Colorful Knitted Print

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Classes

I facilitate many different highly-interactive classes devoted to exploring myriad diversity, equity, and inclusion-related topics.   I strive to provide content that is engaging, practical, and inclusive of participants at all different points in their own DEI journeys.  Below are descriptions of the most frequently requested classes and I routinely collaborate with employers to create customized classes specific to their organizational needs and interests.  I welcome your inquiries!

 

Understanding bias and prejudice: bringing the unconscious conscious: This flagship class supports participants increasing their awareness of their own personal biases - both explicit and implicit - and how these biases impact the ways in which we navigate the world.  Learning to give your first impressions a second look is a challenging undertaking that requires humility, curiosity, and patience.  I use a combination of videos, polls, storytelling, and slides to define and explore some of the biases and prejudices that impact many of us, oftentimes outside of our conscious awareness.  We explore effective techniques of challenging some of the scripts that we have inherited and as well as practical strategies for being a better ally and interrupting others’ biased and prejudicial language. This class can serve as the catalyst for a lifelong journey of exploring and challenging our biases and prejudices.

This class can be either two or three hours in length.  The three-hour class allows participants additional time for self-reflection on personal experiences with bias and prejudice and to participate in scenario-based small group work.

 

Reducing bias in the hiring lifecycleIn this workshop, geared specifically for hiring managers, Human Resources staff, and individuals involved in interview panels, we do a deeper dive into the myriad implicit biases that can negatively impact our ability to make the best choices in the recruiting and hiring processes. I provide practical guidance on how to recognize and overcome the unintentional barriers we may be creating in every step of the hiring process, including providing guidance on the following:

• establishing metrics to increase the diversity of your workforce;

• attributes of a strong job description and job posting;

•how to cast a wider net in your outreach to candidates from more diverse backgrounds and experiences;

• the significance of your website and social media’s messaging;

• evaluating applications carefully;

• conducting consistent and less biased interviews; and

• best practices for prompt and consistent evaluation of candidates.

I additionally share tools that will guide participants on what questions to ask – and not to ask – during the interview process.  This class is often supplemented by consultation with Human Resources staff on internal processes and procedures currently being used.

Leading a  culture of belonging: In this highly-interactive class, leaders learn about the essential role that they play in creating a supportive and welcoming work environment where their team members enjoy a sense of belonging.  At some point in our lives, we have all felt that we did not belong; leaders are introduced to a number of practical and effective techniques to cultivate and maintain a work environment where employees can be their authentic selves, do their best work, and truly belong.   

 

This class explores:

  • The differences between fitting in and belonging

  • The myriad benefits of employees experiencing a sense of belonging at work

  • The elements of a psychologically safe workplace

  • How to assess your work group's current sense of belonging, using both formal and informal assessment methods

  • Behaviors that staff engage in when they have a sense of belonging and the importance of leaders role modeling these same behaviors

  • Common obstacles to belonging in a work group 

  • Proactive steps to create and maintain a culture of belonging 

  • Creation of a plan of practical action steps

Bias in action: This interactive class allows participants to do a deeper dive into the concepts introduced in the Understanding Bias and Prejudice class. Participants, working in small groups, will brainstorm how they would respond to a series of scenarios that pose challenging and realistic situations that could arise in the workplace related to multiple aspects of their own and their colleagues’ identity. We will learn and practice techniques for responding in real time to biased and prejudicial comments, both when we are the target or when we are a bystander to comments being made to others.

Recognizing and responding to microaggressions: In this class, we explore microaggressions: the everyday verbal and nonverbal slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based upon marginalized group membership.  Together we will identify different types of microaggressions; distinguish between intent and impact; and learn and practice practical ways to respond to microaggressions, whether you are the target or whether you are intervening as an ally.  This class can be either one or two hours in length, with the two-hour class providing participants an opportunity to engage in self-reflection activities and small group work exploring how they would respond to microaggressions in realistic scenarios.

Exploring gender diversity: In this class, we explore how the binary view of gender as either male or female has changed significantly and provide participants vocabulary and tools to navigate the complexities and tremendous range of gender diversity.  We will explore gender-related terminology, exploring the meaning of terms like gender, gender diversity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.  We will also examine the significance of gender pronouns, the words that individuals use to refer to themselves (such as he/his, she/her, and they/them) and why respecting someone else’s and sharing your own gender pronouns creates a more inclusive and welcoming environment for your colleagues and your customers or clients.  Last, we will discuss practical ways to avoid using gendered language that can unintentionally exclude individuals.

Being an ally: In this workshop, we explore the many different ways in which we can be an ally to someone else.   Being an ally is not a noun or a self-designated title.  Rather, allyship is a verb describing someone who uses their own power or advantages to help someone else overcome some sort of barrier or hurdle. ​Being an ally doesn't require you to wear a superhero's cape or have a bottomless checkbook - even small actions that we take can have a tremendously positive impact on someone else.  We will explore the many different roles that an ally can play and brainstorm different ways that each of us can take action as an ally.

Reducing bias in the interview class: In this one-hour class, we explore the impact that implicit biases can have during interviews, such as feeling a gravitational pull toward a particular candidate that we are similar to or having negative first impressions triggered by some aspect of a candidate's appearance.  In order to conduct less biased interviews, we will learn about the importance of the composition of your interview team; the questions to ask - and should not ask - of candidates; and the potential impact of nonverbal communications and different cultural norms.  Participants will emerge from the class with a number of immediately implementable and practical tools and best practices to not only reduce the likelihood of bias impacting their interviews but also increase the likelihood of hiring the most qualified person for the job.

Hosting inclusive meetings: most of us spend a lot of time in meetings and, for many of us, we feel undervalued and lacking a voice in these meetings.   The pandemic has triggered an increased awareness that meetings - whether in-person, remote, or a combination of the two - are not always inclusive of all of our team members.  In this class, supervisors and managers learn practical strategies for hosting inclusive meetings, including an abundance of steps that leaders can intentionally take, even before a meeting starts, to ensure that meeting attendees feel comfortable participating, that their participation is valued, and that they have both a proverbial and a literal seat at the table. 

Exploration of culture: During this highly interactive workshop, we explore the various cultures that we personally inhabit and steps that we can take to become more culturally competent.  Cultural competency – the ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across various cultures – is a lifelong journey and a skill essential to succeeding in today’s culturally-diverse work environment.  Participants are provided the skills to begin to question the tremendous impact of their cultural lenses in both their personal and professional lives.  This class encompasses defining culture and exploring both its visible and invisible components; exploring some of the myriad cultures that we personally inhabit and how our related cultural lenses impact how we navigate the world; and navigating the differences between collectivistic and individualistic cultures and how these two types of cultures impact how we communicate and interact with others.

Exploring culture and the power of storytelling: This class provides participants an opportunity to put into practice their takeaways from the exploration of culture class.  Participants receive guidance on how to research a culture that they do not personally belong to and prepare a presentation in a variety of possible mediums to share their learnings with their team members about a culture they were previously unfamiliar with.  Participants not only benefit from learning about myriad cultures different from their own, but also gain new skills and confidence in the art of storytelling, which can be a powerful conduit of understanding and connection.