Centre for Continuing Education

Diversity and Inclusion Course: Cultural Intelligence and Unconscious Bias

Human Resources. Learn expert people management skills.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Unconscious biases are social stereotypes that influence behaviour. They are automatic, unintentional, deeply engrained and universal. No one is free from unconscious biases. Cultural intelligence is the ability to adapt, relate and work effectively with teams across cultures.

Understanding cultural intelligence and unconscious bias are useful capabilities when leading and building diverse and inclusive teams. During this course, we will blend these concepts to allow you to understand and then develop strategies and thinking that will help you build more inclusive teams and manage your own responses to diverse groups.


This course aims to develop your understanding of diversity, and the strategies available to build a more inclusive workplace culture.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • discuss and explain diversity and inclusion in the workplace context
  • identify contemporary issues and perspectives on diversity and inclusion
  • define and depict unconscious bias
  • describe the benefits of diversity and inclusion
  • discuss Indigeneity – using a global perspective
  • discuss and interpret how to manage personal responses to diversity and inclusion in others and themselves.


This course covers the following content:

  • Defining diversity and inclusion – examples, importance and principles discussed.
  • Dimensions of diversity activities.
  • Benefits of diversity and inclusion in practice.
  • Work/life balance and flexible work defined and discussed – how this relates to diversity & inclusion.
  • Analysis of diversity and inclusion data.
  • Activity – circle of trust.
  • Definitions and discussion of the following diversity groups: People with a disability; LGTBI; CALD.
  • Unconscious bias – What is it? How do we identify it in others and ourselves?
  • Activity – peer mentoring.
  • Understanding indigeneity and differences in cultures and worldviews.
  • The connection between language and identity.
  • White privilege – What is it and what can we do about it?
  • The concept of ‘culture brokering’ discussed as a means of enabling and empowering differences in the workplace.
  • Activity - ‘real world’ challenges for Indigenous and CALD people in the workplace.
  • Group discussion on racism, the effects in contemporary Australia, and how we can address this.
  • Case study – Adam Goodes.

Intended audience

Suitable for supervisors and managers who wish to understand diversity and the concept of inclusion in a team or workplace context.

Delivery style

You will learn through a variety of methods including:

  • pre and post course readings (with links to relevant video presentations)
  • group discussion and small group work
  • video resources
  • case studies.

Recommended reading

Australian Government Workplace Gender and Equality Agency, accessed on 18 May 2018.

This website provides Information on inclusion as it relates to women, and practical examples of strategies that have made a difference to women in the workplace.

Australian Human Rights Commission, accessed on 18 May 2018.

This website provides Information on Commonwealth anti-discrimination provisions.

Diversity Council Australia, accessed on 18 May 2018.

The independent, not-for-profit workplace diversity advisor to business in Australia.

Kirton, G & Greene, A 2010, The dynamics of managing diversity: a critical approach, Taylor and Francis, New York.

Mervyn, H 2013, Diversity, Inclusion and Management, 2nd Edn, Oxford University Press Australia, South Melbourne.

Strachan, G, French, E, & Burgess, J 2009, Managing diversity in Australia: Theory and practice, McGrawHill Australia, North Ryde.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

We acknowledge the tradition of custodianship and law of the Country on which the University of Sydney campuses stand. We pay our respects to those who have cared and continue to care for the Country.