Blog Post 1-18-12

Inclusiveness Training Starts in Childhood

Perhaps you think of diversity and inclusiveness training as being the same thing. However, while they are complimentary, inclusiveness and diversity are actually different.

While diversity tends to focus on the differences of the people in the workplace – age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, class and more – inclusiveness focuses on making sure all these groups of people feel welcomed in the organization. The goal is to create a work environment that eliminates practices and policies that result in barriers to inclusion.

Learning a Lesson in Inclusiveness

The picture of Target’s newest child model – an adorable six-year-old boy named Ryan – recently brought smiles to his friends, family and the many people who have viewed the ad. More importantly, it brought laughter and a smile to Ryan because he had the opportunity to be just another “super cute kid smiling for the camera.”

You may be scratching your head right now wondering why this matters, but it does, because Ryan has Down syndrome and Target isn’t his first modeling job. Nordstrom cast Ryan in a catalog last summer.

What makes this story particularly heart-warming is that the ads don’t try to prove a point or single out Ryan nor any of the other children. They’re just plain and ordinary ads – which is the point.

This lesson in inclusiveness wasn’t difficult to learn. It just took an open mind and a little foresight to realize that children are children, regardless of gender, color or special needs. And by teaching them when they are youngsters to embrace everyone equally, they learn early the lesson of inclusiveness.

Teach Your Team Inclusiveness

When your programs and culture are inclusive and new employees understand the importance of inclusiveness, your organization reaps the benefits of higher job satisfaction, morale and productivity as well as increased creativity, innovation and cooperation between team members.

And that’s the whole point. Working cooperatively toward the same vision takes the entire team – a team that works well together regardless of different viewpoints, backgrounds and skill levels. Teach your team the importance of inclusiveness through diversity and inclusiveness training. We have the tools you need. Call us.