In the past year we’ve seen increasing demand for diversity training and many organizations are struggling with disruptions to their standard diversity training programs. In order to stay on track, it’s crucial that organizations do not lose focus of their long-term strategies. Finding alternative methods to incorporate diversity training is more important than ever.
Globally, organizations are beginning to utilize virtual means of training and knowledge sharing. While your team may not be physically within the walls of your office, it’s important to remember that learning can continue. We decided to consult one of TTA’s learning experts, Judy Kaye, to find out more about delivering Diversity and Sexual Harassment Prevention training virtually. Judy is a diversity practitioner with over 25 years of experience in a wide range of industries and notable experience as a lawyer. She has designed and conducted hundreds of interactive workshops on diversity and inclusion, prevention of discrimination and harassment at work and school, effective communication, and culturally competent patient care.
In our conversation, Judy shared that conducting virtual Diversity and Sexual Harassment Prevention courses can be extremely advantageous. She was kind enough to share a list of the many advantages below:
- Increased self-evaluation and reflection – We are all influenced by the thoughts, opinions, and experiences of those around us. By conducting the training virtually, participants may feel more willing to examine their unconscious biases without the influence and potential judgments of those around them in a traditional classroom.
- More efficient group work opportunities – It’s easy to assume that no alternative is more efficient than in-person group projects, but this may not be the case. With virtual diversity and sexual harassment training, participants can quickly split into smaller discussion/chat groups, such a Zoom’s ‘breakout room’ feature. This allows for more collaborative opportunities without interfering too much with training time.
- Increased open and honest questions – Often learners are resistant to ask questions when they are in a room full of their peers, particularly while being trained on a sensitive subject such as diversity and sexual harassment. However, when participating in virtual training, learners can easily send the instructor private chat messages in real-time during the session. These chats could include questions, comments, or examples of bias that they might be more reluctant to share if they are in front of a group of peers. The instructor is then able to address these questions anonymously to the entire group.
- More accurate Implicit Bias Tests (IAT) – IAT’s are often conducted at the beginning and end of a diversity training course and are an extremely valuable metric in evaluating the effectiveness of the training. If participants have the opportunity to take these tests at their computer rather than in a traditional classroom, participants might be more honest and transparent knowing they will definitely keep their anonymity.
Opportunities to connect virtually rather than in person are all around us, and we might find out that they are better.