4) An Emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training
Unless you’re a diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) expert, have a particular interest in the topic or have had your own personal experiences in the workplace, the likelihood of you feeling confident in your knowledge of DEI is slim (regardless of it being a buzz topic for the last few years).
With 76% of employees and job seekers stating that diversity was important when considering job offers, 2024, will see an increased number of learning and development professionals refining and reshaping what diversity, equity and inclusion looks like in the workplace. This will also include mandatory DE&I training for all employees – however this will not and cannot be a one size fits all approach.
With what is simply not just hiring a diverse workforce, DEI initiatives take into consideration socio-political landscapes, socio-economic factors, sustainability and policy changes and inclusivity.
Educating, training and supporting workforces with the knowledge, skills and confidence to advocate for DEI initiatives in the workplace is now vital. These initiatives include but are not limited to:
- Creating a diversity committee that will lead discussions, organise events and talks, share articles, stories and books as well as following the diversity calendar
- Sharing real life examples through DE&I Lunch&Learn sessions
- Hiring a DE&I expert to create a personalised DE&I training workshop
- Creating employee resource groups
Katerina Bezrukova, Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo’s School of Management says that DEI training has the potential to positively address bias and prejudice within organisations, explaining that the fundamental goal should always be to increase empathy and understanding across the board, this will in turn ensure “everyone feels valued, respected and an integral part of the team”.