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11 Best DEI Certifications To Take In 2023

With today’s organizations prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their mission and workplace, a DEI certification is quickly becoming an asset for HR professionals and workplace managers.

Last year, 35% of HR managers prioritized DEI in their goals and, as leadership continues to see how DEI boosts productivity, creativity, and revenue, we’ll most likely see more companies prioritize DEI in the future.

DEI is part of our own mission and the content we share, so we wanted to create a shortlist of great DEI certification programs to help you find effective strategies to build more adept inclusive, equitable workplaces.

Benefits Of Taking A DEI Certification

You might be wondering, “Why should I get certification for DEI?” Well, here are some strong reasons:

  • DEI benefits teams. DEI initiatives, such as employee resource groups, create a stronger culture of belonging that positively impacts employee performance and engagement.
  • DEI can make you a more effective change leader and build up your skills in this area. In fact, change management is the number one DEI skillset.
  • Statistics show us that DEI initiatives also positively impact revenue and productivity—a huge asset for any executive team’s growth goals.
  • DEI certification is in-demand. Organizations are hiring people with the knowledge and skills needed to build diverse, inclusive workforces.
  • You'll have the opportunity to network and make connections with others passionate about this field.
  • Most importantly, taking a DEI certification course will help you and your team build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace that represents the diverse world around us.

11 Best DEI Certifications

1. eCornell University Diversity & Inclusion Certificate Program

Cornell University offers a holistic DEI education that will help any HR team or leader in today's workplace. As a student, you'll learn the ins and outs of employee engagement and DEI training, along with strategies to overcome unconscious bias and how to create and support psychological safety and an inclusive work environment.

You'll also receive access to Cornell's online Diversity and Inclusion Symposiums that offer opportunities to join peers in an in-depth conversation on topics surrounding DEI education and workplace diversity.

Price: $2,589 or $975/mo

Duration: 2 months

Exam Required: Yes

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 2 weeks

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

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2. Georgetown's Executive Certificate in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Georgetown University's Executive Certificate in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion is perfect for managers and workplace leaders seeking to grow HR and talent management initiatives with DEI goals.

This program is great for professional development and will help leaders understand the latest in cultural competency, DEI research, and DEI strategy.

Not only will you work and study alongside peer leaders reviewing theoretical foundations and social identities, but this inclusion certification program includes workplace application so you'll have the skill and real-life examples of how to create inclusion initiatives of your own.

Price: $8,490

Duration: 6 months

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Both

Hours of instruction: 3 weekdays x 1 mo

Eligibility Requirements: Bachelor's degree or equivalent

3. SHRM Inclusive Workplace Culture Specialty Credential

The SHRM certification program is globally recognized and is synonymous with being an expert and leader in the human resources industry. Its inclusion certification is no exception and offers training to help create a workplace culture that supports diversity and inclusivity to help people thrive and succeed.

You'll dive into SHRM eLearning courses focused on fostering inclusive work culture, specifically looking at allyship, cultivating support, and measuring success in an inclusive workplace.

SHRM certification is a great option in terms of continuing education, standing out in a job search, or staying up-to-date in the latest people management. After completing the course you'll be able to add a Specialty Credential badge to your resume, email signature, and Linkedin.

Price: $1755 for members, $2030 for nonmembers

Duration: Varies

Exam Required: Yes, a 50-question online assessment

Online, In-Person, or both? Both

Hours of instruction: Varies

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

4. Purdue University’s Inclusive Excellence Graduate Certificate Program

Purdue's Inclusive Excellence Graduate Certificate Program supports anyone looking to lead in the new frontier for businesses and academia. Graduate students and HR professionals alike will acquire skills in DEI topics from systemic oppression, social justice, and how to promote organizational change.

Participants in this program will gain a deeper understanding of their role as an inclusive leader and how to better foster and support a diverse, inclusive, equitable community.

Price: Reach out to Graduate Program Specialist for more information.

Duration: Varies

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both? In-Person

Hours of instruction: 9 hours

Eligibility Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree

5. HRCI’s Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion in HR Management

The HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®) is one the industry go-to's in terms of HR accreditation, and their D&I Management course offers a strong inclusive education.

This program covers tenants for DEI professionals including how to foster an inclusive culture, HR metrics, and hiring and retaining diverse talent.

These courses are structured to provide effective strategies and critical thinking you'd face in the workplace. From diversity training to identifying bias at work, to tracking the progress of DEI initiatives, students will come away with applicable skills to create a diverse and inclusive space.

Price: $449.00

Duration: Courses available for 180 days

Exam Required: No

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 12 hours

Eligibility Requirements: None

6. American Management Association (AMA) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate Program

From managers to HR professionals, the American Management Association (AMA) offers a DEI certificate program with a full curriculum to help assess, create, and monitor success when launching your own DEI initiatives.

Courses cover everything from the differences in overt versus unconscious bias, how to assess leadership styles, and the art of hosting inclusive meetings.

Upon completion, you’ll receive an exclusive AMA certificate and access to additional post-course lessons on-demand to help reinforce or refresh any skills.

Price: $3295 for non-members | $2995 AMA members

Duration: 3 days in-person | 3 classes online

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Both

Hours of instruction: Varies

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

7. ESSEC Business School – Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace 

The ESSEC Business School offers management courses to strengthen freedom, openness, innovation, and responsibility. Their Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace course provides an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of discrimination and unconscious bias, and how an inclusive leader or human resources team can manage it with your people.

You'll learn the filters through which diversity's understood and approached around the world, along with exploring equity and inclusion from an individual to an organizational perspective.

You'll earn DEI certification, along with learning valuable skills in how to apply the cognitive method in challenging our own personal perspectives.

Price: Free

Duration: 10hrs

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: on-demand

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

8. Catalyst edX's Inclusive Leadership Program

Catalyst's a leading nonprofit organization looking to elevate women in the workplace with inclusion resources and leadership courses. Everyone's welcome to join Catalyst modules and earn DEI or inclusion certification.

Catalyst's roster of online courses covers inclusive practices more in-depth from understanding gender equity to facing racism and emotional tax at work.

A great place to start is their Professional Certificate in Inclusive Leadership, covering inclusive communication and leveraging core leadership traits like humility and accountability. You'll also connect with others from around the world also tuning into this course.

Price: $147

Duration: 3 months

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 1-2 hours per week

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

9. University of Pennsylvania's Optimizing Diversity on Teams

See how you can maximize your team's performance, handle conflict resolution, and overcome common biases from an Ivy League course courtesy of Coursera and Penn.

The syllabus includes lectures on promoting diversity at work along with diversity basics, and you'll also critically review case studies and examples from large organizations like Google, Nike, and UnitedHealthcare.

Price: Starts at $79 (free 7-day Coursera trial available)

Duration: On-demand

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 12hrs

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

10. Rutgers’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Certificate

Rutgers’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Certificate is perfect for public and nonprofit managers and serves as an opportunity for individuals to dive into the foundational concepts of DEI, the realities of race and racism, and privilege.

Courses are interactive and include a live session online with pre-work required. Students are encouraged to participate and unpack their own biases and self-identify their own personal developmental areas through exercises and a reflection assignment.

Price: $300 per course

Duration: 6 weeks x course | 4 courses

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 2.5 hrs per course

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

11.  AIHR – Diversity & Inclusion Certificate Program (DICP)

This is one of the Academy To Innovate HR’s specialist certifications aimed at HR leaders and managers with a specific interest in DEI

It's designed to help students get to grips with concepts such as inclusive communication, understanding cultural differences, handling legal issues, and creating initiatives to drive cultural change within organizations.

Price: $997

Duration: 3hrs p/w for 10 weeks

Exam Required: No

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 30 hours

Eligibility Requirements: None

Which is the best DEI Certification?

The above represents a comprehensive list of DEI Certifications featuring courses from top institutions.

In reality, which is best depends entirely on your and your criteria. What's your budget, how much time can you dedicate, how flexible can you be with your time, what level of knowledge do you already have?

Courses from SHRM and HRCI have a good rep and are widely recognized by the HR community, but it's worth checking out the other options too.

Further Reading

Diving into the nuances and mechanics of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work communities will help hone your skills as a leader, along with helping you build a stronger workplace culture.

Check out these resources to help you understand what’s needed to create more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces:

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By Finn Bartram

Finn is editor-in-chief at People Managing People. He's passionate about growing organizations where people are empowered to continuously improve and genuinely enjoy coming to work. If not at his desk, you can find him playing sports or enjoying the great outdoors.