A. Gary Anderson
Graduate School of Management

School of Business Offers New DEI Courses

Professor Mindy Truong developed and teaches courses examining diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace
By Laurie McLaughlin |

In the winter quarter of 2024, Mindy Truong taught a new course, Navigating the Modern Workforce: Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture (BUS 157), at the UCR School of Business. This spring quarter, she is also teaching a second new course, Managing Diversity and Reducing Bias in the Organizations (MGT 223, which will be renamed Strategies for Leading Diversity in Organizations in future quarters).

Mindy Truong, assistant professor of management
Mindy Truong, assistant professor of management

Focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion—better known as DEI—these courses were created as a collaborative effort, says Truong, an assistant professor of management.

“I have received invaluable support from my colleagues at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and University of Southern California Marshall School of Business in developing the courses,” says Truong.

“Much of the inspiration for creating these courses stems from noticing that there were many well-intentioned efforts by individuals and organizations to uphold their values, increase diversity, and foster inclusion. However, we saw that these efforts often fell short. So, these courses emphasize the importance of a multilevel approach targeting individuals, policies, and practices in organization gateways and pathways to reduce bias and promote diversity and inclusion.”

Students Earn Knowledge and Skills

With particular focus on the role of understanding DEI in business settings, the courses prepare students to be leaders effectively navigating and managing interactions, relationships, and collaborations across differences, Truong adds. “I think these courses stand out because they focus on the workplace and organizational settings where individuals must work and collaborate with each other.”

The courses are designed to empower students to seek opportunities to be better leaders, organization members, and allies. “Students learn how to better engage, interact, and understand people who come from different backgrounds or have different lived experiences from them,” she says. “Specifically, they cultivate a toolkit of strategies to create an environment that enables all voices to be heard, attract and retain a broader range of top talent, and ensure that they are giving all their employees an equal chance.”

Researching Sources of and Solutions to Inequality in Organizations

“People’s organizational lives are such an important part of how they experience the rest of their lives,” says Truong, and this idea is what spurred her research interest in management and organizational behavior specifically. “As a researcher, I study topics that are important and interesting to me. As an educator, I have the privilege of sharing my enthusiasm for these topics with my students,” adds Truong, who earned a Ph.D. in business administration with an emphasis in organizational behavior at the Marshall School of Business and previously served as a Golub Capital Social Impact Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kellogg School of Management.

Within her research, she says, she aims to understand the sources of and solutions to inequality in organizations: “Specifically, I examine how organizational cultural norms and practices can undermine or foster inclusion. Using those insights, I develop interventions that address social class and gender disparities in higher education and professional workplaces.

“My findings highlight how functional, yet overlooked, behaviors, beliefs, and backgrounds can facilitate people’s success when they interact across group boundaries, attain upward social class mobility, and foster equitable environments.”

Truong joined the UCR School of Business in 2023, where, she says: “I get to learn from the faculty, staff, and students who bring such a wide range and rich array of experiences, perspectives, and knowledge."