Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training can teach your staff to be better and more empathetic coworkers. Among other benefits, embracing DEI can help your team to recognize microaggressions and create designs that benefit more people, more of the time. For example, a designer who has never experienced disability or racial bias may not understand why some designs may be problematic for different users. DEI can help you to look at these challenges from a fresh perspective. 

What Does Diversity In the Workplace Mean?

Diversity focuses on recognizing that everyone’s perspectives and life experiences are unique, including acknowledging their differences in age, ability, race, or sexual orientation. Diversity in the workplace involves cultivating an environment that values and celebrates those differences and perspectives. We all come to work with a unique set of circumstances. 

Listen to Improve Training 

In a new survey conducted by People of Colour in Advertising and Marketing (POCAM), 42% of the surveyed respondents said their company had given DEI training. Despite that, 89% had experienced microaggressions (subtle or unintentional discrimination) in the workplace. Where is the disconnect, and how can we ensure that our DEI efforts are not “performative action” or a “PR stunt”? 

One of the most effective ways to create successful DEI training is to listen to your employees. Directly ask them how they would like management and leadership to improve DEI practices at work. After each training, ask attendees for feedback on how you can make the training more inclusive of all genders, sexual orientations, and races.

What Does Equity in the Workplace Mean?

Equity in the workplace refers to fairness and justice. One way to foster equity in the workplace is to build a welcoming, respectful, and safe atmosphere for all employees, where they don’t have to stifle or hide any part of themselves at work. 

Create Equity by Embracing Neurodiverse Learners

Depending on the size of your workforce, you probably have members of your team that are neurodiverse, even if they don’t identify that way. Examples of neurodiverse people can include those with dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Tourette Syndrome, or those on the autism spectrum. Don’t just assume you know the best ways to accommodate your employees—ask them. You will likely find that creating reasonable accommodations is often inexpensive and straightforward. Adapt your training to the individual and not the other way around. 

What Does Inclusion in the Workplace Mean?

By including people of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, socioeconomic levels, social backgrounds, and disabilities in our workforce, we can build an inclusive community at work. In fact, we should implement the same thoughtful and empathetic approach we use to guide successful UX design when designing our DEI training. 

Use Inclusive Language

An easy way to make your training more inclusive is to pay attention to the language you use. Consider starting the training off by allowing participants to share their pronouns. When using scenarios, give examples that avoid words with negative connotations for specific groups, like “blind tests,” “powwow,” “and “guys.” Watch out for examples that may reinforce racial or cultural biases. Using inclusive language in the UX workplace will help your workers learn to design for all types of individuals, including those with disabilities or from marginalized backgrounds. 

Diversity, inclusion, and equity are more than just buzzwords—they are principles worth pursuing. Investing time in educating yourself and your team will help you develop better solutions that help more people, inside and outside of your organization.