5 killer reasons your organisation should invest in diversity training courses

5 killer reasons your organisation should invest in diversity training courses

Posted on Feb 14, 2016

5 killer reasons your organisation should invest in diversity training courses – it’s not only the Oscars who can benefit from the current conversation about diversity



equality & diversity online training

There has been a lot of coverage about the 2016 Academy Awards in response to the Oscar members announced an all-white nominee list for the second year running. Unsurprisingly, the Twitter-sphere responded strongly – check out the #OscarSoWhite hashtag or, similarly, the #boycottoscars hashtag is being used to promote the equally strongly-voiced calls to boycott this year’s ceremony. Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith choose Martin Luther King’s birthday to announce their decision to boycott, with Jada posting this video on Facebook:



We must stand in our power.

Posted by Jada Pinkett Smith on Monday, 18 January 2016




Diversity is not just about race

Having started this blog with featuring the Oscars race row, it’s important to stress that we’re talking about diversity as a whole rather than just race and, as actress Laura Prepon explained what we mean by diversity really at the Screen Actors Guild awards, we thought we'd it here too:



What relevance is this to my organisation?

The diversity row facing Hollywood might seem irrelevant to or remote from the situation we face in everyday life. The nominees list could be considered to be the by-product of an organisation that isn’t representatively diverse. In fact, the Academy membership is currently overwhelmingly Caucasian and over-50. One commentator, Jeff Friday (founder of the American Black Film Festival), suggests that the lack of diversity in nominations stems from this lack of diversity in membership:

“The composition of the membership is very homogeneous and that’s going to be reflected in their choices”

If Jeff Friday is correct, then this highlights the pitfalls of not embracing diversity within your organisation.

What is the first step in creating a diverse workplace?

Education and awareness: this applies equally at all levels of the organisation and will help identify any opportunities for improvement. This isn’t just tackling issues that can be seen (e.g. using sexist language) we’re talking about highlighting areas such as unconscious bias, possible accidental-yet-indirect discrimination. These are trickier to identify when you’re part of the situation, so additional information and training helps you tackle these issues.

Creating a culture of diversity will:

  1. Drive innovation – the wider the range of skills, experience and knowledge, the greater the levels of innovation shown within an organisation. Innovation is key for modern organisations: we now live in a world of constant update and development now. There isn’t really the option to stand still and there are several examples of what happens if you don’t keep up with trends: I’m sure there will be examples coming to mind for you.
  2. Create higher returns – a McKinsey report carried out a couple of years ago showed that firms with more diverse leadership teams produced higher financial results than counterparts whose senior leadership team lacks diversity.
  3. Grow your business – with innovation and higher returns, comes growth. Who can argue with that?
  4. Enhance creativity and problem-solving – quite often these two go hand-in-hand and are needed during our daily life at work. It might not always be on a large scale but a team who can quickly come up with creative approaches or solutions to problems would be invaluable. It’s been shown that the wider the background, knowledge and experience of the team, the more naturally (and easily) creativity and problem-solving will become part of the organisational culture.
  5. Attract better talent – recruiting (and retaining) the right people are the life-blood of an organisation. Recruiting itself is costly (in both direct and indirect ways) and, similarly, the best candidates are becoming increasingly choosy about where they work. As such, you need to be able to give them a culture to suit.

It’s been a deliberate move to only include the tangible business benefits in this list as, understandably, most organisational decisions are based on what adds value to a company. That said, we can’t ignore the enormous social benefit of creating a hugely diverse organisational culture (however impossible that is to calculate).


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