Anti-Racism, Implicit Bias, Diversity And Inclusion Programs: 
Culture Development Strategies, Team Conversations, and Workforce Systems for Improved Employee Equity

There is a strong need today for conversations within your organizations on the subject of diversity, anti-racism, microaggressions, equity in life and in the workplace. As HR professionals, it is your job to mitigate and support those conversations and provide an open forum to support your employees. As leaders, it is necessary for you to open the dialogue and lead the way.

Turnkey Coaching and Development Solutions helps our clients:

  • Build a culture of respect
  • Learn to navigate through harassment  and inappropriate behaviors
  • Teach leaders how to appropriately resolve conflicts
  • Demonstrate to your employees that you value the differences and understand cultural dynamics
  • Build awareness & educate
  • Develop communications skills around tough topics
  • Foster greater understanding and allyship
  • Improve capacity and competence

Why us? 

Founded in 2004, our team of training professionals, are uniquely qualified, credentialed, and experienced. We work with your stakeholders to chart a path and provide personalized training programs that address your organization's specific needs.

Custom Designed Packages to Fit your Budget and Needs

Some of our program options include:

  • Crucial Conversations Training with expert Ray Weaver
  • Systemic Racism - Antiracism Facilitated Dialogue Circles
  • Diversity & Inclusivity Training Programs
  • Building a Culture of Respect - An Explanation of Beliefs and Behaviors That Impact Organizational Culture with expert Rosalie Chamberlain
  • Harassment & Inappropriate Behaviors with expert Rosalie Chamberlain
  • Resolving Conflicts - Emotional Intelligence as the Path to Conflict Management with expert Rosalie Chamberlain
  • Valuing Differences - Understanding Culture Dynamics with expert Rosalie Chamberlain
  • Creating a Safe Place to Talk at Work with expert Candice McGlen

About our Experts:

Ray Weaver

Expert Coach and Master Trainer

Ray is an International Coach Federation Professional Certified Coach with over 1900+ hours of coaching experience.

More About Ray

Ray is an Everything DiSC partner, Gallup Strengths coach, Meyer-Briggs Type Indicator practitioner, and Leadership Circle Profile administrator. He is married to his best friend of 37+ years, has two adult sons, a loving daughter-in-law, and is soon to be a grandfather. 

Rosalie Chamberlain

Expert Coach and Master Trainer

Rosalie is a nationally recognized diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, advising on a wide range of related issues.

More About Rosalie

Rosalie has served as a speaker, facilitator, leadership consultant and coach in the legal, corporate, non-profit and private industries, both nationally and internationally. 

She is the author of Conscious Leadership in the Workplace: A Guidebook to Making a Difference One Person at a Time (2016). 

Rosalie has more than 20 years of coaching experience working with individuals and groups on leadership development, team building, talent management, and helping organizations become successful and inclusive environments.

Candice McGlen

Expert Coach and Master Trainer

Candice fearlessly questions the status quo in order to develop and implement high-impact talent development solutions.

More About Candice

Candice's probing approach is based on the early days of her career when she worked with a non-governmental organization that was adept at overcoming obstacles by sidestepping conventional norms in favor of fresh, action-oriented thinking. Since then, she’s applied her experience to the various facets of talent development.

She regularly conducts training workshops on how the principles and techniques of grassroots movements can be implemented within corporations to create a dynamic culture of employee engagement. Not one to sit still, McGlen is the author of Engage Us Now!, a writer and contributor to the Forbes Human Resources Council and a leader in talent development organizations such as the Association of Talent Development (ATD) Houston.

Her areas of expertise include learning and development, talent development technology, talent acquisition, diversity and inclusion, change management, design thinking and conflict resolution.

Watch Candace's recent webinar entitled: Creating a Safe Place to Talk at Work #BlackLivesMatter

What makes us the Experts?

TurnKey Coaching & Development Solutions (founded in 2004), has experienced management consultants, executive coaches and master trainers in every major metropolitan area in the USA and key hubs globally.

Through a single-point-of-contact, we provide full-service, LSO (learning services outsourcing) and make your employee development goals easier to obtain. From instructional design to implementing best-practices, to recommending strategic revisions, our clients tell us that we take the pain out of managing employee development programs. Our “turnkey” processes and objective oversight eliminate initiative overload and help your team to refocus on the business of the business instead of managing vendors.

Our on-site/off-site employee development programs are tailored enough to be relevant and meaningful to your industry while leveraging our off-the-shelf curriculum for an affordable and effective solution. We employ adult-learning best-practices and our proven curriculum, coupled with key-stakeholder interviews, your strategic goals, and industry research, for unique and practical training and development program.

Our Services:

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Questions & Answers

What’s the best advice for implementing corporate diversity and inclusion trainings?

From neurodiversity and intersectionality to allyship, implicit bias, and fostering an anti-racist culture, pulling off effective Diversity and Inclusion programs is complicated.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! (Proverbially speaking, of course! Elephants are endangered.)

When looking for a solution to a problem, especially a challenge as complicated as implicit bias and as polarizing as racial equity in the workplace, it’s important to know that the “best” DEI pathway is different for every employer. Some organizations are more inherently inclusive and equitable, while others have a longer road to haul. While the research shows that fragmented, compliance-focused programs alone are ineffective, not every organization needs a complete overhaul.

Thus, the best advice is to simply start where you are. Start with a workplace inclusion evaluation. Where are we now? Where do we want to be? What do our employees believe about our values, our diversity commitment and the culture’s inclusivity? What would it look like if we were a recognized leader in our field for exemplary diversity employment practices?  

Once your benchmark is identified, draft a diversity, equity, and inclusion plan to address each and every gap in a prioritized manner.

What is a workplace diversity and inclusion plan?

It is an organization’s strategic roadmap for cultivating equal and fair representation and opportunities, and fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment, free of discrimination and inequity, that leverages diverse talent as a key competitive advantage.

Through the process of identifying areas of concern and corresponding diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals, organizations intent on boosting a sense of belonging in the workplace ink a plan to cross the divide.

What are the steps to take for building an effective workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion plan?

The goal, over time, is to eliminate discrimination establish equity in your workplace by being intentional and proactive about diversification.

Let’s outline six key steps for an effective DEI plan:

  1. Start with a benchmark and prepare to track your diversity and inclusivity efforts. 
  2. Document your business objectives. 
  3. Communicate and promote the plan and acquire buy-in. 
  4. Address discord and the emotional tax early and often. 
  5. Identify, plan, launch, and support diversity and inclusion initiatives. 
  6. Measure (via employee and culture surveys) your diversity representation, equity, and opportunities progress and perception. 
  7. Compare progress against your baseline and be prepared to adapt your initiatives and approach regularly.

What elements should be included in a comprehensive workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion program?

From diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism training and educational opportunities, to affinity and employee resource groups, to HR policies and recruiting practices, to management behaviors and organizational values, an effective program has many facets and no magic formulas.

However, there are 10 key elements that we recommend: 

  1. Develop a mentoring program, paying close attention to the need for top-down sponsorship and diverseness across age, sexual orientation, race, religion, gender, and other various identities.
  2. Establish a diversity-focused recruiting plan including the use of hiring technology to increase fairness. 
  3. Facilitate awareness and buy-in via unconscious bias, antiracism, and inclusion training. 
  4. Review and fine tune your discrimination and harassment policies. 
  5. Inspect and improve your complaint systems. 
  6. Foster diversified business networks and cross-company networking by establishing ERGs (employee resource groups). 
  7. Appoint diversity and Inclusivity manager(s). 
  8. Create a safe space for race and diversity conversations, facilitated by an experienced expert. 
  9. Inspire culture change via top-down support and executive sponsorship of diversity resolutions and inclusion values.
  10. Commit to continuous improvement. DEI program results require flexibility, adaptability, resilience, and persistence.

What are the success metrics employers use to measure the effectiveness of their diversity and inclusion trainings?

The two primary categories for measuring D&I program effectiveness are demographic representation and equity in the workplace, and the stakeholder (employee, customer, vendor, community) experience.

“ Representation is a measure of diversity; the employee experience is a measure of inclusion.”  
- Steven Huang, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Culture Amp

The key measurements* for measuring the progress and effectiveness of your diversity and inclusion program fall into two categories: 

  1. Demographic representation and equity This includes compositional data (race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, etc.) segmented by roles to assess and evaluate: 
    • Promotions, hiring, exiting, and terminations
    • Pay data and pay gaps
  1. The employee, vendor, community, and customer experience. This includes collecting and tracking internal and external complaints of discrimination, bias, or harassment. Additionally, it’s critical to measure managers’ responses to complaints as well as employee experience related to the confirmation or contradiction of organizational inclusion and fairness. 

*Consult an HR compliance expert for proper data collection requirements.

What’s the business case for establishing diversity and inclusion trainings and for setting diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace goals?

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and subsequent rulings determined that discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin, pregnancy (and eventually sexual orientation) is illegal in the American workplace. However, there are even more compelling business reasons to invest in Diversity and Inclusion programs, training, and culture change initiatives.

In addition to the ethical, moral, and compliance case for DEI, there is bottom-line impact that also makes the business case for your diversity and inclusion programs: 

  • Companies with above-average diversity yield 19% more innovation revenue. (Boston Resource Group survey 2017) 
  • Companies in the top 25% for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.” - (McKinsey, 2015, Diversity Matters Report) 
  • “Companies with at least one female board member had a return on equity of 14.1 percent over the past nine years, greater than the 11.2 percent for those without any women. The stock valuations are also higher for gender diverse boards versus all-male ones.” - Credit Suisse
  • “In the United States, there is a linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and better financial performance: for every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rise 0.8 percent.” (McKinsey, 2015, Diversity Matters Report)
  • Diversity matters to your pipeline: The post-Millennial generation is the most diverse in history (Pew Research Center); And, only 56% of the 87 million millennials in the country are white, as compared to 72% of the 76 million members of the baby boomer generation. (CNN Money)
  • “Employees of firms with 2-D diversity [inherent traits and acquired experience] are 45 percent more likely to report a growth in market share over the previous year and 70 percent more likely to report that the firm captured a new market.” - (Harvard Business Review) 
  • Diverse and inclusive work forces demonstrate 1.12x more discretionary effort, 1.19x greater intent to stay, 1.57x more collaboration among teams, and 1.42x greater team commitment. (Corporate Executive Board) 
  • More than 50% of current employees want their workplace to do more to increase diversity and inclusion, and 67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering a job. (Glassdoor) 

This is not an exhaustive list of measurable statistics that make the case for diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism programs in the workplace. An organization that taps into just one of these improved business results can pay for their initiatives and then some.

Diversity programs enable companies to mitigate litigation expenses, improve its employer brand, attract quality talent, outperform competitors, and increase profitability.

What are the biggest mistakes companies make when trying to launch a diversity, equity, and inclusion program or improve diversity outcomes?

In our experience, the biggest mistake a company can make is to ignore the signs and do nothing. The second biggest mistake is to initiate a simplistic, compliance-focused initiative that fails to understand the complicated, multi-faceted factors and address the biases that will take time for the company to identify, address, and eventually align with the times.

Discrimination in the workplace is part of a larger social problem and to ignore the social clues that compel an organization to respond is not a solution, but a mere postponement of responsibilities. Additional mistakes include: 

  • A failure to benchmark the current state and measure progress.
  • Poor management and tracking of discrimination complaints and outcomes.
  • Deficient top-down support for DEI initiatives and goals. 
  • Hoping compliance-focused, check-the-box training is sufficient.
  • Expecting a single, appointed diversity manager is responsible for fixing the problems and changing the culture.
  • “Head-in-the-sand” to the fact that all humans have biases but most people (this means executives, people-managers and individual contributors) are unaware of their unconscious biases, and in many cases offended at the prospect.
  • Focusing on diversity numbers more than equity and inclusion.
  • Making the focal point the activities rather than the results.
  • An unwillingness to understand that discrimination, of any kind, including any anti-cultural, anti-national, anti-ethnic, or other discriminatory attitudes against a group based on their age, caste, race, physical appearance, disability, family status, gender identity, sexual orientation, political ideology, social class, etc. is a symptom of a more systemic problem. 
  • Dismissing or silencing those who raise issues; blaming the whistleblower as the problem.
  • Believing that training alone will fix the problem and change the culture.
  • Lack of support resources and infrastructure to properly achieve the diversity and inclusion goals.
  • Focusing on anecdotes and associations that have the appearance of diversity rather than the hard work of self-reflecting on the behaviors and beliefs that inspire unfair policies and the uncomfortable conversations that inspire change.

What are some challenges that organizations will face as they carve out a pathway for improved diversity, equity and inclusion outcomes?

From limited buy-in and paltry resources, to staff and leadership turnover, to conflict around polarizing views and poor executive understanding about the need for diversity and inclusion initiatives, challenges are assured at every turn.

Nevertheless, DEI and anti-racism work is more than a legal obligation; more than a moral imperative, a commitment to  learning about implicit biases, racism, and racist structures, and microaggressions while fostering greater equity in the workplace is an essential business imperative for the 21st Century.

How does an organization create  diversity and inclusion programs and training plans that work?

Diversity and unconscious bias training is one component of an effective DEI plan. Unfortunately, organizations often fail to do a training needs analysis and end up with a reactionary, piecemeal approach that does little more than deliver the dos and don'ts of discriminatory behaviors. 

Instead, start by conducting a proper training needs analysis and prioritize the educational opportunities focused on inclusion as opposed to diversity.

Inclusion is the behavior that leads to diversity outcomes; and, diversity outcomes take time. Furthermore, inclusion is more often viewed as a positive evolution, more reflective of conscientious values that ensure all employees feel valued and included. 

On the other hand, there’s a growing resentment towards diversity and what some are calling “diversity fatigue;”  anger and fear about unwarranted promotions, unfairness, and lost opportunities, primarily for white men.  As opposition to affirmative action and diversity quotas inspire complaints of reverse discrimination.

What technology is helpful in the pursuit of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism in the workplace?

While HR tech alone cannot improve D&I, automation solutions enable organizations to manage change, scale programs, and track progress far more effectively.

For example, our LeanDEI solution is a high-tech, high-touch mix of advanced organizational analytics, artificial intelligence-driven employee engagement, and just-in-time, targeted coaching, training, or facilitation meant to deliver micro or macro learning and change management. Our customized, lean approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace is an iterative, three-step process:  

  1. Identify the gaps and culture champions
  2. Engage employees in real-time
  3. Solve cultural issues with targeted learning and development solutions

What is unconscious bias training?

Unconscious bias training is a key component in any DEI and anti-racism initiative.

Unconscious bias, also known as implicit biases, are learned stereotypes that assimilate into a person's default patterns of thinking, reasoning, and behaviors. Every person has biases that are influenced by deeply ingrained beliefs. Some non-social biases are benign, such as hating oysters before ever tasting one. However, unconscious biases that propagate negative stereotypes are harmful and contribute to systemic discrimination and structural racism.

Institutionalized racism, the policies and practices within organizations wherein one group of individuals are favored, while other groups are marginalized and disadvantaged is fanned by implicit biases.

Implicit bias training is important for fostering awareness about default thinking and behaving patterns that victimize others. Through the first step of awareness building the goal of racial equity, a non-discriminatory culture, and ultimately a society free of oppression can be obtained.

Does unconscious bias training do more harm than good?

The growing pessimism that diversity training doesn't work and may even be more harmful than helpful, is calling organizations to do better, not quit all together. While conversations about bias are uncomfortable and progress is slow, the case for diversity and inclusion initiatives, including unconscious bias training, is substantial.

According to a few studies, if diversity training worked, there would be equal representation in positions of authority, by now, that mirror the community served. On the surface, this is a reasonable conclusion, as decades have transpired since unconscious bias in the workplace training first began and proportionate representation of women and people of color has not been obtained. 

However, there’s more to this problem than meets the eye. External social, economic, and systemic racism factors are pervasive. These include a lack of qualified candidates applying, cronyism, nepotism, lack of turnover, pipeline deficiencies, BIPOC having insufficient access to quality education and resources, missing role models, the school to prison pipeline, etc. are just a few of the external factors contributing to slow progress, as measured by representation metrics alone. 

As for the “more harm than good” outcry, let’s think about this critically.  Inequities in the workplace are insidious and the fight for social justice is centuries in the making. Racism, for example, is arguably inherited, having been nurtured for generations. There’s no magic pill for instant enlightenment, employee buy-in, and behavior change.  

When D&I training focuses on normalizing biases, avoids the issues at large (#BlackLivesMatter vs. #BlueLivesMatter vs. #AllLivesMatter),  or shames white folks (to mention just a few program derailers), of course our fight or flight instincts are going to kick-in.  

On the other hand, a multi-faceted DEI plan that includes policy, values, mentoring, career ladder opportunities, affinity groups and top-down support, must also address unconscious biases and why it’s important for the business. 

A few best-practices include working with experienced facilitators, who know how to diffuse and mediate conflict, foster buy-in and encourage safety is essential. 

Organizations will have angry detractors that are not aligned with the value of equity and will have to decide what to do when an individuals values no longer align with the culture you seek to develop.

What evidence is there to prove that implicit bias, racial beliefs, etc. will change as a result of forced compliance with training and diversity and inclusion programs?

We caution clients to be realistic and cautious in their diversity and inclusion programs and  expectations and the manner in which unconscious bias training is handled.  This is a polarizing topic that is intensely personal and can result in heightened emotional states for many.  In fact, some research has shown that compulsory unconscious bias training can have an adverse effect on those it’s intended to educate, as well as those it’s intended to support (underrepresented genders and historically marginalized people of color.)

On the other hand, logic dictates that an unidentified problem cannot be solved, and history informs us that discrmination and inequity will not simply resolve itself.

The issue is not whether an organization should scrap it’s DEI goals. In fact, a “head in the sand” approach could be a very costly mistake and in some cases the equivalent to career or business suicide. 

The organization without a comprehensive approach to dealing with inequity and discrimination will eventually experience either a public (think #cancelculture) or private (discrminiation lawsuits) reckoning. 

Instead, a reevaluation of your diversity and inclusion initiatives and careful management is in order. 

Effective Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Culture Change programs include: 

  • Executive sponsorship and behavior modeling
  • A robust communication plan
  • Realignment of organizational values
  • Expert facilitation 
  • Policies, practices, and procedures that ensure discrimination of any group is investigated and handled fairly 
  • Policies and accountabilities that prevent retaliation 
  • Facilitated discussion and conflict mediation 
  • Anonymous employee engagement 
  • Internal champions of change 
  • Opportunities for career advancement and networking
  • Benchmarking and progress tracking 
  • And, lots of patience