Human Resources training sessions to focus on staff diversity and inclusion

test test
Yale sponsors eight affinity groups — Asian Network at Yale; Future Leaders of Yale; Working Women's Network; Yale African American Affinity Group; Yale Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer; Yale Latino Networking Group; Yale Veterans Network; and DiversAbility at Yale.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Yale’s eight affinity groups are offering two upcoming workshops for staff focused on workforce diversity and inclusion.

The first workshop, “Everything You Needed to Know About an Affinity Group,” will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18 and addresses the following questions: What is an affinity group? Why does Yale fund and cultivate affinity groups? How do they affect the university’s reputation, recruitment, and retention, and who can join? More information on the workshop is available here.

The second session, titled “OUCH! That Stereotype Hurts,” will be held Friday, Nov. 4. The workshop will help participants understand the impact of stereotypes and biased statements, identify the most common reasons people sit silently in the face of bias and stereotypes, and enhance skills for speaking up against stereotypes. More information and registration are available here.

Each course can accommodate 50 participants from the Yale community, and most are offered quarterly. This is the third year the courses have been offered to staff, said Deborah Stanley-McAulay, the university’s chief diversity officer. The workshops help promote feelings of inclusion and solidarity among Yale staff and also promote the eight affinity groups to those who are not aware of the resources they provide.

“I encourage all university staff members to carve out time for their own personal development, and to make this the year that they pay special attention to diversity and inclusion learning workshops,” Stanley-McAulay said.  “It is in the discovery of knowledge that we are better able to assess our contributions to the workplace and to our teams. I believe most individuals want to contribute to a workplace where they are valued and appreciated as human beings.”

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion also provides customized versions of the workshops to individual departments on campus at their request, often to help work through a particular workplace situation. The office’s most-requested course, by both staff and managers, is “Mutual Respect in the Workplace.” Next offered in 2017, it also is available as an open workshop and in a customized version. Stanley-McAulay said all courses are led by instructors in person, which has resulted in more positive feedback than earlier online workshops. “Learners preferred to be in the classroom,” she noted.  Over 1000 Yale staff members have participated in diversity and inclusion-related training.

Participant feedback on the courses has been strong. Every participant in a summer administration of “OUCH! That Stereotype Hurts” gave it a rating of “outstanding.” One participant said she was “looking forward to trying new techniques instead of walking away.” Another said “I’m so happy I took my team — I think we learned a lot and are better equipped to communicate on these topics.”