to blend my academic studies and my 40-plus years in corporate America—including the past six as Walmart’s Chief Diversity Officer—to help CEDWC prepare the next generation of business leaders to think critically and strategically, while acting ethically and empathetically in creating diverse and inclusive workplace cultures that maximize business performance while unlocking the full extent of human potential.”

CEDWC Board Members include:

  • Advance Auto Parts – Dena Rantin LaMar, Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer
  • AIG – Ronald Reeves, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Aon – Kelli Clark, Chief Culture Officer
  • Campbell Soup Company – Camille Pierce, SVP Chief Culture Officer
  • Comcast – Juan Otero, SVP Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • EY – Kenneth Bouyer, Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting
  • FMC Corporation – Marie Dukes, Chief Global Employment & Data Privacy Counsel
  • Lincoln Financial Group – Jen Warne, EVP Chief People Officer
  • Lockheed Martin – Michael S. Smith, VP Canadian Surface Combatant Program
  • Nixon Peabody – Stacie Collier, Partner (Labor & Employment) & Chief Talent Officer
  • PwC – Ethel (EJ) Dickerson, US Diversity Talent Acquisition Leader
  • Rothman Orthopedic Institute – Nicole Coleman, VP Risk Management & Compliance
  • Walmart (Chair) – Ben Hasan, SVP Chief Culture Diversity & Inclusion Officer
  • Individual – Bernard J. Milano, retired President of KPMG Foundation & the PhD Project

CEDWC will sponsor research and host conferences and major speaker series, featuring thought leaders from academia and industry along with whistleblowers and other change-makers. And it will bring together faculty who focus on DEI themes and issues to spur collaborations across disciplines.

“We plan to educate our student body and to train professionals,” Eisenstadt says. “We are collaborating with our corporate partners and alumni to craft events and programs to prepare our students to enter a diverse workforce and substantive executive education programs that meet the needs of managers across the country.”

As part of the EQUITY NOW Speaker Series, presented by the University of Connecticut School of Business, Eisenstadt will speak on #MeToo and Beyond: Sexual Harassment and the Future of American Workplace Culture on Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. EST. She will review the legal history and theory of sexual harassment, explore the implications of the #MeToo Movement, discuss recent efforts to use technology to detect and prevent harassment, and provide recommendations for business leaders to create healthy workplace cultures.

For more information about CEDWC, visit the CEDWC website and read this Q&A with Eisenstadt.

ABOUT THE FOX SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

The vision of Temple University’s Fox School of Business is to transform student lives, develop leaders, and impact our local and global communities through excellence and innovation in education and research.

The Fox School’s research institutes and centers as well as 200+ full-time faculty provide access to market-leading technologies and foster a collaborative and creative learning environment that offers more than curriculum—it offers an experience. Coupled with its leading student services, the Fox School ensures that its graduates are fully prepared to enter the job market.

The flexibility and responsiveness of our knowledge-creating research faculty allow the school to address the needs of industry and generate courses and programs in emerging fields. As a leader in business research, the Fox School values interdisciplinary approaches and translational research that influence and impact real-world problems. Our research informs an adaptive curriculum, supports innovation in teaching and prepares students for the ever-changing business environment.

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