Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 57

SRINI PIL LAY, M.D.

SCIENCE OF
LEARNING

HOW L&D CAN AVOID NAÏVE
INTERVENTIONS TO CREATE AN
EQUITABLE WORKFORCE
We live in a world that naively attempts
to understand its surroundings by
dividing things into categories.
Sometimes categories can help,
like when you're shopping at the
supermarket. But, oftentimes, they
hurt. This can be particularly harmful
when learning and development (L&D)
preemptively or reflexively reacts to
current events and crises.
With the human brain containing
billions of neurons and bridging trillions
of connections, L&D could have a field
day finding and defining categories.
There are an overwhelming number
of important and diverse categories
of thinking, behavior and mindsets.
Recent studies of the brain have
demonstrated that the more categories
you activate simultaneously, the more
intelligent your solutions are likely to
be. The trouble is we're always leaving
some category out, so L&D is better off
working with unifying principles than
generating quick, band-aid solutions
that will likely receive backlash. Below
are some ideas to consider when
designing learning in the pursuit of an
equitable workplace.

EMPLOYEES WANT
TO FEEL AND BE
EMPOWERED, LOVED
AND RESPECTED.
WHAT IS MORE FUNDAMENTAL TO
YOUR WORKFORCE PRIORITIES?
Inequality is real and must be
addressed. But, simply offering

" awareness-enhancing learning " is
not helpful. Your brain is not a logicdriven machine. Emotions run deep,
and at some point, you run the risk of
the pendulum swinging back to where
it was.
Rather, ask yourself what constitutes
a humanized workforce? Common
to most people is a desire to love
and be loved; that's what makes us
human. When I work with companies,
I help them design programs around
personalized
self-development,
purpose, passion and psychological
safety. These four P's will help activate
empathy toward others. You don't
want to force fairness. Sharing and
kindness in the workplace is inspired
by love and humanity.
OFFER EMPOWERMENT AND
RESPECT
People who experience inequality
don't want pity. Rather, they want
to feel and be empowered, loved
and respected.
Extensive research demonstrates
that reliving experiences with and
reciting narratives of victimhood and
ostracization can negatively affect
mental and psychological wellbeing. Focusing on inclusion means
that you do not victimize employees
who experience inequality. Rather,
design learning so that all employees
can explore their vulnerabilities,
differences and strengths and be
empowered to share them in a
psychologically safe environment.
A culture of victimhood is likely to
polarize workforces. Rather, think

deeply about how you can cultivate a
culture of possibility.
AVOID ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL IMPLICIT
BIAS TRAINING
In 2019, Fitzgerald and colleagues
demonstrated that not all implicit
bias training works. Training that
focuses on contradicting stereotypes
rather than perpetuating them by
focusing on difference achieves more
effective outcomes.
Additionally, in 2021, Stone and
colleagues demonstrated that certain
populations and groups may respond
differently to implicit bias training.
Psychoanalysts have spent years
helping people realize unconscious
obstacles and biases. Rather than
offering off-the-shelf implicit bias
training, consider the agility and unity
that is necessary in your organization
to enable constant course correction
and the creation of safe spaces to fail,
learn and forgive.
If L&D truly wants to have an ethos
of equity, it must embrace complexity
and courage and avoid oversimplified
discussions if workforces are to feel
authentically and entirely welcomed.
Dr.
Srini
Pillay
is
the
CEO
of NeuroBusiness Group. He is a
Harvard trained psychiatrist and
neuroscientist, and on the Consortium
for Learning Innovation at McKinsey
& Company. He is also the author of,
" Tinker Dabble Doodle Try: Unlock
the Power of the Unfocused Mind. "
Email Srini.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MAGAZ INE - BUILDING AN EQUITABLE W ORKP L AC E I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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https://bmcpsychology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40359-019-0299-7 https://bmcpsychology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40359-019-0299-7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7597671/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7597671/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29432427/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7032695/ https://www.trainingindustry.com/magazine

Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021

Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021
L&D's Role in Building an Equitable Workplace
Table of Contents
Race, Gender and Age: Social Conscience of Learning
Mitigating Bias: The Role of AI in D&I
The Opportunities Embedded in the Pursuit of Equity
The Real Unsung Hero: The Training Manger's Role in Building an Equitable and Inclusive Workplace
Training's Role in Driving Leadership Diversity
Perpective-taking in VR
The Leadership Problem of Inequity
Practicing Inclusive Leadership: How Leaders Can Take Action to Improve Diversity in the Workplace
Raising the Bar on Diversity Training
Create Community in Your Organization Through the Power of Meaningful Conversations
Leading with Authenticity in a Hybrid World
Organizational Health as a Tool for Creating Transformative Workforce Development Opportunities
How L&D Can Avoid Naïve Interventions to Create an Equitable Workforce
Learning Silver Lining: How the Pandemic Might Teach Us to Balance Temperamental Needs
Normalizing Mental Health Conversations in the Workplace
Making Employment Access More Equitable with English Language Training: Voxy EnGen Announces Series A Investment
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Intro
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - CT1
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - CT2
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - L&D's Role in Building an Equitable Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 4
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 5
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 9
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Race, Gender and Age: Social Conscience of Learning
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Mitigating Bias: The Role of AI in D&I
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Opportunities Embedded in the Pursuit of Equity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 16
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Real Unsung Hero: The Training Manger's Role in Building an Equitable and Inclusive Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Training's Role in Driving Leadership Diversity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 20
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Perpective-taking in VR
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 24
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Leadership Problem of Inequity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 28
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 29
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 30
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 32
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 36
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Practicing Inclusive Leadership: How Leaders Can Take Action to Improve Diversity in the Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 40
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Raising the Bar on Diversity Training
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Create Community in Your Organization Through the Power of Meaningful Conversations
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 46
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Leading with Authenticity in a Hybrid World
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 50
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 51
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Organizational Health as a Tool for Creating Transformative Workforce Development Opportunities
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 53
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 54
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - How L&D Can Avoid Naïve Interventions to Create an Equitable Workforce
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 56
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Learning Silver Lining: How the Pandemic Might Teach Us to Balance Temperamental Needs
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 58
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Normalizing Mental Health Conversations in the Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Making Employment Access More Equitable with English Language Training: Voxy EnGen Announces Series A Investment
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 62
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