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Diversity Training


I am hoping to raise Diversity awareness at work and want to write a generic training course. Can anyone offer any exercises that may have really worked or proved very thought-provoking on the subject? Any help is very appreciated!
Dean Wearmouth

16 Responses

  1. challenge assumptions
    There’s the old one of putting pictures of a wide variety including wheelchair users, all kinds of ethnic groups, obviiously middle/working class,male and female, around the walls – “name the bank-manager, convict, architect, benefits claimant, surgeon, dinner-lady, author” etc as a starter. Get people to notice their assumptions and how they categorise people, as a start.

  2. Diversity
    Eddie is right.I have made similar postings. We had one of the UK’s best trainers on the subject. If you read the postings that Eddie and others have written,all this should help. But do let me know if you need anything else


  3. Diversity ideas

    One exercise that I use that can really get people thinking is to play some form of diversity bingo. Make up about a dozen different bingo cards (I use a 5 x 5 grid) and then come up with 25 different categories including the obvious mixtures of ethnicity, religion, age and so on, but also include things like someone: with a profound learning difficulty, with a spent criminal conviction involving a custodial sentence, with facial piecings, without one or more limbs and so. It gets people thinking (when you’ve called about 15 categories and no-one has even made a line yet) how homogenous most people’s circle of interaction is.

    I’m happy to give you more detail if you want to contact me directly.

    Kind regards.


  4. Let’s Get Judgemental!
    Hi Dean

    I have used this exercise with students volunteers in a training to work on an information helpline. The aim is to highlight how people often easily make assumptions about others. I give everyone in the group an envelope. On the outside of the envelope are statements about a person (e.g. I am a gay man living in Glasgow. I am worried that I may have caught an infection from somone I slept with recently but dislike the doctors). I ask people to read out their statements one at a time and to say the first thing that comes into their head about the statement. I tell them that no-one will think any less of them for whatever they say and it will stay in the room. The discussion around the gay man ususally leads to assumptions about sexually transmitted diseases and why didn’t he use protection etc. One we have been round everyone in the group I ask them to open their envelopes and to read out the statement inside (e.g. I actually only slept with the person in terms of sharing a bed, and it was a female friend from childhood. She actually had the flu at the time and I’m afriad she has passed it on to me). Everyone is usally very shocked at their assumtions and the judgements they make.

    If anyone would like a full list of the statements on the envelopes email me.

  5. E-learning course on diversity
    Evershed’s law firm has an e-learning course on diversity called Respect@Work, which they license to companies. It’s comprehensive and includes exercises. Your own assumptions are really challenged by them. It costs £11,000 for 1000+ users for two years.

  6. diversity or new name
    It depends what you really want to achieve. If Diversity is just a new name for equal Opps then carry on. If you really mean diversity perhaps you had better check with the Directors if this is what they mean. I think it would lead to two quite different courses.

  7. I’m with Peter on this
    I agree with Peter, almost all the responses to this question have dealt with discrimination rather than diversity.

    Diversity training should focus on the positives of employing a diverse workforce in how different ethnicities, sexualities etc. can add to the ability of your workforce to achieve by going beyond the “all white and all male” workforce you already have.

    Sorry though, I don’t have any exercises for this as my current employer (and previous employes) is already fully convinced of this and so am I.

  8. I’m not racist but …..
    If “I’m not racist but” is something that might be said by someone in your organisation you could give your trainees scenarios to discuss in which this statement would apply. The following are examples of NHS-related scenarios; you would need to devise ones that are contextualised to your organisation, your training objectives, and your ethnic majorities and minorities.

    Brian Jones, an NHS employee, is attending a residential management course and is asked to share a room with an Asian employee from another trust. His reply is: “I’m not racist but ….. I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’d rather share with an English colleague just in case there are problems with food or something; he might want to pray on his own.”

    Mr Quereshi has pressed his nurse-call buzzer. Staff nurse Smith says to her colleague: “I’m not racist but ….. you go and answer that; he doesn’t make any effort to understand me so why should I go? You’re better with him than I am.”

    I have used these scenarios at the end of a half day workshop. The group activity was:

    What are your thoughts on these situations in relation to what you have learned in this workshop?

    An alternative activity is to ask the trainees to relate the scenarios to definitions of stereotyping, discrimination, racism etcetera, or to your definition of what constitutes an ‘ideal’ service.

    I have also found that making relevant diversity quotations available during signing in or later as an energiser is thought-provoking. Some examples:

    Equality is the result of human organization. We are not born equal. Hannah Arendt (1906 – 1975)

    If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us. Hermann Hesse (1877 – 1962)

    Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices – just recognize them. Edward R. Murrow (1908 – 1965)

    If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon. George Aiken

    Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him, and cannot be reasoned out. Sydney Smith (1771 – 1845)

    If you as parents cut corners, your children will too. If you lie, they will too. If you spend all your money on yourselves and tithe no portion of it for charities, colleges, churches, synagogues, and civic causes, your children won’t either. And if parents snicker at racial and gender jokes, another generation will pass on the poison adults still have not had the courage to snuff out. Marion Edelman

  9. Prejudice and Discrimination
    It depends on what you are trying to achieve. I have used an exercise around Prejudice and Discrimination which highlights how easy it is to discriminate. If you want details e-mail me

  10. Let’s Get Judgemental!

    Just saw the date on this and rwealised it is so old now that you may not even have the details anymore, but i will ask. I was lloking for some exercises to do at a diversity presentation next week when i saw your idea of putting statements on envelopes and giving them out to the group foer discussion, inside the envelopes were furhter explanations of the outside statements, you offered to send the statements to someone and i was hoping i could ask you if i could also have a copyy, as said it was so long ago now and if you no longer have them please do ont worry. Regards  Carrie

  11. Lets Get Judgemental

    I would be very grateful to receive the full list of statements if you still have them. We are currently delivering Equality/Diversity training to our staff and this exercise would be excellent in challenging assumptions

    Many thanks


  12. Lets Get Judgemental


    I realise, this may be a long shot as the original posting was in 2005, but I would be interested to see if anyone has a full list of the statements for ‘Lets get judgemental’. I am putting together a diversity training programme and I am interested to use this.


    Many thanks


  13. Lets Get Judgemental



    Don’t know if you every received the statements but they sound like just what we need, so if you managed to get them would be grateful if you could forward them on.

    If not any thing similar would be gratefully received.



  14. Let’s Get Judgemental.


    Hi Jill,

    This request is way out of date, chances are you may even have moved on by now. However, I’m hoping that you are still in a position to help, by being able to provide me with a full list of the statements on the Let’s Get Judgemental Exercise.

    My name is John Dyer and my email address is: [email protected]

    Thank You 

  15. statements!

    Did anyone ever get this list of statements? Would be really useful! If anyone has them could they message me?


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