The world is full of people of different races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, cultures, and experiences.
We know when positive representation is portrayed in the media, minority communities that relate to those in the limelight benefit greatly. Entertainment stars like Laverne Cox and Dominique Jackson are just two examples of pioneering black transgender women paving the way for others to be proud of who they are.
Marvel recently produced their first global Asian-led superhero movie, and leading actor Simu Liu said it best: “What excited me most about this movie is that we were able to provide that for kids and I could be something that I never had.”
So, when it comes to eLearning or training in the workplace, a form of media that many people experience globally, diversity representation should still remain at the forefront.
Here are a few reasons why representation matters in eLearning:
Learners should have characters they relate to
No matter your race, gender identity, religion, age, or any other protected characteristic – when people are learning, be it online or offline, they must be able to relate to the characters before them to maintain engagement.
People want to feel seen and heard; what better way than to include a range of characters that are all from diverse backgrounds? If you were learning from someone that looked and sounded like you, chances are, you’re more likely to focus on what they’re saying.
People may have hidden disabilities
Not all disabilities are visible, and many of your employees could be silently suffering. Whether it’s a mental health condition, hearing loss, or cognitive impairment, including different types of disabilities in your eLearning courses is crucial to help employees feel supported.
When learners upskill, they’re more inclined to work harder. How do you upskill your employees? You give them online courses that are relevant and relatable. (See point 1)
Encourages open communication
Representing a diverse workforce means employees can feel heard and seen in their workplace. This builds trust. And with trust, comes open communication. Not only will this help employees to talk about their diverse experiences, but open communication in the workplace also massively boosts teamwork and employee morale.
In fact, companies that foster effective communication are 4.5x more likely to retain the best employees.
How to ensure your eLearning represents diversity:
- Use characters with different skin types, from across the world and different cultures.
- Avoid stereotypes.
- Apply gender-neutral language.
- Make accessibility a priority. Think: subtitles, a wide range of language options, and colour contrast to ensure content is readable.
- Educate employees with a specific course about equality and diversity in the workplace.
If you’re not taking steps to foster inclusion in your workplace, you’re automatically (whether you’re aware of it or not), excluding a lot of your workforce.
Over a third of learners are willing to leave a business for a more inclusive employer. Are you willing to take that risk?
Build and nurture an inclusive workforce
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