Many SNHU students have a strong desire to increase their leadership skills. Such skills can be gained through involvement in programs and organizations on campus, such as Signature Leadership and Student Government Association (SGA). This semester, the Office of Diversity Programs is sponsoring “Inclusive Leadership,” a new program that aspires to educate students about the importance of inclusion in the workplace.
Kayla Page, director of Diversity Programs, serves as the coordinator of the program. Target is the financial sponsor.
In the past, Page has led diversity and inclusion training sessions for many campus organizations. This training is typically only one hour long, so she wanted to start a program that would provide students with an in-depth understanding of inclusion and how it relates to leadership.
“We have a pretty exciting and large leadership population on campus,” said Page. “The hope is to teach students that inclusive leadership is a set of skills as well as an ideology.” The program is a five-week long course. Meetings are held on Tuesdays in the Monadnock community room from 7 to 9 p.m.
Each session will feature a range of activities including introductory exercises, article de-briefing, video clips and extensive general discussion.
“There will be a number of informal social experiments,” said Page. “[We will be] asking students to…evaluate the meetings utilizing an inclusive leadership model. Who set the agenda? Who talks? How often did they talk? Were there interruptions?”
Page collaborated with International Student Services (ISS), the Career Development Center, The Women’s Center and the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) when determining the logistics of the program. Anna Metzger, assistant director of OSI, and Jessica Erb, associate director of the Career Development Center, serve as co-facilitators of the program.
“[The program] is for anyone that identifies as a leader in any capacity. Maybe that’s at your church or at your workplace where you’re an assistant manager. We’re trying really hard to be thoughtful about what leadership could mean for any individual,” said Page.
Those who complete the program will receive an inclusive leadership certificate. Page wants students to use what they have learned to leverage their career opportunities in the future.
“The opposite of inclusion is exclusion. A business model based on exclusion is bad from an ethics and a business perspective. Innovative businesses are looking for ways to become inclusive,” said Page.