Driving Business Performance Through Inclusion.


It’s a fact that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity see financial returns above national industry medians. But laying the groundwork for a cohesive and diverse workforce takes vision and structure. This value proposition is at the heart of the Corporate Inclusion Institute (CII).

Chicago United founded CII in 2019 to help organizations harness the power of inclusion and deliver cultural transformation. Through CII’s rigorous program, corporations are improving their employee experience and retention and strengthening their ability to return value to shareholders.


Now in its seventh Cohort, Chicago United’s Corporate Inclusion Institute (CII) is proven to build a community of inclusive leaders.

Contact Doris Salomón, Vice President of Programs and Initiatives, at 312-977-3075 or dsalomon@chicago-united.org to schedule a virtual information session. 

Watch our informational video below

Benefits of diversity on business

Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above national industry medians.

Diverse firms have 2.3 times more cash flow per employee.

Companies with high DE&I see 45% improvement in market share compared to peers.

For every 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity on a firm’s senior-executive team, EBIT rises 0.8%.

An overwhelming 84% of directors say board diversity enhances board performance.


Chicago United held the CII-VI Closing Reception in November, 2023. This reception marked the culmination of a nine-month inclusion journey for the program's Corporate Guides and Fellows, who were presented with a Certificate of Completion.

Cohort VI was recognized as the largest cohort since the program's inception. In 2023, Cohort VI included:

  • 27 Corporate Guides
  • 28 Fellows
  • 28 Direct Managers of Fellows, and
  • 25 Executive Sponsors 

With these professionals, 486 leaders have completed the CII program with 253 Corporate Guides and Fellows have completed the program with 233 Executive Sponsors and Direct Managers having benefited from workshops and resources on inclusive leadership competencies. They are now prepared to drive business performance through inclusion.

The Corporate Inclusion Institute would not be possible without the support of our 2023 Platinum Sponsors: ComEd, An Exelon Company, and The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; and our 2023 Gold Sponsor, Peoples Gas.

The Impact of CII-VI

Satisfaction with the program is high with CII faculty, content, and applicability, averaging a 4.5 rating on a 5-point scale.

71% of Corporate Guides and Fellows who completed the program showed significant improvement in their cultural competency scores and self-awareness from the Intercultural Development Inventory.


The business case is clear: Study after study has shown a direct positive correlation between an organization’s level of diversity, equity, and inclusion and its problem-solving capacity, creativity, and team cohesion. The Corporate Inclusion Institute can be a major component of your DE&I strategy, yielding long-lasting and far-reaching benefits to your organization.

CII is an innovative platform for bolstering cross-cultural competency and achieving corporate inclusion goals. The program is equally effective in small- to medium-size firms as well as large corporations and interfaces seamlessly into leadership development or inclusion initiatives already in place.


Doris Salomón
Vice President of Programs and Initiatives