How to Promote Diversity & Inclusion with Corporate Training


Say farewell to the days of humdrum, bi-annual HR presentations on diversity and inclusion in the workplace — the next generation of D&I training is upon us.

Companies today are investing in new forms of D&I training that have the potential to bring about real organizational change, and so far, the results are promising. The 2019 U.S. L&D Report reveals that companies that have grown over the past year are 72 per cent more likely to boast high diversity in their organizations, compared to companies that haven’t grown.

If you’re curious to learn more about new trends in diversity and inclusion, read on and discover how some of today’s leading companies are leveraging D&I training to drive innovation and nurture inclusive cultures within their organizations.

Promote Diversity & Inclusion on a Daily Basis

Seamlessly working D&I into day-to-day routines can foster a culture that champions diversity in a sincere way, and companies like BCG Digital Ventures are setting this into motion with initiatives that place D&I front-and-center — sometimes literally. Recently, to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month, BCGDV posted Kinsey scales in their washroom stalls and invited employees to (anonymously!) mark their position on the scale. Max Avruch, Learning & Development Specialist at BCGDV, explains: “It was a way for us to show diversity on our walls and to show people there is a spectrum around orientation.”

Small D&I initiatives can add up to a world of difference, and by making D&I part of the workday, you’ll strengthen teams and keep key issues related to diversity and inclusion top-of-mind throughout the organization.

Get Every Employee Involved in Diversity & Inclusion

Like any systemic problem, improving diversity and inclusion can’t be accomplished by just one person, so it’s important to get everyone in the organization involved. Founded in 1943, the Association of Junior League International has spent the past 75 years building a comprehensive D&I program that empowers all members to become advocates for D&I. In addition to online and print resources, Junior League hosts in-person learning experiences, including three annual conferences and lectures from experts on topics like blind spots, microaggressions, and unconscious bias.

By implementing these D&I initiatives, Junior League has increased their diversity and inclusion in measurable ways. As Janine le Sueur, VP of Programs for Junior League, has expressed, approaching D&I training from a company-wide level will ensure that D&I remains central in every area of the organization.

Be Proactive About Diversifying Your Workforce

Prioritizing diversity and inclusion isn’t just ‘the right thing’ for companies to do — it can also lend a major competitive advantage. For Ernst & Young, which operates in over 150 countries, forming diverse teams has led to more creative, high-quality output and helped set the company apart from competitors. Martin Hayter, Global Assurance Learning Leader for EY, says: “The team has a global flavour to it…and we know that the content we develop is going to be applicable to different cultures, and to both emerging and mature markets.”

While it’s clear that diversity can yield results, building a diverse workforce requires proactive leadership. And considering only 15 per cent of companies are confident they have a sustainable pipeline of talent to ensure future success, it’s critical that D&I initiatives extend to recruitment as well. At Merck, practicing “conscious inclusivity” throughout the hiring process has improved the diversity of their workforce markedly. One initiative that’s been particularly effective is Merck’s Unconscious Bias Toolkit, which is packed with straightforward, digestible training resources that senior leaders and HR managers can reference at any time, whether they’re knee-deep in a hiring decision or holding a staff meeting.

Robust, meaningful, and engaging D&I training is the ticket to stronger business performance and more inclusive corporate cultures. Even if your company has limited resources, it’s never a bad time to get the ball rolling on a D&I strategy. As Texanna Reeves, Executive Director of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Center of Excellence at Merck, advises: “For those organizations that might be at the beginning of their D&I journey, start small. Then, focus on your audience in terms of who you want to have an impact on first and then build up from there. Really look at where you can get started and then just go ahead and chip away at it!”    



Amanda has been writing for and since January 2019. Originally from the United States, Amanda earned her bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College in 2013, and has lived in Sweden since 2014. Amanda recently graduated from Stockholm Business School with a master’s degree in marketing  and has a passion for all things related to communications and organisational culture.

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