Leadership Training Topics: Diversity & Inclusion

When you’re considering possible leadership training topics, we would recommend that you prioritise diversity & inclusion. These topics look at how we categorise and divide people within a company, often completely unintentionally. Such categories include gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability, age and education.

In the UK it is illegal to discriminate against anyone on the basis of these categories, but there is a massive difference between not discriminating and actively welcoming.

All too often diversity & inclusion are dismissed as subjects that leaders need only pay lip service to in order for a company to meet its legal obligations and project a positive, progressive image. We firmly disagree with this. There is great value in diversity & inclusion, both financially and culturally.

As company leaders, executives should be seen to be championing the ideas of D&I and making a personal commitment to discover and address their own prejudices and failings. This can include both conscious and unconscious bias. But what is unconscious bias?

Leadership Training Topics: Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is simply the way in which your own personal experiences and background have shaped your judgement and opinions about people, often without you even realising it. As human beings, we make hundreds of unconscious decisions every day based on our instinctive feelings. Whilst that is perfectly okay for choosing which pen to use or picking out your lunch, we should question these instincts when it comes to our perception of other people.

In practice, small changes can make a huge difference. For example, an HR leader who has successfully undergone D&I training will encourage their team to think critically about the language they are using in recruitment materials and consider whether they are inadvertently targeting one or two demographics above others. They may even take their commitment a step further and invest in software which can scan text and identify such biases.

For many people, unconscious bias is a sensitive topic because they feel that they are being accused of malicious intent. That should not be the case as this leadership training topic is not intended to be a means of pointing figures at people. The reflection necessary for this training to have a real positive impact can leave feel individuals feeling uncomfortable, but we can guide you on how to create a safe and confidential environment that encourages people to share those concerns.

Why should leaders care about diversity in the workplace?

There are multiple reasons as to why companies should care enough about D&I to make it a key leadership training topic. For starters, it makes great business sense. Multiple studies have demonstrated that having a more diverse workforce leads to both greater financial success and a superior ability to attract the best talent.

As a direct result of globalisation, companies’ markets are becoming increasingly diverse. To firmly retain and secure your slice of the market, you need to ensure that you remain relevant and appealing to your audience. Your brand story now needs to resonate with a greater array of people.

Reaching out to new people and new demographics can be incredibly difficult to do if you only value the views and opinions of a very homogenised group of people. Get it wrong and you might come across as tone deaf, like with the Pepsi Black Lives Matter TV advertisement. Typically, with more diverse voices in the company (including the leadership level) you have a greater chance of achieving a creative breakthrough that feels authentic and can cut through to the right people.

 


We’ve partnered with a host of global businesses seeking to empower their diversity & inclusion through executive search, talent mapping & pipelining and competitive intelligence. 

To discuss how we can support your D&I plans, get in touch below using our contact form.

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