Business Transformation

How Evidence-Based Diversity Training Can Make You An Inclusive Leader

Diversity training involves programs designed to promote and/or improve intergroup interactions in the workplace. Different groups, including race, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, and culture, make up organizations, and it’s important for everyone to feel included and accepted. 

Diversity training generally teaches employees who are different from each other to work together effectively by reducing prejudice and/or discrimination of minority groups. When it comes to evidence-based diversity training, leaders ought to walk the talk, as well as implement ways to measure the effectiveness of diversity training programs in the workplace. 

Here’s how diversity training can make you an inclusive leader:

  1. It Fosters Motivation
    As an inclusive leader, you should constantly make an effort to recognize employees for their work, as well as support their efforts and growth. This will go a long way in fostering motivation in the workplace. Diversity training can come in handy where appreciating individual differences is concerned.
    Training can assist in addressing systematic problems, such as pay and leadership inequity. Companies that fail to accept diversity have been found to place mostly white people and males in leadership positions, thereby, throwing the whole aspect of inclusivity out the window.
  2. It Helps Create Spaces For Underrepresented Groups
    It’s good for employees to interact regardless of race, ethnicity, and all the things that make them different from one another. A recent study shows that interracial interactions help people see where inequality exists in organizations. Another study found that white people displayed inclusive behavior towards their non-white co-workers after hearing them speak of their cultures.
    However, intergroup interaction may put pressure on underrepresented groups who may end up feeling left out or responsible for teaching others. In response to this, leaders striving for inclusivity can create dedicated structures, like affinity groups where only underrepresented groups gather. These spaces can be used to facilitate career networking and advancement.
  3. It Helps To Measure Improvements
    While diversity training is important, training alone sometimes isn’t enough. For instance, implicit bias training is an approach designed to help participants recognize and overcome unconscious prejudice. It has been found to be ineffective, especially in the long run, because participants end up not taking responsibility for their discriminatory actions.
    Implementing this training and thinking it’s enough may be a mistake. Therefore, it’s important to measure diversity training to see if it has actually yielded the required results. You can find out if diversity training has made any improvements by conducting surveys or any method suitable to your organization.
    Seek to know if gender bias, racial bias, and any other forms of bias and discrimination have improved in the workplace since the training. This way, you can address issues and find more effective ways of implementing evidence-based training. 
  4. It Helps You To Walk The Talk
    It’s easy to describe your organization as diverse and inclusive. While this may attract more candidates and make your recruitment process easier, it should be followed by action. Companies that preach the diversity gospel aren’t exactly good at practicing it.
    Evidence-based Diversity training can help bridge the gap between talk and action. You can start by creating accountability structures that are effective for improving managerial diversity. You can follow this up by appointing diversity officers in every function who will report to leaders with the power to hold managers and units accountable for any act contrary to inclusion.
    Moreover, you can train your diversity officers on issues of inequality in the workplace and how to handle them. While this is diversity training done at the leadership level, it benefits every employee and ensures that every group in the workplace is included.
  5. It Promotes Pay Equity
    Diversity training that focuses on diversity acceptance as a choice benefiting every employee in the workplace results in long-lasting, positive changes. Among the most appreciated forms of workplace, inclusion is pay equity. It’s important for leaders to level out the playing field by promoting and providing fair opportunities for all.
    Leaders can use people analytics to identify any remuneration inequities. If there are any employees being underpaid for similar roles, you can get to the bottom of the issue by investigating why that is. Statistically, people of color have been found to be underpaid for similar roles as white employees.
    When evidence-based diversity training is prioritized in an organization, leaders should be able to measure its effectiveness. In the case of pay equity, feedback should point towards equal pay for all, regardless of race, gender, and sexual orientation, to mention a few.
  6. It Helps Acknowledge Holidays Of All Cultures
    Accepting diversity in the workplace means acknowledging different types of religions and cultures that are upheld by different employees. This means that as a leader, you may have to acknowledge the holidays that come with every culture and religion represented in the organization.
    You can invest time into knowing your staff and what holidays they observe. This will help you be mindful when you plan meetings and any business events. For example, if you open the business on Saturdays, you can work around a flexible schedule for those who observe Saturday as their day of worship by allowing them the day off.
  7. It Creates A Common Goal
    Conducting evidence-based diversity training in the workplace will help put everyone on board. If training isn’t offered, you risk having an organization that’s divided against itself. As a result, this may even affect the company’s bottom line.
    Common goals help create common bonds and address unconscious bias. When everyone receives the same training and witnesses how it’s helpful to the organization, they will continue to be in support of it. When employees feel included, they feel motivated to work and sometimes even go the extra mile.  

Companies that embrace diversity have proved to make more profit and attract more customers compared with their competitors and rivalries. You can also take initiatives that promote participation in inclusion efforts. For example, you can offer incentives to employees serving on a diversity council.  

Chances are, if bonuses were linked to diversity metrics, things would shift at a faster rate. Whichever steps you take towards evidence-based diversity training, a common goal will help you achieve inclusivity faster. 

Conclusion 

While diversity training addresses all the unique things about employees, like race, nationality, gender, and socio-economic status, it’s more effective when it’s evidence-based. This means you can follow up diversity training with feedback from employees, performance, or inclusion metrics, and any way to actually prove that the training is working for every group represented. 

This will help you to identify any gaps in things, such as remuneration and recognition so that you can address the issues in a way that benefits everyone in the organization, including the minority groups.


Have you read?
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The World’s Richest People (Top 100 Billionaires, 2022).

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Anna Papadopoulos
Anna Papadopoulos is a senior money, wealth, and asset management reporter at CEOWORLD magazine, covering consumer issues, investing and financial communities + author of the CEOWORLD magazine newsletter, writing about money with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. You can follow CEOWORLD magazine on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn for musings on money, wealth, asset management, millionaires, and billionaires. Email her at info@ceoworld.biz.