Diversity training has been a controversial topic in the training industries. It is obvious that as trainers, it is not beneficial to try and change an individual’s beliefs. Instead, we focus on training behavior. For instance, we teach employees that any behavior related to discrimination can be reprehended. However, can the designer or facilitator influence diversity training? In my personal opinion, yes, it can.
If an organization has diversity training, I have often found that the training mainly focuses on protected class that the trainer most identified with. For instance, if an African American is facilitating the course, he/she may present racial discrimination as the main topic. I have seen my preferences in diversity as well. Why does this occur? It is primarily a result of our passion or past experiences. It is not bad to focus on one aspect but a trainer must question if the training provides sufficient information on other protected classes.
There a variety of solutions to assist trainers in overcoming their personal biases. For instance, piloting a training session with your peers can provide significant feedback. The trainer should ask their peers to rate them on how he/she trained on each protected group. Another suggestion is to create a training program in a team setting. It would even more successful includes individuals from diverse backgrounds. Finally, trainers should always ask participants to evaluate the training. There is no need to ask participants about each protected group. Most likely, they will speak up if they felt a certain group did not receive enough attention.
Diversity is always a crucial topic to train on but facilitators encounter problems when they view diversity with specific groups. Diversity is about embracing individual differences. It is not just race and sex but it is also hair color, intelligence, social class, and gender.