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Corrosive Shame
Therapy for Life
Modern Policing?
The other day there I heard an interesting debate on Radio 4 about diversity training. One of the participants was suggesting the Diversity training industry was actually hiding rather than changing cultures in society - and that by "ticking boxes" organisations were being encouraged to "pay for experts to give talks" rather than actually addressing issues.

I thought this was quite interesting - though of course the question remains whether there is a better course of action...

I was reminded of this having caught a bit of fly on the wall of the Met Police this morning - the Missing Persons Unit catches up with one of their targets and opens the conversation with the heart-warming "Ere Mate - You Ain't Earing Strange Voices Or Nothin Are You?". Modern sympathetic policing...

Also, have a read of steve_c, who this morning has some depressingly true comments about modern politics.

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10 lies or Lie to me
trauma_pet From: trauma_pet Date: December 19th, 2005 10:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Working in diversity I'd say that's absolutely true. We try to focus on culture change but the legal requirements we have to make means that box ticking does occur whether we like it or not..
gaius_octavian From: gaius_octavian Date: December 19th, 2005 10:12 am (UTC) (Link)
There are two kinds of office, I find, ones in which everyone gives as good as they get in banter and everyone gets along with everyone else, and ones in which no-one even makes eye contact with their colleagues as they're too afraid of complaints to HR. The "diversity" industry is parasitic, created by HR types to justify their continued employment...
kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: December 19th, 2005 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
One of the points raised in the debate was a Police example - black and asian officers are more likely to be formally disciplined. Not because they are any better/worse than colleagues - but whereas the Sergeant might take a white officer to the side for a "quiet word" they wouldn't risk it with other officers in case they were accused of racism. So the result is they take a more formal approach - which is supposed to be fairer - but means the stats then say "Black and Asian officers are disciplined more".

trauma_pet From: trauma_pet Date: December 19th, 2005 10:19 am (UTC) (Link)
diversity work isn't just about being PC or being too afraid to give as good as you take. People don't interpret things differently just on the basis of character. I've seen plenty of examples where ignorance has ruined lives.
gaius_octavian From: gaius_octavian Date: December 19th, 2005 10:27 am (UTC) (Link)
But a fundamental tenet of the diversity industry is that racism is in the eye of the beholder, i.e. if you say someone is racist then by definition they are. Guilty and no chance to prove yourselve innocent, since who can tell what's inside someone's mind? It's all carefully calculated to generate as much lucrative work as possible diversity trainers, HR employees and lawyers.

Truth is that 99.9% of people aren't racist at all, but that everyone dislikes those who try to play the system unfairly for their own advantage.
trauma_pet From: trauma_pet Date: December 19th, 2005 10:33 am (UTC) (Link)
That's not strictly true. Just like harassment, if someone feels they are being treated in a racist way then those in charge have the duty to investigate. The result of an investigation is either 'yes you were treated badly and the perpetrator will be disciplined' or 'we are sorry you feel this way but there was no misdemeanor'. All those concerned are required to treat all issues as confidential. People don't like being told they're wrong or imagining being treated badly. They might even take us to a court. However by dealing with it the way we do we are confident that we treat people in a fair and equitable way. I hate HR bullshit as much as the next person and sometimes I hate other people working in diversity more, but for what it is worth as long as people insist on behaving badly it will be needed. Perhaps multiculturalism can never work, at least not with so much ignorance around, and with so many people fearing what is different. Perhaps it would all collapse if the social framework went down (ie Rwanda). However whether it does or not, whether people change or not, I for one will keep fighting for this cause, and please believe me, it isn't all about HR bollocks and overpaid over inflated consultants!
oldnick From: oldnick Date: December 19th, 2005 10:52 am (UTC) (Link)
That is not the way it was put across in the diversity training I received 6 months ago. Your company may put it across as 'every incident will be reported' - mine put it across as 'if it's perceived as offensive, it is an offense'.
trauma_pet From: trauma_pet Date: December 19th, 2005 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
(reposted without typos)

Maybe they didn't explain it very well to you. let me rephrase it for you.

I say something to a person. This person gets upset at what I said. In this instance let us assume that what I said wasn't actually offensive in the objective world of things. However this doesn't change the fact that the person is upset/offended, irrespective of whether they have a right to be or not. So yes, if it is perceived as an offense, it is an offense to the recipient. However this does not equate to the perceived offense as actually objectively (and legally) offensive. There are many objectivity tests included in most policies for this. This puts no one at a disadvantage. It helps the offended person by acknowledging that they are upset. And it helps all parties (or both parties) involved by setting objectivity standards to resolve issues. Ok so the person in my example won't like being told they objectively had no reason to be offended - and it won't change the fact that they probably will still be upset. The bottom line is everybody is different, even in terms of sensitivity. What matters is ensuring that equitability and fairness are part of all processes involved in resolving people's issues. Such instances are particularly prevalent between people of different cultures.
oldnick From: oldnick Date: December 19th, 2005 11:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I think you may be missing my point.

While that may be what you understand the intent of diversity training to be, it was not what was actually delivered, by the time that USA-sourced materials were delivered by uninterested, co-opted, amateur trainers many steps down the line here in the UK. The point here is that a large group of people here were trained they way I describe, whatever the thoery where the decision to train them was oroginally made.

(Unless of course you were sitting in the same class as me, and understood things differently).
trauma_pet From: trauma_pet Date: December 19th, 2005 11:12 am (UTC) (Link)
No I wasn't *L*

However I can only tell you the way things are meant to be interpreted. I personally have always been suspicious of these overpaid consultation types. which is why we do all our own in house training here. Then we can focus on culture change not box ticking.

Sometimes it feels like a losing battled, admittedly.
10 lies or Lie to me