Are you watering down your DEI Initatives?

𝗔𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗗𝗘𝗜 𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀?

There is a difference between compliance training and real development.

I don’t work in compliance training, but unfortunately, many organisations mistake DEI as another compliance topic.

At the heart, many organisations want to be seen to be tackling the issue and are looking for options that can tick boxes.

Unconscious Bias Training has become a go-to option for organisations wanting more than just EEO and anti-discrimination modules, but in reality, it is not doing what you think it is doing.

Whilst Unconscious Bias is now a fairly well-known term, very few people take any meaningful steps.

Most people think ‘greater awareness’ is a suitable outcome or takeaway, without actually challenging what this awareness is or how it will inform their actions going forward.

The training ticks a box. And then people wonder why it hasn’t produced any meaningful change.

We may have crossed our arms, and committed to #breakthebias2022, for International Women’s Day 2022, but how has that been going for you?

We get kudos for showing up. We applaud commitments to champion change.

That’s the end of the story.

Next time, pay attention to the subtle use of words used by a program sponsor or a senior leader that has been through unconscious bias training.

“WE need to address this” or “WE need to do more about this.” or something similar…

Whilst sharing accountability through ‘WE’ (and getting everyone’s heads nodding) it actually also serves to negate personal responsibility.

Which means nothing changes.

Better leadership looks like:

“I am going to fix the problem by….”

“I am going to change the way… “

“I know that I’ve been getting it wrong”.

Unfortunately, we often fall into the trap of thinking it is other people’s biases that we need to break.

This mindset leaves us to overlook our own prejudices.

This mindset evades the uncomfortable truth that we are contributing to the problem.

Some more than others.

Our discomfort is worth others feeling more comfortable.

Discomfort is where learning happens.

Discomfort motivates real change.

You don’t need more unconscious bias training.

We don’t need more slides or e-learning.

We need a better intervention.

#blokecoaching is an uncomfortable program.

And we make no apologies for that.

Clients get upset.

They cry. They argue.

Through the program, we help everyone to understand their privilege, the patriarchal system and their individual prejudices, and those topics are going to stir up some big feelings.

But that is part of the process. And our clients are better for it.