In June 2020, the world saw the racial and social justice movement begin to rise once more with the death of George Floyd. As this occurred, companies attempted to reassure their employees that their workplaces were safe from discrimination. Unfortunately, too many didn’t have the groundwork set. They didn’t have annual unconscious bias training, microaggression, workshops, or diversity, equity, and inclusion training. Their staff had no knowledge to lean on. They were trying to jump into the middle of what was, in fact, an entirely new conversation.
In this blog, we’ll take a step back and look at why DEI training is so critical to your company (now more than ever!).
The Four Core Components of Diversity Training
1. Equity and Inclusion
Equity is the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Equity also acknowledges that some groups are historically under-served and under-represented populations. To create fairness among these groups in unbalanced conditions will help to promote equality in opportunities to all groups.
Inclusion seeks to bring traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, decision-making in a way that shares power and equal access to opportunities and resources.
Having these two components as part of your training helps to communicate to your staff, managers, and C-suite professionals how essential it is that everyone is able to participate fully and equally. It helps lay the foundation for inclusion and set expectations for behavior.
2. Unconscious Bias
Unconscious bias, also called implicit bias, are hidden attitudes based on social stereotypes. Everyone has these, even if you’re not aware of them, and it’s a crucial element of the conversation on race, discrimination, and DEI. To manage unconscious bias, you must make employees and managers more aware of their biases. We suggest providing practical insights and actions to help minimize the influence of unconscious bias on the workplace as well as various decisions and interactions.
Addressing microaggressions, which often stem from unconscious bias, can help to raise awareness about the impact of stereotypes in the workplace. Microaggressions are subtle slights, snubs, or insults. They can be intentional or unintentional, but they ultimately communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages about an individual’s race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. By offering training that enhances understanding and raises awareness of what microaggressions are and what forms they take, you can empower your employees to respond whether they are the target, bystander, or perpetrator.
Finally, educating your employees on the ability to interact with people of different backgrounds, cultures, races, genders, beliefs, and experiences, helps to foster a culture of belonging and inclusion in your workplace. You want to promote the benefits of collaborating with the entire group while being sensitive to varying comfort levels and differences. Recognizing these potential challenges can help to remove the barrier to inclusive teamwork and decision-making.
Creating a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy is challenging for companies, but it’s necessary. Consider creating an online diversity training for your employees. The world is currently at a nexus, and diversity training can help move us into meaningful collaboration and understanding with each other. Empower your employees and allow your organization to create a more inclusive and equitable space for all.