Inclusive Workplaces: Going Beyond the Potluck!
Did you know that your employees may be at various stages of cross-cultural receptivity? More than a fancy idea, this insight is essential for any employer wanting to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.
To learn more about this idea and how it can inform and support the development of cross cultural competencies in the workplace, Hire Immigrants Ottawa recently held a workshop on Inclusive Workplaces: Going beyond the Potluck! Forty participants, including human resource professionals, hiring managers, and other stakeholders from a variety of sectors came together on May 15, 2012, to take part in this high impact and fast-paced workshop.
Cross cultural educator Nancy Mark led workshop participants through an overview and discussion of the first three of six stages of the well-known developmental model of intercultural sensitivity developed by Dr. Milton Bennett. The model provides insight as to why some employees are more accepting than others of workplace diversity training and programming, and underscores the benefits of tailoring learning tools and approaches in ways that support and challenge learners at different stages of intercultural sensitivity. To put these ideas into practice, participants examined a series of case studies pertaining to intercultural interactions that may arise in the workplace, and discussed how each situation could be turned into learning opportunities for the promotion and enhancement of intercultural sensitivity.
The workshop also included a presentation of Jaded, a National Film Board “mockumentary” that takes on the subject of overt and systematic racism in the workplace through the technique of role reversal. In a thought-provoking discussion, workshop participants discussed how the film might be used within their own workplaces to address what can be a difficult and sensitive topic. The film is part of the Work For All on-line collection of short films, produced by the NFB with the participation of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. The films are available for employers to use as a resource to address the subject of racism in the workplace. A limited number of DVDs, which include a facilitator user-guide, are available. Please email email@example.com if you are interested in securing a copy.