CWU News

Leadership Skills Training Seeks to Help Close the Workplace Equity Gap

CWU Professor Anderson ParksCentral Washington University and the Seattle National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) are partnering this month to present a workshop that focuses on overcoming the barriers that people of color encounter in the corporate world.

“The primary areas of concern we’re addressing are the gaps for people of color to move up in organizations, and candidates of color not being called back for interviews at the same rate as white candidates,” said Anderson Parks, CWU Kuolt Distinguished Professor of Business and Seattle NPHC board member, who will facilitate the workshop.

To Parks’ point, a 2017 Harvard Business Review report on 40 field studies found that White candidates with identical qualifications were called back for interviews 36 percent more often than Black candidates—a statistic that has not changed since 1990.

“The Mindful Leader Workshop Communicating with Purpose: Building Authentic Bonds through Emotional Intelligence,” will be held online Saturday, March 20, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The registration deadline is Saturday, March 13.

“Ultimately, the conference is designed to give both students and business leaders of color—or not, for that matter—a point of difference in the job market and leadership skills that can be applied immediately,” Parks added. “The emotional intelligence skills that we’ll present are highly sought after, and we will also provide a CWU-issued certificate of completion so the participants can show verifiable credentials when applying for jobs.”

Adrienne Hairston, president of the Seattle NPHC, added, “I believe this workshop will provide a safe space for undergrads to learn professional skills from someone with a shared experience.”

Seattle National Pan-Hellenic Council logoThe NPHC is a cooperative governing body of the traditionally African American fraternities and sororities, though its purpose extends well beyond just the social aspect of Greek life.

“We strive to service the community through cultural, financial, and educational activities, such as this workshop we’ve developed in partnership with Central Washington University,” Hairston explained.

About one hour of pre-workshop assessments will be required of each participant. The assessments will be sent after registration concludes.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,