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What is Equity Fluent Leadership?

Equity Fluent® Leadership is a term coined by Professor Kellie McElhaney and EGAL’s founding student advisory board used to define a rethinking of leadership in business that centers diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Equity Fluent Leadership challenges individuals to go deeper and use their power to drive change and foster a culture of safety, inclusivity and belonging in the workplace.

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Equity Fluent Leaders build their foundation on a willingness to be open to themselves and to new ways of communicating, to breaking down harmful barriers that have existed for too long in the world of business, and have a desire to do that work together.

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Equity Fluent Leaders understand that belonging is highly valuable in the world of business, and that through making an effort to foster a strong sense of empowerment across all members of an organization, they are allowing business to thrive.

How does one become an Equity Fluent Leader?

Checking out our Education page is a great place to see all of our different learning opportunities for becoming an Equity Fluent Leader, from case studies to MBA courses to consulting projects and more. Additionally, we just launched our Equity Fluent Leadership Academy, which is a two-day in-person course held at the UC Berkeley campus.

The EFL Academy experience is designed to leave participants with a wealth of new tools for implementing and accelerating change in business. Participants finish The EFL Academy with a certificate of completion from Berkeley Executive Education, signifying their commitment to advancing their knowledge, skills, and career.

EFL Award

We are extremely proud of our existing Equity Fluent Leaders and think that sharing their stories is a helpful way of understanding what Equity Fluent Leadership is all about. In October 2021, at our annual EGALApalooza event, we awarded Om Chitale, MBA ’18, the school’s first Equity Fluent Leadership award for championing diversity and inclusion initiatives at Haas and beyond. Since then, we have consecutively awarded bold leaders the EFL Award each year at EGALapalooza, including our 2022 winner, Cristy Johnston Limon, EMBA ‘16, and our most recent 2023 awardee, Liz Koenig, MBA ‘18.

The winners of the EFL Award exemplify everything we think of when we think of an Equity Fluent Leader—bold, tenacious, and determined to establish oneself as a driver of positive change. We value their work immensely and believe that their leadership is a testament to how a just, equitable, and diverse future is possible. Read more about their work and the EFL Award here.

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