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5 steps that can help you implement effective Diversity Training

Diversity and inclusion training helps address biases and prejudice in the workplace. However, to ensure that you have a successful outcome, you must carry out the training responsibly. This means clarifying your goals, defining behavioral standards, empowering underrepresented groups, engaging all levels of the company, and so much more!

To avoid common pitfalls, here are 5 steps that can help you implement effective diversity training in the workplace

Step 1: Develop your understanding of diversity and inclusion training 
Diversity training is a program that creates awareness of diversity issues and seeks to bring about cohesion in team environments. To be successful, your employees must have the proper tools to maximize their development and performance and to minimize the legal risks that would occur if there was diversity-based discrimination in the workplace.

When you create a comprehensive DEI program, you provide solid ways to engage both respectfully and positively in the workplace while also reducing both discrimination and prejudice based on social factors (gender, ethnicity, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical and mental ability, socioeconomic status, etc.). Understanding what you’re striving for is a key component in how successful you’ll be.

Step 2: Extend and maintain diversity and inclusion training over time 
Too often, diversity training is a checkbox. It’s offered once when an employee is onboarded to the company, and then it is pushed aside. Instead, your training should be extended over a period of time. This will make it a part of your employee’s daily thought process as they are constantly being trained on diversity and inclusion material.

Step 3: Tailor diversity and inclusion training to your company
While there are overarching principles of diversity and inclusion that apply to every organization, your company is unique. It has challenges that apply specifically to you and your employees. To address these, you should look inward to assess the specific issues that your company is facing. Then, use your diversity and inclusion program to specifically address those.

Step 4: Plan an integrated approach to diversity and inclusion training
Diversity and inclusion training shouldn’t be a one-stop shop at the beginning of the year. It should be integrated into your company and offered in several formats (lectures, discussions, exercises, etc.). When you vary how you present the information to your employees, it’s much more appealing to the group.

Make Diversity and Inclusion a part of your workplace, 365, with a Diversity and Inclusion Calendar.

Step 5:  Include workers of all levels 
All employees — regardless of their level or status within the company — can benefit from diversity training. And not only should all employees participate, but it’s incredibly necessary to engage senior-level executives to make your diversity training as effective as it can be. Diversity training often requires resources (i.e., money) that upper-level executives have access to. When you have their buy-in, you gain access to the financial means to shine the proper spotlight on these important issues.

Final Thoughts 
Effective diversity training takes time to develop. However, there are several factors that can ensure its success. You should be clear on your goals for what you want out of your diversity training and make sure it’s tailored to your company’s needs. The more customized you make it, the more likely you are to have success!

Explore the Interfaith Calendar 2022 and find ways to incorporate diversity and interfaith events with our list of key religious holidays 2022

What Are Microaggressions?

Microaggressions

Microaggressions are one of the 4 essential types of diversity training in the workplace. They’re behaviors or statements that do not necessarily reflect malicious intent, but which nevertheless inflict insult or injury.

The term was first coined after the Civil Rights era – around the late 1960s or early 1970s. During this time, visible and violent expressions of racism were replaced by subtler manifestations. Today, “microaggression” has become a buzzword in the social justice arena, and now we’re breaking it down for you to understand.

What are some examples of microaggressions?

After reading the above definition, do you know what a microaggression is? Can you think of one you’ve witnessed?

If not, we don’t blame you. Unless you’ve learned about them before or been a victim yourself, microaggressions can be tricky to conceptualize. It’s not because they don’t exist – it’s because they’re like implicit biases. Microaggressions and implicit biases are often not “problems” to anyone who isn’t directly impacted by them.

As psychologist, author, and Columbia professor Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D., puts it, microaggressions are “the everyday slights, indignities, put-downs, and insults that people of color, women, LGBT populations, or those who are marginalized experience in their day-to-day interactions with people.”

Here are some examples. See if any of these are familiar to you!

ThemeMicroaggressionMessage
Alien in own land“So, where are you from?”You are a foreigner
A White person does not want to acknowledge race“When I look at you, I don’t see color.”Denying a person of color’s racial/ethnic experience
The notion that the values and communication styles of the dominant/White culture are the ideal/”norm”To an Asian, Latino, or Native American, “Why are you so quiet? We want to hear what you think. Speak up more!”Assimilate to the dominant culture
A statement made when bias is denied“I’m not racist. I have several Black friends!”I could never be racist because I have friends of color
Statements that assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes“I believe the most qualified person should get the job!”People of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race
White dominant society expect Black folks to be less competent“You’re so articulate or well-spoken.”This remark suggests that they assumed that the person would be less articulate and are surprised to find out that they aren’t

How do microaggressions actually harm people?

Dr. Sue writes that microaggressions cause frustration, self-doubt, anxiety, and cumulative emotional, psychic, and spiritual burden. Unlike macroaggressions – the large-scale, overt aggressions that mostly occur at the systems level – microaggressions are interpersonal. In fact, they commonly occur in academic and professional settings. This means that microaggressions are committed by people you know and in settings you should be comfortable and feel safe in.

How to disarm microaggressions

If you’re commonly on the receiving end of microaggressions, it can be an exhausting experience. How do you disarm them without exceeding your emotional bandwidth? Denise Evans, a certified facilitator of implicit bias and cultural intelligence workshops in West Michigan, suggests using wittiness. She, herself, is black. Here’s an example of how she “throws” microaggressions right back at the individual she’s speaking with.

If an individual tells her that she’s “well-spoken” or “articulate” – a known microaggression – Evans doesn’t miss a beat.

“I have said, ‘Thank you very much, so are you,’” says Evans. She then asks, with a smile, why they felt the need to say anything, including a list of possible reasons in her question: Is it because she’s a native New Yorker? A woman? Black?

And I literally wait for [an] answer,” she says. “I give people their microaggression and their implicit biases back in a pretty box with a nice bow on it. I hand it to you, and I wait for you to open it and tell me what you see.”

While you may find this awkward at first, as an educator, Evans says that these are teachable moments. Brains have made unconscious associations, and we have the power to undo the damaging ones (i.e. “African American and “uneducated or “women” and “assistant”).

Keep following our diversity and inclusion planning articles to learn more.

As well, keep up to date with our 2022 diversity calendar for the upcoming year.

Learn more about Interfaith with our 2022 Interfaith calendar for this year.

June 2022 Diversity Calendar

Below you’ll find a small sampling of diversity events – to see all 100+ events this year, see our interactive online DEI Calendar.

Many people believe that June is one of the best months of the year and that’s certainly true when it comes to diversity and inclusion events. If you love marching for what you believe in and celebrating those around you, this is your month! Here’s what you should keep in mind for the month of June.

LGBT Pride Month

If you’re a new ally to the LGBTQ+ community, welcome! June is Pride Month, and it’s you’ll be seeing rainbows to signify this all month long. June was selected in honor of the Stonewall Riots, which took place on June 28, 1969. During this event, the NYC police raided Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village. The police roughly hauled both employees and patrons from the bar, and the incident ended in violent protests and clashes in the streets for six days. It catalyzed the gay rights movement in the U.S. Create more inclusion with LGBT Sensitivity Training.

Caribbean American Heritage Month

June is also Caribbean American Heritage Month which recognizes the history and culture of Caribbean Americans in the United States. During this time, Caribbean Americans or individuals with Caribbean American heritage will come together to celebrate their history through a variety of activities including traditional meals, festivals, concerts, dancing, parades, etc.

June 2: Indian Citizenship Act of 1924

Congress enacted the Indian Citizenship Act on June 2, 1924, which granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S. Yet, while this was an important date in history for Native Americans, they were not permitted to vote in all states until 1957.

June 12: Loving Day

On this day in 1967, Loving v. Virginia struck down all anti-miscegenation laws in 16 states. This effectively ended bans on interracial marriage. Because interracial relationships are much more common today, many people forget that this was such a monumental win for love. Head to your local library to check out books about the civil rights movement and all it fought for.

June 12: Puerto Rican Day Parade

This parade is the largest demonstration of cultural pride in the United States. The goal of this event is to create awareness and appreciation of Puerto Rican culture and history. Due to COVID-19, the Puerto Rican Day Parade has been canceled in recent years. However, historically, you’ve been able to see it along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and on TV.

June 19: Juneteenth

Juneteenth took place on June 19, 1865, when all slaves in Texas were liberated. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued at the start of 1863, the news didn’t reach all states or slaves until over two years later. Today, 47 states and D.C. recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or observance. Create more inclusion and belonging with racial sensitivity training.

June 27: Helen Keller’s Birthday

Happy Birthday, Helen Keller! Known for being both deaf and blind, Keller became a pioneer in advocacy for individuals with disabilities. She is one of the 20th century’s leading humanities, and she also co-founded the ACLU.

Final Thoughts

 Keep June colorful with lots of learning about diversity! Our multicultural calendar can help you know what’s coming up.

Get a head start on next month with our July 2022 Diversity Calendar. Or explore the rest of the year with our Equality and Diversity Calendar 2022.

May 2022 Diversity Calendar

Below you’ll find a small sampling of diversity events – to see all 100+ events this year, see our interactive online DEI Calendar.

Continue celebrating diversity in the month of May! If you want a full month of celebrating diversity, this is your time to shine. You’ll be able to recognize mental health awareness, older Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders all month along with sporadic diversity days that keep the month fun and exciting. Let’s see what the month has in store

Mental Health Awareness Month

This May diversity month theme raised awareness for individuals living with mental or behavioral issues and seeks to reduce the stigma that they experience. We suggest celebrating Mental Health Awareness month by understanding how stress impacts your body, developing your support network, and reaching out to friends or family members that you believe may be struggling.

Older Americans Month

May diversity celebrations: established in 1963, Older Americans Month is led by the Administration for Community Living. It seeks to celebrate the accomplishments of the elderly as well as raise awareness concerning elder abuse and neglect.

Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month is a May diversity celebrations. This yearly observance recognizes American Jews and their their importance to our nation. To celebrate this event, make a Jewish recipe, tour a museum, or pick up some Hebrew words!

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Our May multicultural calendar salutes Asian Americans and the Pacific Islands. They have long enriched America’s history and ensured its future success. To recognize this group, an entire month is dedicated to celebrating them. We suggest trying out a few of the following to truly appreciate their contributions. Make a positive impact, and help stop Asian Hate with online sensitivity training.

  • Try origami
  • Explore AAPI history
  • Make your own bubble tea at home
  • Support a local AAPI business in your community

5/5 – Cinco de Mayo

This May diversity holiday is a favorite, but its history is often overlooked. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican Heritage as it commemorates the date that the Mexican army defeated the French army. You’ll often see it celebrated with parties, parades, traditional Mexican foods, and mariachi music.

5/8: Buddha’s Birthday

May diversity dates include Buddha’s birthday, a significant day of celebration for Buddhists around the world. Prince Siddhartha Gautama is the founder of one of the most popular religions in the world. The festival Vesak celebrates his birth and marks his Enlightenment for some Buddhists.

5/17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

May diversity and inclusion topics – the 17th celebrates the date chosen to honor the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classifications of Diseases of the WHO in 1990. On this day, 132 countries coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights. You can celebrate by reading up on the terminology so you can talk about the issues confidently in the workplace.

5/19: Malcolm X’s Birthday

Happy Birthday to Malcolm X! In the 1960s, Malcolm X was a prominent civil rights leader and figure in the Nation of Islam. He was assassinated in 1965. His birthday is celebrated on May 19th, and it’s known as “Malcolm X Day.”

 Final Thoughts

Keep up to date with our 2022 Interfaith calendar for this year!

If following the calendar for each event or date becomes overwhelming to you, try to pick just one item from May’s multicultural calendar to learn about. Small and gradual learning about diversity can make all the difference!

Get a head start on the rest of the year with our 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Calendar.

Inclusion Diversity Calendar

Diversity & Inclusion Calendar

2022 Diversity Calendar

January 2022

January 1, 2022 Baha’i : World Peace Day
January 1, 2022 Roman Catholic : Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
January 4, 2022 Roman Catholic : Elizabeth Ann B. Seton Feast Day
January 6, 2022 Christian : Epiphany
January 7, 2022 Coptic Orthodox Christian : Christmas
January 9, 2022 Sikh : Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday
January 14, 2022 Eastern Orthodox Christian : New Year
January 14, 2022 Hindu : Makar Sankranti
January 14, 2022 Hindu : Pongal
January 16, 2022 Baha’i : World Religion Day
January 17, 2022 United States : Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 17, 2022 Jewish : Tu Biswat*
January 19, 2022 Coptic Orthodox Christian : Epiphany
January 27, 2022 United Nations : International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

February 2022

February 1, 2022 United States/Canada : Black History Month
February 1, 2022 Chinese: New Year
February 2, 2022 Christian : Candlemas
February 2, 2022 Pagan and Wiccan : Imbolc
February 5, 2022 Hindu : Vasant Panchami
February 15, 2022 Buddhist : Parinirvana / Nirvana Day
February 21, 2022 United States : Presidents’ Day
February 28, 2022 Hindu : Maha Shivaratri (Shiva’s Night)

March 2022

March 1, 2022 Christian : Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)
March 1, 2022 “Islamic : Lailat al Miraj”
March 2, 2022 Christian : Ash Wednesday (beginning of Lent)
March 2, 2022 Baha’i : Baha’I Fast (Through 3/19)
March 7, 2022 Eastern Orthodox Christian : Beginning of Great Lent
March 8, 2022 International : International Women’s Day
March 17, 2022 Jewish : Purim (Feast of Lots)
March 17, 2022 Ireland : St. Patrick’s Day
March 18, 2022 Islamic : Mid-Sha’ban
March 18, 2022 Hindu : Holi
March 18, 2022 Sikh : Hola Mohalla
March 19, 2022 Roman Catholic : Feast of St. Joseph
March 20, 2022 Pagan and Wiccan : Ostara
March 20, 2022 “Baha’i : Naw Ruz (New Year) begins at sundown”
March 20, 2022 General : Vernal Equinox
March 21, 2022 United Nations : International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 25, 2022 Christian : The Annunciation
March 26, 2022 Zoroastrian : Khordad Sal

April 2022

April 2, 2022 Hindu : Ugadi
April 2, 2022 Hindu : Chaitra Navratri begins
April 3, 2022 Islamic : Ramadan (5/23)
April 6, 2022 United States : Tartan Day
April 7, 2022 United States : Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust (8 days)
April 8, 2022 Buddhist : Buddha’s Birth
April 10, 2022 Christian : Palm Sunday
April 10, 2022 Hindu : Rama Navami (Birthday of Rama)
April 14, 2022 Christian : Maundy Thursday
April 14, 2022 Hindu : Vaisakhi (New Year)
April 14, 2022 Sikh : Vaisakhi
April 15, 2022 Christian : Good Friday
April 15, 2022 Jain : Mahavir Jayanti
April 16, 2022 Jewish : Passover (first day of 8-day observance)
April 16, 2022 Christian : Holy Saturday
April 17, 2022 Christian : Easter
April 18, 2022 Christian : Easter Monday
April 21, 2022 Baha’I : Festival of Ridvan
April 22, 2022 International : Earth Day
April 24, 2022 Roman Catholic : Feast of Divine Mercy
April 24, 2022 Coptic Orthodox Christian : Easter
April 28, 2022 Islamic : Laylat al-Qadr
April 30, 2022 Pagan and Wiccan : Beltaine begins at sundown

May 2022

May 1, 2022 International : May Day (Labor Day)
May 3, 2022 Islamic : Eid al-Fitr*
May 5, 2022 Mexican American : Cinco de Mayo
May 5, 2022 United States : National Day of Prayer
May 16, 2022 Buddhist : Vesak (Buddha Day)
May 17, 2022 Black American : Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
May 19, 2022 Jewish : Lag BaOmer
May 21, 2022 International : World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
May 23, 2022 Baha’I : Declaration of the Bab*
May 29, 2022 Baha’I : Ascension of Baha’u’llah
May 30, 2022 United States : Memorial Day observed

June 2022 Diversity Calendar

June 1, 2022 LGBTQ+ Pride Month
June 1, 2022 Caribbean American Heritage Month
June 2, 2022 United States : Granting of Citizenship to Native Americans (1924)
June 2, 2022 Christian : Ascension Day
June 5, 2022 Jewish : Shavuot*
June 5, 2022 Christian : Pentecost
June 6, 2022 Christian : Whit Monday
June 12, 2022 Christian : Trinity Sunday
June 12, 2022 United States : Puerto Rican Day Parade
June 12, 2022 Baha’I : Race Unity Day
June 12, 2022 Coptic Orthodox Christian : Pentecost
June 13, 2022 Eastern Orthodox Christian : Monday of the Holy Spirit
June 14, 2022 United States : Flag Day
June 16, 2022 Roman Catholic : Feast of Corpus Christi
June 16, 2022 Sikh : Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Sahib
June 19, 2022 Eastern Orthodox Christian : All Saints Day
June 20, 2022 Black American : Juneteenth
June 21, 2022 General : Summer Solstice

July 2022

July 4, 2022 Indepedence Day : United States
July 8, 2022 Tisha B’Av* : Jewish
July 9, 2022 The Hajj* (7/29-8/2) : Islamic
July 10, 2022 Martyrdom of the Bab : Baha’i
July 18, 2022 Nelson Mandela International Day : United Nations
July 23, 2022 Birthday of Haile Selassie : Rastafarian
July 24, 2022 Pioneer Day : Mormon
July 26, 2022 Americans with Disabilities Act : People with Disabilities
July 31, 2022 Lughnasadh (begins at sundown) : Pagan and Wiccan
July 31, 2022 Islamic New Year* : Islamic

August 2022

August 1, 2022 Lughnasadh  : Pagan and Wiccan
August 8, 2022 Ashura* : Islamic
August 9, 2022 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People : United Nations
August 11, 2022 Raksha Bandhan : Hindu
August 12, 2022 International Youth Day : United Nations
August 15, 2022 Feast of the Assumption : Roman Catholic
August 19, 2022 Krishna Janmashtami : Hindu
August 24, 2022 Paryushana : Jain
August 26, 2022 Women’s Equality Day : United States
August 31, 2022 Ganesh Chaturthi : Hindu

September 2022

September 1, 2022 National Recovery Month : Theme Months
September 1, 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15 – 10/15) : Theme Months
September 10, 2022 Pitru Paksha begins : Hindu
September 11, 2022 Patriot Day : United States
September 11, 2022 Nayrouz (New Year) : Coptic Orthodox Christian
September 15, 2022 International Day of Democracy : United Nations
September 16, 2022 Hoshana Rabbah* : Jewish
September 17, 2022 Constitution Day : United States
September 17, 2022 Arbaeen* : Islamic
September 18, 2022 Simchat Torah* : Jewish
September 19, 2022 Anant Chaturdashi : Hindu
September 21, 2022 International Day of Peace : United Nations
September 23, 2022 Mabon (Autumnal Equinox)* : Pagan and Wiccan
September 23, 2022 Autumnal Equinox : General
September 26, 2022 Rosh Hashanah (New Year)* : Jewish
September 26, 2022 Navratri (10/17-10-26) : Hindu

October 2022

October 1, 2022 Global Diversity Awareness Month :
October 1, 2022 Breast Cancer Awareness Month :
October 1, 2022 National Disability Employment Awareness Month :
October 1, 2022 Italian American Heritage Month :
October 1, 2022 Polish American Heritage Month :
October 1, 2022 Durga Puja (10/22-10-26) : Hindu
October 5, 2022 Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) : Jewish
October 5, 2022 Dussehra : Hindu
October 6, 2022 German American Heritage Day : United States
October 8, 2022 Mawlid* : Islamic
October 10, 2022 Sukkot (10/3-10/9) : Jewish
October 10, 2022 World Mental Health Day : People with Disabilities
October 10, 2022 Thanksgiving Day : Canada
October 11, 2022 National Coming Out Day : LGBTQ+
October 11, 2022 International Day of the Girl Child : United Nations
October 13, 2022 Karva Chauth : Hindu
October 15, 2022 Blind Americans Equality Day : People with Disabilities
October 17, 2022 Shemini Atzeret* (10/10-11) : Jewish
October 20, 2022 Spirit Day : LGBTQ+
October 24, 2022 Diwali : Hindu
October 24, 2022 Bandi Chhor Divas : Sikh
October 25, 2022 New Year : Jain
October 28, 2022 Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day : United States
October 29, 2022 Gyan Panchami : Jain
October 31, 2022 Halloween : United States, Canada
October 31, 2022 Samhain begins : Pagan and Wiccan

November 2022

November 1, 2022 Movember :
November 1, 2022 National Diabetes Awareness Month :
November 1, 2022 Native American Heritage Month :
November 1, 2022 All Saints Day : Christian
November 1, 2022 Día de los Muertos : Mexico
November 2, 2022 All Souls Day : Christian
November 7, 2022 Birthday of the Bab : Baha’i
November 8, 2022 Election Day : United States
November 8, 2022 Guru Nanak Ji’s Birthday : Sikh
November 11, 2022 Veterans Day : United States
November 12, 2022 Birthday of Baha’u’llah : Baha’i
November 16, 2022 International Day for Tolerance : United Nations
November 16, 2022 Dutch American Heritage Day : United States
November 19, 2022 International Men’s Day :
November 20, 2022 Transgender Day of Remembrance : LGBTQ+
November 24, 2022 Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib : Sikh
November 24, 2022 Thanksgiving Day : United States
November 25, 2022 Hindu : Vikram Samvat (Lunar New Year)
November 25, 2022 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women : United Nations
November 25, 2022 Nativity Fast (11/25-1/6) : Coptic Orthodox Christian
November 26, 2022 The Day of the Covenant : Baha’i
November 27, 2022 Advent begins (through 12/24) : Christian
November 28, 2022 Nativity Fast (11/28-1/6) : Eastern Orthodox Christian
November 28, 2022 Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha : Baha’i
November 30, 2022 St. Andrew’s Day : Roman Catholic

December 2022

December 1, 2022 Rosa Parks Day (Ohio, Oregon) : Black American
December 1, 2022 World AIDS Day : International
December 3, 2022 International Day of Persons with Disabilities : United Nations
December 8, 2022 Bodhi Day (Buddha’s Enlightenment): Buddhist
December 8, 2022 Feast of the Immaculate Conception : Roman Catholic
December 8, 2022 Buddhist : Bodhi Day (Buddha’s Enlightenment)
December 10, 2022 International Human Rights Day : United Nations
December 16, 2022 Las Posadas (12/16-12/24) : Hispanic
December 18, 2022 Hanukkah* (12/11-12/18) : Jewish
December 20, 2022 International Human Solidarity Day : United Nations
December 21, 2022 Yule* : Pagan/Wiccan
December 22, 2022 Solstice : General
December 25, 2022 Christmas : Christian
December 26, 2022 St. Stephen’s Day : Roman Catholic
December 26, 2022 Kwanzaa (12/26 – 1/1) : Black American
Pagan and Wiccan : Litha*
Eid al-Adha* : Islamic
Joseph Smith (1805-1844) : Mormon

Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

In part 1 of this post, we explored 4 different types of unconscious bias. In part 2 below, and we’ll explore 5 more types of unconscious bias in the workplace.

As we seek to be more inclusive in work, we must be more aware of – and avoid – these biases. Arming your employees with this knowledge – and calling out incidents -will allow you to reduce the unintentional discrimination at work. Let’s get started with 5 more unconscious bias examples in the workplace.

    1. The Contrast Effect

      Overcoming unconscious bias in the workplace starts with naming these biases. The Contrast Effect occurs when you’re comparing two similar things. Typically, this bias will distort our perception of something by comparing it to something else. 

      Example: The Contrast Effect may make a color appear lighter than it is when placed against a dark background. This bias often plays into recruitment because it pits one candidate against another. While it can be helpful to compare, interviewers may lose sight of the best candidate by comparing criteria that may not matter for the specific position.

       

    2. Gender Bias

      As its name suggests, Gender Bias is a preference for one gender over the other. Often, it causes an individual to lean unconsciously toward an individual based on their gender and the qualities associated with it. The “qualities” normally stem from deep-seated beliefs about gender roles and stereotypes. Just like an affinity bias, we often favor those we relate to and especially those of the same gender. 

      Example: Certain terminology on job postings favor men over women (and vice versa). Depending on who writes the job posting and interviews candidates, this can prompt a gender bias.  Workplace microaggression training is also essential to reducing gender bias.

       

    3. The Halo/Horns Effect

      This is another type of unconscious bias in the workplace. The Halo Effect occurs when we focus on one positive attribute of a person, and let that “halo” glow impact our overall opinion. The Horns Effect is the opposite. Your entire opinion of someone can also be affected by one negative trait. 

      Example: A good example of the Halo Effect is knowing that someone went to an Ivy League school and expecting that they’re otherwise great in everything that they do. An example of the Horns Effect is thinking negatively of someone’s professional work just because you don’t like the way they dress in the workplace.

       

    4. Name Bias

      Other unconscious bias examples in the workplace include name bias. For example, candidates with “white-sounding” names are more likely to be successful at various stages of the recruitment process. The only way to remedy this is to institute a name-blind recruitment process.  

      Example: One study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that white names receive 50% more callbacks for interviews than Black American names. The same held true for applicants living in nicer neighborhoods.

       

    5. Weight Bias

      According to a study by the Journal of Eating Disorders, a weight bias is defined as “negative weight-related attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, and judgments toward individuals who are overweight and obese.” However, the definition can also extend to all who have weight-related issues, including eating disorders. Thus even individuals who have low weights may suffer from unfair judgment.

      Example: Employees with higher body weight face weight-based inequity in employment. These include unfair hiring practices, lower wages, fewer promotions, harassment from co-workers, and unfair job termination.

Final thoughts

Unconscious biases are often based on inaccurate or incomplete information. And while they usually have no ill intent, they can impact who gets recruited or promoted.

How to avoid unconscious bias in the workplace? The first step is to enable your employees see and name these patterns. And ensure your people are always respectful and inclusive, with managing unconscious bias training

Workplace Microaggressions Training

During the MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, workplaces worldwide are making unprecedented efforts at diversity training in the workplace. These efforts seek to reduce or eliminate racism, sexual harassment, and other behaviors that lead to employee turnover, brand damage and costly lawsuits.

Perhaps more difficult to root out are workplace microaggressions. These are behaviors or statements that do not necessarily have harmful intent. But microaggressions at work nevertheless inflict insult or injury, often unknowingly, which is why microaggressions training is essential.

The term was first coined after the Civil Rights era, in the late 1960s and 1970s. During this time, more visible and violent expressions of racism were replaced by subtler manifestations. Today, microaggression has become a buzzword in the social justice arena. 

What is a Microaggression in the Workplace?

Many employees struggle to define or recognize microaggressions in the workplace. Unless you’ve been a victim or had sensitivity training in the workplace, microaggressions can be tricky to conceptualize.

Microaggressions can be similar to implicit biases, in that they can be easy to miss, except by people impacted by them. In other cases, they might be related to the different types of unconscious bias.

As psychologist, author, and Columbia professor Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D., explains, microaggressions are “the everyday slights, indignities, put-downs, and insults that people of color, women, LGBT populations – or those who are marginalized – experience in their day-to-day interactions with people.” 

Microaggressions in the Workplace Examples

Here are some examples. See if any of these are familiar to you!

Theme

Microaggression

Message

Alien in own land

“So, where are you from?”

You are a foreigner

A White person does not want to acknowledge race

“When I look at you, I don’t see color.”

Denying a person of color’s racial/ethnic experience

The notion that the values and communication styles of the dominant/White culture are the ideal/”norm”

To an Asian, Latino, or Native American, “Why are you so quiet? We want to hear what you think. Speak up more!”

Assimilate to the dominant culture

A statement made when bias is denied

“I’m not racist. I have several Black friends!”

I could never be racist because I have friends of color 

Statements that assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes

“I believe the most qualified person should get the job!”

People of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race

White dominant society expect Black folks to be less competent

“You’re so articulate or well-spoken.”

This remark suggests that they assumed that the person would be less articulate and are surprised to find out that they aren’t

Microaggressions at Work

Dr. Sue writes that microaggressions cause frustration, self-doubt and anxiety, as well as cumulative emotional, psychic, and spiritual burden. Unlike macroaggressions – the large-scale, overt aggressions that mostly occur at the systems level – microaggressions are interpersonal.

Microaggressions commonly occur in workplace settings. Thus they’re perpetrated by people you know and in settings you should be comfortable and feel safe in. That’s why giving your employees programs such as microaggression training online is essential.

How to Deal With Microaggression in the Workplace

If you’re commonly on the receiving end of microaggressions, it can be an exhausting experience. How do you disarm them without exceeding your emotional bandwidth? Denise Evans, a certified facilitator of implicit bias and cultural intelligence workshops in West Michigan, suggests using wittiness. Evans, who is Black, gives an example of returns microaggressions to the unwitting offender. 

If an individual tells her that she’s “well-spoken” or “articulate” – a known microaggression – Evans doesn’t miss a beat. 

“I have said, ‘Thank you very much, so are you,’” says Evans. She then asks, with a smile, why they felt the need to say anything, including a list of possible reasons in her question: Is it because she’s a native New Yorker? A woman? Black? 

And I literally wait for [an] answer,” she says. “I give people their microaggression and their implicit biases back in a pretty box with a nice bow on it. I hand it to you, and I wait for you to open it and tell me what you see.”

While you may find this awkward at first, as an educator, Evan says that these are teachable moments. Brains have made unconscious associations, and we have the power to undo the damaging ones (i.e. “African American and “uneducated or “women” and “assistant”). 

The goal is to create a truly inclusive and respectful workplace, for employees and customers alike. The solution to microaggressions in the workplace, is to ensure that your efforts include diversity elearning – focusing on workplace microaggression training.

June 2020 Diversity Calendar

Below you’ll find a small sampling of this month’s diversity events. To view all 100+ events and religious observances, see our Diversity Calendar suite.

Our June 2020 Diversity Calendar is here, to help you celebrate a wide variety of diversity events and topics as they occur. As a summer month, June isn’t packed full of holidays. So be sure to enjoy our June multicultural calendar to keep you on track.

LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Break out your rainbows! It’s time for everyone to join together for the top June diversity celebration. The sixth month was selected as LGBTQ+ Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, a series of spontaneous and violent demonstrations by the gay community in Manhattan in June, 1969.  Regardless of how you identify, join in solidarity and support for the rights of this community. Love is love. And remember June is an ideal time for LBGT sensitivity training.

Caribbean American Heritage Month

Caribbean American Heritage Month was named a June diversity observance by presidential proclamation in 2006. It aims to promote the rich culture and heritage of the Caribbean American people. Their contribution to the United States is sometimes overlooked. Now is the time to learn about how Caribbean people helped shaped our country.

6/7: Trinity Sunday

June diversity days include Trinity Sunday, a Christian holy day celebrating the Holy Trinity. This day always occurs on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Christians celebrate this feast to affirm the three members of the holy trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. For more religious observances, see our 2020 Interfaith Calendar.

6/14: Puerto Rican Day Parade

June multicultural holidays include the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. It celebrates the 3.2 million people living in Puerto Rico or of Puerto Rican heritage. Although it’s cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19, it’s still great time to shout out online and honor Puerto Rican culture.

6/19: Juneteenth

June diversity topics include Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Juneteenth Independence Day. The holiday commemorates the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. It more broadly represents the emancipation of African Americans throughout the former Confederates States of America. Soul food is commonly served on this day — fried chicken, barbecue, greens, black-eyed peas, watermelon, and red soda water.

6/19: Feast of the Sacred Heart

June diversity events include the Feast of the Sacred Heart. It’s considered a solemnity, or one of the most important feasts.The Feast of the Sacred Heart is a devotion to the love of God, and marks the spirituality of St. Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th century. Always 19 days after Pentecost, the date ranges between May 29 and July 2.

6/20: Summer Solstice and Litha

Our June multicultural calendar includes the summer solstice. Known as midsummer or Litha by the Wicca community, it happens when the Earth’s poles have their maximum tilt towards the Sun. Occurring twice a year, the summer solstice is the longest day and shortest night in the Northern Hemisphere. Make the longest day of the year count in the way most festive for you.

Summer of Inclusion

There you have it! Enjoy our June 2020 Diversity Calendar to keep you informed on all of June’s diversity celebration and multicultural holidays. Get a head start on the rest of the year, with our 2020 Diversity Calendar.

March 2018 Diversity Calendar

 

March National Women’s History Month

The highlight of the March 2018 Diversity Calendar is Women’s History Month. This annual theme month honors the accomplishment of women in history and contemporary society. It’s celebrated in March in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, along with International Women’s Day on March 8. In the United States, women’s history week started in 1980, followed by Women’s History Month in 1987.
 

Hindu: Holi – date varies*

*for the 2018 date of this and other moveable holidays, see our Online Diversity Calendar

Holi Hindu Festival 2018

One of the most colorful diversity events, Holi celebrates the coming of spring throughout India and the new harvest of the winter crop. It is celebrated over two days, with newly harvested grains, coconuts, and sweets are thrown into the fire as offerings. The following day is the festival of colors, a riotous and exuberant celebration of throwing colored powder, as well as dancing, singing, feasting, and more.
 

Black: Harriet Tubman – March 10Harriet Tubman birthday

Our March 2018 multicultural calendar also features Harriet Tubman. A leading abolitionist, Tubman was known as the conductor on the Underground Railroad, a secret system for helping slaves escape to freedom in the North. An escaped slave, she earned the nickname “Moses” for her heroic work in leading more than 400 slaves to freedom. She died on this date.
 

Jewish German American: Albert Einstein – March 14
Albert Einstein birthday

The leading theoretical physicist of the twentieth century, Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. When the Nazi government confiscated his property and deprived him of German citizenship in 1933, Einstein immigrated to the United States, where he became a naturalized citizen and took a post at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
 

Irish: St Patrick’s Day – date varies* St Patrick's Day 2018

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by people of Irish descent all over the world as an expression of pride in their heritage. Ireland’s patron saint, the anniversary of his death is celebrated in Ireland as a national holiday. Green, the color of the day, signifies undying gratitude to the memory of St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. The shamrock is worn to commemorate its use by the saint as a symbol of the Trinity.
 

Jewish: Passover begins – date varies* Passover 2018

One of the key diversity holidays is Passover. Observed for eight days, it marks the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Moses confronted the Pharaoh in the name of God, demanding freedom for his people. The celebration of Passover, a spring festival commemorating freedom and new life, begins the previous evening with a Seder, a meal during which the story of Passover is read from the Haggadah.
 

Mexican American: Cesar Chavez – March 31
Cesar Chavez birthday

A labor leader and activist, Chavez was a migrant farm worker who became a nationally respected voice for social justice. He spent his life combating the poverty and discrimination suffered by Mexicans and Mexican Americans, particularly agricultural laborers. In 1962, he began organizing farm workers in a strike against California grape growers for better wages and more humane working conditions.

For a complete list of more than 100 diversity events + inclusion tips, see our online diversity calendar.

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