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The Diversity Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Governance Academy

An innovative and transformative approach to governance

Mante Molepo smiles and stands with her arms folded against a beautiful snow background wearing an elegant ruffled blouse and a beige pants.

Strategies, competencies and confidence to advance DEI in governance and to move your board and senior management from aspirational to measurable change.

Join the thousands of professionals who have worked with us and enroll your board and senior management in the DEI Governance Academy now.

Over the years, there have been efforts to increase the representation and inclusion of Indigenous and equality-deserving candidates in governance. Initiatives such as the 50-30 Challenge, the BlackNorth Initiative, as well as those related to ESG address the advancement of these priority groups on Canadian boards and in senior management roles.

However, concerns exist over the slow pace of change. Organizations are not making the progress they have committed to undertaking, in large part because they do not know how.

There is also a perception that increasing diversity within organizations will naturally lead to equality and inclusion. Boards are struggling with understanding their governance roles and responsibilities to advance DEI and how to ensure DEI is integrated into the organization’s vision, mission, values and operations.

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While boards may succeed in recruiting diverse candidates, they may not be cultivating an environment where board members experience full participation, inclusion and belonging. These experiences of exclusion lead board members to resign, sometimes publicly, which exposes the board and the organization to legal and reputational risk, among other forms of risk.

We have heard from board members and senior leaders about what is holding them back from making meaningful and
measurable change.

Can you relate to any of the following?

“I feel I don’t have the lived experience to support diversity, equality and inclusion.”

“I believe that I’ve taken steps to implement our board’s diversity and inclusion policy, but staff and senior management feel these initiatives are not enough.”

“I am very uncomfortable talking to board members and senior management about race and racism, and often don’t know what to say. I’m afraid I may say something wrong or inappropriate.”

“I don’t know how to respond to resistance from some of my board colleagues and senior management, and even some staff.”

“Our board needs more effective ways to monitor progress of our initiatives.”

“We need more guidance on how to work effectively with the communities we serve.”

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The DEI Governance Academy represents a modern approach to governance, one that centers DEI as integral to
how boards govern, management leads, and organizations function. We have developed a signature model of
organizational change to advance systemic diversity, equality and inclusion. We know that boards perform better when they are comprised of members that represent diverse, intersectional identities and whose input is valued
and informs decision-making. The DEI Governance Academy works with boards and senior management who want
to embed DEI into all aspects of governance, want to strengthen and nurture relationships with their stakeholders
and the communities they serve. When DEI is foundational to governance, boards and senior management are
positioned to positively impact organizational performance.

Not only will you have the strategies, competencies and confidence to apply a DEI approach to governance, you will have tangible resources and tools to:​

  • Advance the recruitment and retention of equality-deserving candidates.
  • Strengthen relationships with equality-deserving people and communities and develop effective approaches to stakeholder engagement.
  • Hold the board and senior management accountable to advance diversity, equality, and inclusion.
  • ​Lead courageous conversations about race and racism without feeling like it is impossible.
  • ​Monitor and evaluate progress and improve engagement and belonging.
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The DEI Governance Academy is a three-phased program designed for the over-scheduled but committed board members and senior leaders who envision a DEI approach to governance that is proactive, innovative and transformative.


Learning Modules

Foundational and advanced modules to develop awareness and knowledge of DEI approaches to governance.


Action Planning Sessions

Devise practical approaches, tools and strategies to embed DEI across governance and to support organization-wide structural change.


Community of Practice

A peer support system where board members and senior management can engage in honest and meaningful conversations to advance diversity, equality and inclusion.


The learning modules are designed for boards and senior management to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of diversity, equality and inclusion. The foundational modules introduce key concepts around racism and other forms of inequality and how they manifest within governance, organizations, and society at large. The foundational sessions are followed by topic-specific modules to deepen knowledge about diversity, equality and inclusion in governance.

Result you can expect:

  • Deeper awareness of the systemic barriers that impede diversity, equality and inclusion and the impact on Indigenous and equality-deserving people and communities.
  • ​Strategies to embed diversity, equality and inclusion across governance and to champion DEI efforts as a board member and senior leader.
  • ​Strategies to track progress and measure the impact of your actions.

Whether one-on-one or board-wide, we advise boards on a range of issues from succession planning; strategy development, implementation and review; stakeholder engagement and other challenges and opportunities.

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In the Action Planning Sessions, board members and senior management put theory into practice. Over four sessions (3 hours each), participant devise practical approaches, tools and strategies to embed DEI across governance:

  • Apply our signature model of organizational change to advance DEI as a board and across the senior management team. ​
  • A guided approach to embed DEI throughout the board lifecycle, including succession planning, performance evaluation and strategic planning.
  • Approaches to strengthen relationships and communication between the board and senior management in order to foster structural change across the organization.
  • A change management model to respond to potential resistance with an aim to encourage awareness and understanding amongst board, senior management and stakeholders.
  • Strategies to lead courageous conversations about race and to challenge racism without feeling like it is impossible.
  • Methods to build and nurture relationships with equality-deserving employees, networks and communities.
  • Methods to track progress and measure the impact of DEI initiatives.

Participants will have the flexibility to join multiple sessions to accommodate their busy schedule. We offer bilingual, small group sessions of up to ten participants in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid environment.


The Community of Practice consists of like-minded leaders who are committed to learning, strategizing, and collaborating on issues related to diversity, equality and inclusion in governance.

​Board members and senior management bring their perspectives and experience to inform emerging and ongoing issues within their organizations and across governance. They exchange ideas, experiences and share practical and conceptual approaches to identify and address systemic barriers for Indigenous and equality-deserving people and communities.

As part of the Community of Practice, board members and senior leaders will have the opportunity to participate in “Ask Me Anything” sessions. These sessions address issues participants may not feel comfortable raising within their organizations.

​The Community of Practice represents a peer support system where board members and senior management can engage in honest and meaningful conversations to advance diversity, equality and inclusion.

Result you can expect:

  • ​Learn how other leaders are successfully advancing diversity, equality and inclusion.
  • ​Strategies to collaboratively work with your peers towards a common goal.
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Program Highlights

  • ​Foundational sessions followed by in-depth modules
  • In-person and virtual sessions with multiple dates
  • ​Customized professional development for board retreats
  • ​Self-reflection learning guide, interactive activities and group discussions
  • ​Join thousands of professionals across Canada who have completed our professional development programs
  • Registration available for individual board members, board committees, entire boards, and senior management teams
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Designed for:

  • Board members and senior management
  • Organizations that have signed onto the 50-30 Challenge, the BlackNorth Initiative and the Catalyst Accord 2022
  • Federal government leaders who are implementing the Clerk’s Call to Action
  • Boards and senior leaders who are committed to advancing organizational-wide diversity, equality and inclusion

A Word From Our Clients

Mante Molepo is an exceptional leader, deeply and personally committed to the practice of equity and anti-racism. She is bold, solution-driven and holds in-depth understanding of how oppression and racism manifest in organizational settings. She leads with integrity and care, always centering perspectives at the margins and leaves no-one behind in her pursuit of equitable work spaces.

Ketty NivyabandiSecretary General, Amnesty International Canada

Mante Molepo skilfully delivered the Anti-Racism Training Program to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) executives. She is engaging and very knowledgeable of all aspects of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Feedback received from participants is very positive. This training was instrumental in our journey to eliminate systemic racism in our workplace. I highly recommend Mante.

Natacha PrudentDirector General, Canada Border Services Agency

Mante is an exceptional leader who facilitates thought provoking conversations about racism with great care and attention. Mante carefully creates space for differing views while maintaining communal agreements to ensure respect, empathy and curiosity among group participants. Individuals throughout our organization praised Mante for her efforts in immediately establishing trust and credibility. She approaches her work with great rigor, while simultaneously offering insightful strategic perspectives to shift organizational culture and inform transformational change. We have been grateful to learn from Mante and look forward to ongoing collaborations.

Suzanne ObiorahFormer Director, Gender and Race Equity, Inclusion, Indigenous Relations and Social Development, City of Ottawa
Mante Molepo smiling, with her arms folded. Standing at the bottom of the stair-case

A word about Mante

I began my career as a lawyer, practicing international trade law. I worked on the negotiation of some of Canada’s most ambitious free trade agreements. In my career, I advised on issues related to public health, the environment and international labour, with a focus on business and human rights.

I have been fascinated with how companies and non-profits can produce goods and services that reflect their consumers and the communities they serve. At the governance level, boards and senior management that represent diverse, intersectional identities are more creative, inclusive and innovative. They perform better and remain more competitive. While organizations have focused on DEI as a workplace issue, I believe DEI also belongs at the board table, and should inform all aspects of governance.

I am a Governor for the Ottawa Hospital and an elected member of the Ontario Bar Association. I am a founding member and former co-chair of Parents for Diversity, an organization committed to equitable and inclusive education. As a Director for Amnesty International Canada, the Parkdale Food Centre and EcoEquitable, I have advanced issues around diversity, equality and inclusion in governance.

My legal background, my lived experience, and my passion for governance have equipped me with personal and professional insight to address unique problems, and to offer practical advice and strategies to boards and senior management. As a change management practitioner, I use The Prosci ADKAR® Model to support clients to cultivate organization-wide, structural change.

Move from aspirational to measurable change

Join the thousands of professionals who have worked with us and enroll your board and senior management in the DEI Governance Academy now.