Diversity in Tech 2021 Report > Expert Take: UpSkill Digital

Expert take

How to optimise D&I training programmes by UpSkill Digital

One-off D&I training initiatives are not effective when it comes to addressing long-standing disparities. Businesses need to adopt an approach that infuses D&I throughout the entirety of their organisation. This starts with the CEO, whose responsibility it is to take a public stance in embedding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into the organisation's values. Without buy-in from leadership and employees, the impact of D&I training will be limited. However inclusion programmes can be more effective if they follow some basic principles:

  • Roll out inclusion programmes over time to foster a continuous change in behaviour, and pivot if your results show your programme is not having the desired effect.
  • Offer support to managers in the form of development coaching. Manager behaviour is a significant driver of employee engagement. This in turn will create a sense of belonging within the team and a shared sense of buy-in to initiatives that promote inclusivity.
  • Create a psychologically safe environment so colleagues can contribute to conversations around D&I and engage more openly with business-run D&I activity.
  • Curate activity groups carefully; a session with both executives and middle managers may not be as effective as two stand-alone sessions.
  • Communicate your D&I programme agenda and activities clearly; ambiguity can harm engagement and outcomes.