Anti-Racism Training in the Workplace: Breaking Down Barriers

Racism remains a pervasive problem in society, and the workplace is no exception. The effects of racism can manifest in a variety of ways, ranging from microaggressions to overt racial discrimination. But there are steps to combat racism at work, and one of them is anti-racism training. Such training allows employers to educate their staff on the causes and consequences of racism while providing tools for recognising and addressing prejudice in their day-to-day operations.

What Is Anti-Racism Training?

Antiracism training is a course that aims to educate individuals on recognising and addressing systemic racism. It involves a range of activities and exercises that enable participants to gain a deeper understanding of racism, identify their own biases and privileges, and develop skills for addressing harmful behaviours. The course explores topics such as unconscious bias, microaggressions, white privilege, power dynamics, cultural competency and allyship.

Young African sits in front of a computer taking Anti Racism Training

 

Benefits of the Training Course

Promotes race equity

Anti racism training allows employees to understand and recognise their own biases or prejudices, as well as gain knowledge about different cultures and backgrounds. Anti racism training can also help create a more racial equitable workplace by attracting and retaining employees from multicultural backgrounds.

Strengthens relationships

Tackling racism in the workplace helps strengthen relationships between clients and organisations, as well as between employees. Clients who feel that they are being treated equitably by an organisation are more likely to remain loyal customers.

Employees, on the other hand, benefit from antiracism training because it fosters a sense of unity in the work environment. When employees feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of bias, they tend to work better together towards achieving common goals. Furthermore, it creates a positive work environment where everyone feels valued for their contributions, irrespective of their origin or ethnicity.

Reduces bias

By raising awareness about the impact of racial bias within the workplace and the broader society, employees are better equipped to recognise discriminatory behaviour when it occurs.This knowledge empowers them to take action against any form of bias or harassment they may witness.

Boosts employee morale and engagement

Creating a more equitable work environment makes employees feel valued, resulting in increased productivity and job satisfaction. Moreover, it promotes open communication among team members. The result is a more trusting environment and a better relationship between colleagues from different races. 

Attracts and retains multicultural talent

Antiracism training can help retain multi-racial talent by ensuring that employees feel respected and supported in their work environment. A company’s employees who feel valued are more likely to stay with the company long-term. Creating a culture of accountability around issues of race equity can also help build trust between employees and management.

Key Components of Anti-Racism Training

A focus on systemic racism

The training session places a focus on systemic racism. This means acknowledging and understanding how policies, practices and systems perpetuate racial inequalities.

In addition, the programme may cover strategies for creating more equitable policies and procedures within the work environment or advocating for changes at a larger societal level. It’s important for employees to understand that combating racial inequality requires ongoing effort and commitment.

woman suffering from racial discrimination at work

Incorporation of varied perspectives

Incorporating varied perspectives involves creating a space where people from different backgrounds feel comfortable sharing their stories, and knowing their voices are heard.

Companies can promote race equity by bringing in a multicultural leadership team, for instance. When people from different backgrounds occupy positions of power within an organisation, it creates an environment where all voices are heard and considered when making decisions. This helps ensure that policies and practices reflect the needs and values of everyone at work, not just those at the top.

Active participation

Active participation involves engaging in dialogue, asking questions and sharing personal experiences to foster a deeper understanding of the issues at hand. This type of participation requires individuals to actively seek out other perspectives and challenge their own biases and assumptions.

Active participation also includes taking action beyond the workshop. This can involve examining policies and procedures within the organisation that perpetuate systemic racism or advocating for change within the broader community.

Follow-up and accountability

Taking anti-racism courses is an excellent start, but follow-up is necessary to ensure that the lessons learned during the training are being applied in real-life situations. Employers should consider integrating follow-up sessions as part of their regular team meetings or check-ins.

Accountability, on the other hand, entails setting clear expectations and consequences for racist behaviour and actions at work. Employers can create a system where employees feel safe to report any racist incidents without fear of retaliation. Additionally, employers should take responsibility for addressing any reported incidents promptly.

Implementing Anti-Racism Strategies

Assess the current state of the work environment

One way to assess the current state of the work environment is by conducting an anonymous survey or focus group discussions with employees. This allows individuals to share their experiences and concerns without fear of retaliation or judgement. It also provides valuable insights into specific areas where anti-racism strategies can be implemented.

Another way to assess the current state of the work environment is by reviewing company policies and procedures. Are they accessible to everyone? Do they promote race equity? Are there any biases present in performance reviews or promotions? Addressing these issues head-on can help create a more equitable work environment.

Educate employees

It is important that employees understand how their words and actions can contribute to or combat racial intolerance. Training should be conducted that helps employees recognise implicit biases that they may hold, as well as techniques for dealing with discriminatory behaviour when it occurs.

In addition to training, ongoing conversations among colleagues can also help deepen knowledge and understanding and raise awareness around issues related to race. Providing resources such as books, articles, podcasts and films on anti-racism can be helpful in continuing education efforts beyond formal training sessions.

Monitor and evaluate progress

Organisations must track their progress, identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes. One way to monitor progress is by setting specific goals and metrics that align with the desired outcomes. By monitoring progress towards their goals regularly, they can make adjustments to their recruitment strategies or training programs as needed.

Another important aspect of monitoring progress is gathering feedback from stakeholders. This includes employees, customers or clients and members of the community who may be impacted by anti-racism efforts. As a result of these feedback loops, you can gain valuable insight into how well initiatives are working and whether they are meeting the needs and expectations of those affected. Organisations can gather feedback through surveys, focus groups or one-on-one conversations.

Group of multiracial people joining fists together

Promoting Race Equity in the Workplace

At EDP Training, we recognise the importance of anti-racism training at work and offer a comprehensive course designed to meet the unique needs of your organisation. With EDP Training’s anti-racism program, you can empower your employees with the knowledge, skills and strategies they need to help create a more equitable work environment. Book a course today.

FAQs

How do you deal with racial inequality in the workplace?

One way to deal with racial inequality at work is through anti-racism courses and promoting a culture of race equity. Employers can promote a racial equitable workplace by encouraging open communication, providing equal opportunities for career growth and enforcing zero-tolerance policies for racial intolerance or harassment.

Why is it important to promote equality in the workplace?

Promoting a workplace where everyone can thrive and be themselves is crucial to cultivating a productive and racially equitable work environment. If employees feel valued for who they are as well as what they offer, they will be more engaged, motivated and dedicated to achieving company success.

How to improve equality in the workplace?

One way to make the workplace more equitable is by offering anti-racism courses to employees at all levels. Companies should also have ongoing initiatives to promote race equity, such as creating safe spaces for minority employees.