The Power of Diversity

Human Resources Training Courses

Course Objectives

  • Gain expertise and understanding in the area of diversity; understand what is included under the rubric of diversity
  • Understand the distinction between EEO, Affirmative Action, and diversity
  • Understand the influence of upbringing; e.g., cultural or personal values, perceptions, and/or world view, and how that affects one’s role as a diversity change agent
  • Understand how power differential or the misuse of power affects diversity issues
  • Begin to understand the “isms”; e.g., racism and sexism, and how that impacts individuals and organizations
  • Develop an inclusive strategy to diversity change
  • Understand the diversity change process—identifying milestones
  • Develop a strategy to deal with backlash
  • Identify one’s own values and identifications, and understanding the implications
  • Gain awareness that diversity work is an ongoing process, and what the phases of the journey may entail
  • Understand what commitment to diversity work entails: critical diversity concepts such as being an ally; intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation for change; pursuing a vision
  • Deal with conflict related to diversity issues and some communication techniques

As an organizational Diversity Team, it is important to be able to work together cohesively in order to be able to serve as an effective change agent to the organization.  In addition, it is critical that the Diversity Team develop compatible working relationships, establish a clear vision/mission, along with a set of prioritized goals and objectives.  Finally, it is important for members to be knowledgeable in the area of diversity. 

The Diversity Team functions as a microcosm of the larger organization; it is critical that the team successfully work through any of its own issues in order to serve as a realistic model to the organization that diversity is indeed a powerful and realistic objective.  The organization will look to the Diversity Team to be leaders in the diversity arena, and it is important for team members to recognize their roles as leaders and change agents.  This is critical to the diversity change effort they are attempting to drive.  Early on in its formation the Diversity Team needs to clarify the role of team members and establish operating principles, including how it will handle conflict within the team.  The Diversity Team, like any other functional team, will go through a process of formation.  It is important in the process of forming that the team solidifies the relationships among its members in a foundation of trust.  This is especially critical to the success of the diversity program they are attempting to implement due to the sometimes controversial, stressful, and emotionally reactive nature of the work. Overall, the team needs to serve as a safe harbor to one another.  Working through and gaining an understanding of the similarities and differences among the team members becomes essential.  Acceptance of diversity begins within the team.

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