Updated: Jun 20
To bring about long-term change, organizations need to invest deeply in diversity, equity, and inclusion training for all employees.
Most employers and businesses understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion is a business imperative. Some have invested personal and professional recourses to gain some grasp of the theory of workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion, but often the theoretical concepts are not translated into active behaviors that lead to change. To bring about long-term change, organizations need to invest deeply in diversity, equity, and inclusion training for all employees.
What Does Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Look Like at Work?
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are all critical components of ensuring justice in the workplace. Justice exists when all people have access to the resources and opportunities necessary to achieve their potential. Let’s quickly explain each concept:
Diversity is the representation of different people in the workplace, which includes all forms of presentation such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ability, as well as psychological, physiological, or social dimensions. Businesses need teams that cross multiple intersections from gender to race to identity orientation to beliefs.
In her book, Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives, Minal Bopaiah explains that “In an equitable society, all people have full and unbiased access to livelihood, education, participation in the political and cultural community, and other social benefits.” Essentially, equity is fairness.
Inclusion in the workplace is an atmosphere where everyone experiences being a part of the larger group. It is not simply a status or position but inclusiveness that comes from mutual respect, understanding, and interest.
Why Does Your Business Need Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Training?
First and foremost, a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion is the morally right thing to do. For too long, people from historically oppressed groups have received unfair treatment in society, and that is mirrored in our workplaces.
Second, there is much research that shows organizations who place a focus on increasing diversity across the workforce and who put into place practices that ensure equitable and inclusive outcomes outperform other organizations in the following key areas.
Stronger Teams - When teams apply the learnings from diversity, equity, and inclusion training together, they obtain a greater understanding of one another; through knowledge comes better teamwork. Studies have shown that DEI training increases the strength and effectiveness of a workplace environment, decreasing turnover, and increasing sales.
Greater Communication - When a business’s employees work together day in and day out, there are bound to be problems, often on a microaggression level. Derald Wing Sue, a leading researcher on microaggressions, defines them as, “The everyday slights, indignities, put downs and insults that people of color, women, LGBT populations or those who are marginalized experiences in their day-to-day interactions with people." When teams are trained in DEI, they develop better communication on a personal and group level. Understanding how various actions and statements could unintentionally cause harm or offense is learned and worked on together. They also learn skills for repairing harm when the impact of their actions does not align with their intent. Therefore, when a problem does arise, it can be recognized and resolved, and long-term impact can be mitigated.
Empower Employees - As they say, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Harmful situations often occur in a workplace due to ignorance, not so much malicious intent. Many people struggle to recognize their biases. DEI training empowers employees on multiple levels. First, it gives those receiving unconscious bias the ability to speak up and share that those biases are not fair or appropriate. Second, it allows those perpetuating the bias to recognize their biases and how they act because of them. Through increased knowledge, workplace bias can be minimized.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Training with Workplace Peace Institute
Workplace Peace Institute believes in creating workplace cultures where people thrive. This is why we offer a diversity, equity, and inclusion training program in our Leadership Academy, which includes the following courses: A Paradigm Shift in, The Science of Inclusion & Belonging, and Making Implicit Biases Explicit. Learn more about Workplace Peace Institute Leadership Academy here.
Workplace Peace Institute Leadership Academy exists to support leaders in honoring basic human needs and dignity needs in the workplace, so they can actualize human potential in the workplace. The online Leadership Academy optimizes competencies in human behavior, communication skills, conflict resolution, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging to create highly engaged workplaces where basic human needs and dignity are consistently honored. All our courses are offered online and can be customized for in-person workshops and seminars.