In today’s changing business climate every person in an organization from a CEO to a regular staff member needs diversity/cultural sensitivity training and education. They must also undergo a serious personal analysis of their attitude and beliefs about working with others who are different from them. The workforce that we know of today will become even more diverse in the coming years.

When this training is not complete and thorough, the entire concept has the possibility of derailing. Additionally, diversity trainers who do not have the proper tools and techniques about diversity and cultural sensitivity issues can create an unpleasant atmosphere.

In many cases, individuals who lead diversity programs are not always fully trained. There is a perception among many people that if there is a staff member of color, then somehow he/she automatically is a diversity specialist. And this is not true! They probably have an idea about their own culture, but that does not necessarily mean that they are aware of the other cultures.

The results can be disastrous because once again the definition of diversity training becomes nothing more than a sham, leaving all employees feeling dissatisfied.

Here are a few questions to ask when hiring a diversity speaker/ trainer because they do not all have the same qualifications.

  • Qualifications : Do they have the skills/qualification to get the message across to a diverse group of people? In doing so they must be able to put on a positive spin and not point fingers.
  • Budget: Find out what they charge for their services, it differs from one trainer to another. The cost probably will be higher if a talk / workshop is custom designed for your particular company.
  • Educate: They need to not only offer the information, but also know how to move the audience emotionally so they can take action after the session.
  • Expectation: What are your goals/objectives?

Once again, not all the speakers are the same. There are speakers who may be good at only doing keynote speaking to a large audience. Then someone else may specialize in doing workshops on a certain topic such as cultural understanding to smaller groups.