Monday, 9 January 2012

SDT- Sensible Diversity Training (or how to deal with Sensitivity without being a patronising bastard)

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Today I had the Induction for my new job. It’s working for a big company with many thousands of employees throughout the UK.

We sat in a classroom with a jolly chap (who looked uncannily like The Pub Landlord) and got through the minutiae of Health & Safety, Honesty at Work and then moved on to that chronologically challenged chestnut…Race and Diversity.

Well…actually only Diversity. The word “race” was missing which pricked up my ears right from the start. I mean, in 2 separate police forces we’d had RACE and Diversity shove down our gullets like flu remedy to a stubborn 6 year old. Yet here there appeared to be only half the equation.

The bloke spoke for about 15 minutes on the subject and not ONCE mentioned ethnicity, sexuality, sex, race, creed, colour or religious alignment. He DID mention age…but only in the context of how both the grizzled veterans and the young blood can share ideas.

He stated that we shouldn’t judge each other as we are all here to do a job. He then added that Diversity is “about working together” and that harnessing differences creates a productive environment.

I momentarily shivered with fear when we were put in groups of two and told to list 3 things the same and 3 things different about each other (I resisted the urge to write “I don’t have a vagina” which would REALLY have been tempting fate). Turned out this was only for him to cap the session with “people use all their energy fighting each other, rather than doing their jobs”.

At coffee break I walked up to the guy and shook his hand. He looked puzzled and I said “in 41 years that is the ONLY time I’ve EVER had sensible Diversity training”.

“Oh” he stammered, looking quite taken aback. “Thank you, it’s good to know we’re doing something right. I’ll pass that on”.

To ACPO please mate.

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