Creating a Diversity Training Framework

What is Diversity Training?

Diversity training is programming that is created with the goal of fostering an inclusive culture for all members within the organization. It aims to facilitate positive group communication and covers an array of topics such as gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, indigeneity, socio-economic status.

The objective of diversity training is to increase the participants’ awareness and understanding of diversity. A training program that has been successfully implemented typically leads to increased collaboration and productivity.

What are Different Types of Diversity Training?

The Goal setting approach is a program that guides participants to set tangible goals related to creating a more inclusive culture. For example, a participant may pledge to stand up against aggressive behaviour targeted against minority groups.

The Informative approach involves substantial information about how groups have been historically marginalized and steps that can be taken to mitigate the effects of these actions. This method highlights the inequalities in society and ties them to quantitative figures that can be used as a benchmark for improvement. For example, a company’s proportion of minority employees can be benchmarked against their population relative to the country.

Perspective-taking diversity training is a common program that involves taking on the role of someone with different lived experiences. By creating situations where employees are made to experience the world through the shoes of their marginalized colleagues, they can better understand the challenges these individuals face. This allows for strengthened group cohesion and team collaboration.

Training the Recruiting Team:

Fostering diversity consists of creating an environment that is inclusive for all employees. The aforementioned training activities help organizations establish an inclusive culture that retains talent. It is also equally important to consider how recruiting processes attract diverse talent; diversity training for the recruiting team is a very important step in achieving this goal.

Training the recruiting team consists of mitigating unconscious bias and establishing a system that is equitable for any candidate that wishes to apply. Similarly, this process involves goal setting to help establish what the team is trying to achieve. For example, a goal of 10% minority representation will require at least 10% of candidates that receive interviews to be from this community. This can be achieved by partaking in recruiting activities such as approaching diverse university associations and applying filters on LinkedIn searches.

How to Deliver Training:

  • In person: This is usually favourable for smaller teams with a goal of creating an interactive session. In-person training programs are specifically helpful at creating an environment where people feel comfortable asking questions and sharing with a supportive group
  • Hybrid: Hybrid is a method that combines online modules and sessions with in person group discussions and activities. This is helpful for moderate-large groups that might need to segment into smaller meeting groups for targeted training sessions.
  • Online: Online training sessions are conducted virtually through the use of interactive modules and live workshops. These are best suited for larger groups that are unable to connect in an in-person setting.

When to Start?

Diversity is not a “nice-to-have” for companies – it is table stakes for employees that are considering joining the workforce. This is why companies need to begin their D&I journey by collecting and analyzing data. This can help them identify which types of training would best suit their needs.

To find out how you can start collecting demographic inclusivity data and design training programs, visit

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Diversio DEI Expert
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Ekua Quansah
Head of EDI, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

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