Diversity Article

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The real meaning of diversity

Diversity is more than the opposite of homogeneity. Its definition goes beyond differences of age, race, gender, ethnicity, culture, or sexual orientation to include differences in creativity, work expectations and ethics, and any number of other areas affecting team communications. The essence of diversity is embracing, valuing, and working with every kind of difference.

These differences, which most often go unnoticed or are ignored by team leaders, can be a roadblock to meeting goals. That’s why Ruth’s diversity training covers all aspects of potential employee differences, with a focus on achieving increased awareness, new or sharper skills, and positive changes in behavior.

Not your standard diversity workshop

Diversity is too important an area to be addressed in a single workshop – its impact can be felt in all aspects of a business. Ruth views her role as more of a consultant than a trainer, helping her clients set goals, consider bottom-line impact, and chart a course to reaching their goals.

  • Ruth takes a quick organizational snapshot through meeting with leaders, interviewing employees at all levels, reviewing organizational policies and practices, attending meetings, and then analyzing all the data for themes and trends;
  • Then she tells her clients how particular individual, group, and/or organizational behavior, practices, or attitudes may be affecting productivity and the quality of the work environment, and collaborates with leaders to identify priorities;
  • This leads to the design of a diversity initiative or intervention customized to address issues confronting the organization, the group, and the individual.

If a workshop is the appropriate vehicle for raising employee awareness, Ruth works with senior staff to design a workshop – or a series of workshops – tailored to the needs and backgrounds of their target audience(s).

A continuing process

For Ruth, diversity training and consulting is a continuing process that requires sensitivity, skills, and integrity. Participants in her training have experienced sudden, positive shifts in awareness, attitude, and behavior, and have developed the skills needed to create sustaining structures to support those changes.

According to Ruth, the most important part of her diversity consulting is the integration of policies and practices that support the employees in changing their behavior and using new skills. That’s why she continues working with leaders to develop the business case for diversity in their organizations, and to design and implement strategies for unleashing the power of diversity to attract and retain employees and meet bottom-line objectives.

 

 

 

 

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