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Equal Opportunities/Diversity Training

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Could any one help me with some ideas for training which would help to change their perception of women, older people, ethnic minorities etc. They are not out and out racist or sexist or ageist, however they are somewhat old fashioned in their views. I would like to make it fun as well as the serious message I need to try and get across. We have an equal opps. policy, so I'm ok with that.

Thank you

Ceri Bailey
[email protected]
Ceri-Anne Bailey

7 Responses

  1. Tale of ‘O’
    Do not know if you have used this video, but it gets the message across in a humorous way.

  2. IMPACT theatre group
    The IMPACT theatre group do an excellent workshop on equal opportunities – very well written and used with engineering audiences before. It is challenging, very participative, witty, and entertaining all at the same time. I can thoroughly recommend them.

    Phone Stella Arnold on 01484 516100.

  3. Everyone is a minority
    A good way of introducing this issue is to get people to stand on a line on the basis of suggested categories – your ideas or theirs (written on paper). You could ask them to write on a piece of paper a way in which they think they might be different from everyone else in the room (that they would be prepared to share) for instance. Smokers and non-smokers, parents and non parents etc. This could lead you into a discussion of what it feels like to be different (single in a world of couples or whatever). Engineers often find it difficult to talk about feelings – so they may first need convincing of the business benefits of diversity! Good luck.

  4. ideas for equal opp problem
    Have you thought of using an interactive forum theatre to start the ball rolling, Ceri? It can give a platform to begin the discussion. Can use a plot that doesn’t on the surface seem to be about racism, but is about “difference” and then go from there… Loads of directions to take in it after that. Also cost effective as you can do it with quite large groups. I’ve used similar stuff with Bechtel engineers – they loved it after the initial shock! If I can give you help, ring me on 02079680421

  5. Social Engineering?
    Firstly, the Tale of O is a World Series Production (formerly Melrose) available through Video Arts – it does address the issue well, particularly with reference to how uniformity develops and hence suppresses diversity. If you have difficulty getting hold of a copy from your local resource centre, let me know and I can help.

    My experience of diversity work is that it has to be approached from a personal angle, not from the equal opps route which for better or for worse has had the politically correct tag firmly attached.

    A tool such as the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument is a widely applicable style preference tool which can bring rapid understanding of differing thinking styles and why we work so well in some areas (and with some people) and so poorly in others – I believe it’s important to start an appreciation of diversity from a place that’s not easily stereotyped, i.e. me, myself, I. http://www.hbdi.com will give the background. Engineers (I used to be one!)have their own stereotypical behaviours which the HBDI can help identify and give pointers to broadening them out.

    Once the personal basis is established, then the specific issues can be tackled relating to gender, race etc. A ground breaking work that has been used specifically in race is “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” by Jane Elliot (check out http://www.horizonmag/4/jane-elliot.asp for the overview). The video of the same name is pretty hard hitting too.
    Getting a person to appreciate what it must be like to be the odd one out and how unjust discrimination can be is I believe the only route to real awareness and hence understanding.

    It’s a huge topic in breadth and depth and in any given training initiative, you can only hope to chip away at the assumptions and misconceptions, but it’s still worth the effort.

  6. Fun presentation I’ve seen
    When taking my CTP I worked with a fantastic guy called Brendan. He works on Carribean cruise liners and as a result experiences a great diversity of socio – economic backgrounds. Much of his training is directed towards sexual and racial equality. He did engage us in a very interactive and fun session that addressed perceptions of minority and diversity groups. I am sure he would be willing to share this with you. If you contact me I will pass on your details to him.

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