How Do You View Diversity Training?

Joe Weinlick
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Employees and managers take varying stances on diversity training. Some think it's beneficial, contributing to a more productive and inclusive workplace, while others view diversity training as a waste of time and company resources. Whether you see it as a positive or negative experience, find out the various views workers take on diversity training and the reasons why.

Negative: It's Not a Widespread Problem

If issues are limited to just one or two employees, others may feel that it's unnecessary to direct diversity training to the entire organization. Some managers hear about diversity-related issues in the industry and decide that training is beneficial for their organization. It's important to determine where the issues lie before implementing company-wide diversity training. Your time, money and efforts may be better spent focusing on increased accountability for employees causing the problems.

Positive: It Makes Better Managers

When organizations employ diversity training among supervisors and managers, it can encourage these leaders to be more inclusive and communicative in relations with subordinates. This can result in less employee turnover within your company.

Negative: There's No Follow-Through

Many employees see diversity training as a wasted effort because it’s a one-shot deal. Companies can spend thousands on courses and content to teach employees the importance of diversity, but it's pointless if the effort ends there. For diversity training to be beneficial, organizations must come up with a post-training implementation plan and create new policies and procedures.

Positive: It Opens Opportunities

When your company takes diversity training seriously, the training can encourage managers and supervisors to advance all qualified individuals within the organization. With a company culture that fosters inclusion, more women and minorities have access to managerial positions.

Negative: It Creates Blame

When diversity training is handled ineffectively, it can leave certain participants feeling blamed for the culture of inequity within the organization. When the training puts too much focus on the inclusion of certain minority groups, it can single out the more dominant groups within the company, which is often white males. This can also discourage those in the dominant group from raising their own diversity concerns.

Positive: It Encourages Openness

If diversity training is handled appropriately, it can encourage a more open and communicative organization. Care can be taken to make sure policies cater to the needs of all employees, and managers can provide meaningful and timely feedback to their subordinates. Employees can feel safe to address their sensitive diversity issues without guilt or blame.

If you explore the various views of diversity training and determine that it's right for your organization, make sure it's as effective as possible. Identify the strengths and weaknesses in your company, and know which problems you want to solve as a result of the training.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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