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The Truth About D&I Training

March 20, 2020
Andy Yates

Is there any doubt as we move into a new year, new decade and a new workplace that the business case for diversity and inclusion (D&I) is compelling?

The growing body of research shows that companies that embrace D&I are more innovative and profitable (Boston Consulting Group), perform better financially (McKinsey), have better leadership (Hays), attract more talent (Glassdoor) are more recession proof (Fortune/Great Places to Work)…and the list goes on.

Beyond the statistics lies a simple truth. If you don’t find and nurture the best talent, you will never be the best business you can be. A more diverse business also promotes a better culture and helps motivate and retain colleagues. In summary if you ignore or exclude swathes of people it could cost you in more ways than one.

However, this simple truth is complicated to put into practice. Over half of all UK employees have witnessed or experienced racism, ageism, sexism or LGBT+ discrimination in the workplace according to Glassdoor’s 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Study.

There is no overnight fix. Neuroscientists recognise that unconscious or implicit bias has an important impact on the decisions the vast majority of us make. In summary we are (sadly) wired this way. In short, we have regions of our brains that are involved in racial and gender stereotyping – and these stereotypes begin to form early in childhood.

How do you really change embedded and engrained views of colleagues and the images they hold of the people around them?

Herein lies the ultimate conundrum in training and developing co-workers in a modern and evolving workplace. How do you really change embedded and engrained views of colleagues and the images they hold of the people around them? And how do you do this at scale across the work place given this is not an isolated issue or one that is going away soon?

We believe the answer is to wave goodbye to one-off traditionally delivered training courses…(for this insert lecture/powerpoint/away day/questionnaire/ test…).

Instead, there needs to be a new way – a way to change attitudes, decision making and bias over time, at every level of an organisation with real and measurable results and impact. And deliverable at scale to effect meaningful change - after all you want to include the many, not the few.

That is the change and the simple truth that New Wave Learning is seeking to bring. We are in this together with the companies - and talented people - we work with.

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