Casual Friday- The Ways NOT To Do Diversity Training

December 23rd, 2011 | Categories: Stereotypes in General

There are a variety of ways to train people about diversity. The goal of diversity training is to enable people to gain an appreciation for the value that diversity can offer an organization and the importance of making room for diversity within organizations. Equifinality suggests that ultimately there are many ways to get to this same result.

Diverse strategies for diversity training is in itself an example of the benefits of diversity. Relying on only one strategy is inadequate. After all, one strategy may not target or appeal to everyone. Moreover, the redundancy that might come from using multiple strategies for diversity can reinforce the importance of diversity in the organizational culture.

Kudos to organizations like American Express and others who integrate diversity training in a variety of ways throughout their organization. Diversity Inc. rates companies who excel in this and other diversity-related areas. See their Top 50 list here.

Although multiple and various strategies for diversity training is valuable, there are definitely some ways NOT to do diversity training. Check out the clips below from The Office for example.

Introduction to Diversity Training

Diversity Training with Pam and Dwight

Diversity Training with Michael and Kelly

Although these are fictional, you would be surprised at the attempts at diversity training that occur in organizational settings. Consider that each year the Governor of Kentucky creates a video to spur thoughtfulness about issues of diversity in educational institutions in the state. It is interesting how the awkwardness that comes through in The Office diversity training clips comes through in the real-life diversity training too. In both cases, what should come across as enthusiastic training to educate people on the importance and benefits of diversity instead comes across as forced and ineffectual.

The moral here is that while equifinality suggests there are many ways to engage in diversity training, there are definitely some ways NOT to do diversity training.

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