The Learning Cafe

Food for thought | Can you teach diversity and inclusion?

  • Posted by learningwavenz
  • On August 3, 2017

Training alone is rarely enough. Not when the subject matter is complex, controversial or comes packaged with a load of historically negative baggage, which diversity and inclusion does.

For diversity and inclusion training to stick, it needs support, reinforcement and a firm foundation in a broader talent management strategy that includes culture, leadership and learning and development. Without the right kind of culture in place — where employees embrace difference, senior leaders model inclusive behaviors and value the innovation and market accessibility that diversity can provide, and promote diverse thinking and risk-taking so people don’t have to hide their mistakes — diversity and inclusion training will not work.

Now, let’s back up a step. What exactly is diversity and inclusion training? It’s often focused on unconscious and conscious bias, advancing communication skills, building cross-cultural intelligence, relationships, emotional intelligence or self-awareness and establishing commonalities and the value of individuals holding multiple identities. That’s not multiple identities in the bad movie, personality disorder way, but in the “I am male, Latino, Catholic, born in a rural setting, but can still contribute at a high level outside that environment” type of way.

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 Source: Whitney, K. (2017). Can You Teach Diversity and Inclusion? Retrieved 2 August 2017 from