Diversity Training, Is It a Waste of Money?

Diversity Training, Is It A Waste of Money | Sedruola Maruska

If you’re planning to spend money on diversity training, WAIT!

If you haven’t done any foundation building, you may be wasting your money. If diversity and inclusion aren’t an integral part of your business strategy, you won’t get much for your money by holding one or two day training workshops. Don’t make the same mistake that many businesses, in all industries make.

If you want to leverage the diversity you already enjoy, increase diversity in your business, or prevent cultural misunderstandings, you’ll need to create a culture that’s inclusive at all levels, in every system, and in all processes.

Without having diversity and inclusion baked into your culture, you’ll get people trained by a great trainer, with a great program, but when they leave your organization they take what they learned with them (if they still remember it) and your organization stays the same.

Plus, reaching those people who resist diversity efforts isn’t likely only with training. It’ll take a more multi-faceted approach to help those individuals see the value of diversity in the organization and to bring more people on board to the initiative.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracist community

Steps Toward Diversity Training

Here are some steps you can take to create an inclusive business / company:

Start at the top. The CEO and other executive team members must be fully on board and leading the charge. When it comes to diversity and inclusion, leadership of the initiative or changing the culture cannot be delegated. Others can help drive change, but it must be seen as coming from the top. That means it needs to be included in conversations, discussions, newsletters and e-mails.

Figure out what your company strengths, weaknesses, areas for improvement and employee satisfaction ratings are as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion by running surveys, focus groups and interviews.

Diversity Training, Is It A Waste of Money | Sedruola Maruska

Once the assessments are done, create a vision and strategy that members of the executive leadership team have agreed is the best course of action.

Engage senior management so they can help lead the change. They need to be part of the vision and have a clear understanding of concepts, roles, business case and benefits.

Create a communication and information sharing process to share the vision throughout the company. Send messages that will create middle manager and employee buy-in to the new culture. Help everyone understand how the diversity, equity and inclusion culture change will benefit each employee personally, professionally and organizationally. That’ll require internal marketing at all levels.

Educate to Elevate Racial Sensitivity Workshop

Remember the surveys? Use their results to tackle specific areas for improvement, the most common being; recruitment, interviewing, hiring, retention, promotion and performance evaluation. Look at your present company culture, and find ways where as a company you can create a more inclusive environment.

Define skills and behaviors that managers need to have to make the culture change successful and to successfully lead a diverse workforce.

Once you’ve put those initiatives into motion, now you can conduct training for all levels of your organization in areas related to diversity and inclusion.

Make sure to set up a process for accountability at all levels, that relates progress to compensation and evaluations.

Measure results, create the buzz and make it exciting (if its not fun, it wont be done)

What Does It All Mean?

The amount of time it’ll take, the order and the steps needed depend on your company goals. If you want to go beyond compliance, hear new ideas, learn best practices, reduce cultural misunderstanding and miscommunication, hire and retain the best of the best from everywhere, training alone wont do it.

Before you spend money on diversity training, decide what you want. Do you want your people to have a good day, learn then forget a few bits of information or do you want ongoing change that will make your company one where people are excited to apply to work? The choice is yours.

White Mom’s Guide to “The Talk”


Personal Development – Racial Sensitivity in the Workplace…

Racial Sensitivity in the Workplace and Beyond | Sedruola Maruska

On Monday, August 17, 2020 an interview I did for “The Resilient Entrepreneur with Michelle Mercier” released. I wanted to share it with you because I think it’s not just a fun interview, but we talked about important information that every business owner, entrepreneur or employee could use.

I’d love for you to take a moment to listen, then share with your friends. We could all use friendly conversation around a very important subject.

Episode Excerpt

“Well, I’ll start by saying the reason I chose, racial sensitivity as one of the areas where I do personal development is because I believe that it is actually a personal development issue.

I believe that in order to be able to be a true ally or to be a true co-conspirator, or to be a person who is dismantling this racist system, you have to first know yourself. Then go within yourself and try to understand how you were socialized and deconstruct that and rebuild it so that now you can go out and you can do what needs to be done out in the world and in your business or at home in your community.

It starts within, it starts with personal development. Racial sensitivity, and being able to be an ally is understanding that systems have been put in place to create a hierarchy which puts white as right and black at the bottom. And then there’s this whole range in-between. The closer you are to white, the more you experience that privilege, the closer you are to black, the less you experience the privilege and the more you experience the full force of the system that’s in place.

The Resilient Entrepreneur Podcast - Personal Development for Racial Sensitivity in the Workplace and Beyond

Why is that important for business? Let’s start with our businesses. If you’re trying to reach people, but you don’t know how to speak to, or speak to their needs, or even understand where they’re coming from. You cannot effectively make a change in their lives. And if that’s what you’re trying to do, if you are hiring and you want to check a box, so you’re hiring different people, different races, okay. We’ve checked that box. We have these people in, you’re going to have a lot of turnover. Those people aren’t going to stay because what you’re not doing is taking them as a whole person. You’re taking them as a cog, as a need in the business. . . ” (listen on itunes or media page)


Michelle Mercier is a speaker, coach & podcast host who took a leap of faith to become an entrepreneur when it seemed things were hardest in her life. She’s a mom to two beautiful children and a kick-ass business owner!

Having this conversation with Michelle flowed easily because she knows about adversity and is open to learning & growth. She understands that without learning there is no growth.

Connect with Michelle Mercier!

Join the Surviving Entrepreneurship Community – https://www.facebook.com/groups/215857859592242/

Website: https://www.CreateHonesty.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michelle.mercierRE

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/CreateHonesty

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/merciermichelle/ 


Conversations With Yourself About Race

Conversations With Yourself About Race | Sedruola Maruska

Do you ever have conversations with yourself? I’m not talking about a quick “don’t do that!” or “what’s wrong?” I’m talking full on conversations.

A conversation where you end up in an argument and find yourself in a corner.

I have. When my best friend called to tell me she was getting married, I had a complete “deprogramming” argument with myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I was happy for her. She was marrying a great guy. But, I was sad for myself, mad at my situation and questioning everything.

I was thirty two years old and she was the last of my single friends. I was about to become a lone wolf and that scared me. So the questioning began:

  • What’s wrong with you?
  • What are you waiting for?
  • Why do you feel sad?
  • Do you believe there’s something wrong with you?

There were a lot of questions and emotions as I grappled with conflicting ideas. You see, as a woman, I’d been programmed and socialized to believe that I should already be married at my age. I should at least have prospects.

So as I confronted each ingrained precept, I had to change the narrative. I had to tell myself a new story over and over again so I could replace the old, useless story I’d been socialized to believe.

Educate to Elevate: Racial Sensitivity Course

Conversation Starters

Dismantling a racist system starts with personal conversations and arguments. Only those who are willing to admit to a certain programming can start the process of deprogramming. Which is why I’ve created this list of “Self-Conversation Starters” as a guide to becoming the change you want to be a part of in this world.

Use these introspective questions as journal prompts, group conversation starters or as a personal coaching tool to start conversations about your feelings pertaining to race.

Question #1 – Do you think of yourself as a race?

If you’re White chances are you don’t. Consider why not. Consider what you’ve encountered socially that makes it so you don’t think of yourself as White.

Question #2 – Does talking about race make you uncomfortable?

Think about the reasons you feel uncomfortable when someone brings up race in any situation. Think about why you may or may not bring up race in any situation.

Question #3 – Have you ever called out another person on a situation you knew was racially charged?

This is a tough one because if you’re not sensitive to race, meaning, if you’re not tuned into how race plays a part in everyday encounters, you probably didn’t realize a situation was racially charged. . . which brings us to

Conversations With Yourself About Race | Sedruola Maruska

Question #4 – What are you doing to learn more about race in America?

Think about the books you’re reading, the shows you’re watching and the podcasts you’re listening to. Think about the conversations you’re having with other and the courses you’re taking. Think about the restaurants you go to and the communities you travel in. Think about your friendship circle and the people you work with.

Question #5 – Have you ever been the only one of your race in any situation?

Think about how it felt to be in that situation and examine the feelings that come up. Think about your reaction to the people around you. Think about what you said, did or did not do. Think about the questions you asked or didn’t ask.

Between the World and Me

Question #6 – Do you believe that everyone’s human experience is the same?

Think about how you treat others that don’t look like you. Think about how you refer to foods, books, communities, music, traditions of others. Think about how many shades of people work at your company. Think about how you react to art, expression and nuance of differing cultures.

Question #7 – What are you taking for granted?

Think about the privileges you hold, the place you live and the opportunities you enjoy. Think about how comfortable you are calling for police assistance, moving to any part of the country or where you shop.

Question #8 – What do I need to change about my thinking?

This is one of the most profound questions you can ask yourself because it means you need to stay open to new ideas and ways of thinking. It means you need to consider other points of view that may not be in line with what you’ve been socialized to think (remember my story above). This is the beginning of real growth.

Question #9 – How would changing my thinking change my life?

Think about the outcome of changing your thinking. Think about what you will gain and what you’ll lose in changing your thinking. Think about the changes you’ll need to make personally when you’re thinking changes.

Question #10 – What difference am I making in this world?

If you look at what your ultimate personal goals are, think about how they’l impact the world. Think about the friends you’ll make, the food, music and art you’ll enjoy. Think about the impact you’ll have on everyone who comes in contact with you. Think about how you’ll feel at the end of each day, week, month, year.

Discover Your Brilliance

Take Action

The conversations we have with ourselves are the most profound. No one knows our thoughts better than we do. No one understands how we see or process the world better than we do. That’s why starting with internal conversations is the best place to begin dismantling the racist system we’ve been socialized with.

This isn’t the place to let guilt run wild. It’s also not a good idea to wallow in shame when the answers start to surface.

This is where empowerment begins. The more you learn about yourself and how you react to situations, people, places, things etc. the better you are at noticing what’s going on around you.

Step into your power and use it to do better. Always remember: we’re always growing and things are always changing. Being the change, just like life, is a marathon. Give yourself time to ingest, process and rest before jumping back into the ring and making change.

Everything grows in steps.