Unconscious Bias Training – “Divisive” and Illegal?
On September 22, President Trump signed an executive order banning certain types of diversity and inclusion training the administration deems “divisive.” Unconscious bias training programs are an exception to the ban. They are not only still legally permissible, they are also advisable. Bridge Safety Consultants offer effective, non-judgmental unconscious bias training both in-person and online for groups or individuals. Our training programs adhere to these new federal guidelines which delineate the nuances between permissible training and those that go against this new executive order.
The executive order on diversity and inclusion training applies to federal contractors and federal institutions and employees. The Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is in charge of enforcing the order and is actively accepting complaints by phone or email, and it will investigate them immediately using standard procedures. Companies that are unsure about their current training programs should be cautious moving forward; working with Bridge Safety Consultants to provide unconscious bias training is a safe decision.
Breaking Through Unconscious Bias
Unconscious bias training helps individuals understand and manage their hidden and experiential biases that results in creating a more positive, productive workplace and better hiring decisions are made. Effective trainings and coaching will mitigate a company’s risk for discrimination or harassment lawsuits because attendees are not only made aware of their biases, by completing the training they’ve also already taken a huge step towards eliminating them.
At Bridge Safety Consultants our unconscious bias trainings engage attendees without lectures or inflicting guilt. We encourage self-discovery and emphasize awareness – 100% nonjudgmental . Our training is unique in that it combines information with actual examples where attendees make automatically triggered decisions and choices, then analyze, realize, and discuss why they made them. We have found this to be the most effective way to learn.
The executive order prohibits trainings that focus “only on particular subsets” of employees based on their specific race or gender, no matter which race or gender. Companies and industry groups may find the executive order and associated implementation memos to be confusing. Because this is a new law and there are sometimes subtle distinctions between what should be covered in a workplace training and what topics should be avoided, it’s critically important to work with a well-established company like Bridge Safety Consultants.
Our trainings are designed to promote tolerance within your business. We engage employees through a customized curriculum which is designed to your specific organizational needs. Our trainings cover how to de-escalate conflict and address issues that may arise at any and all levels of a company’s culture. Once awareness is established, we have the highly qualified executive coaches who can provide individual or group coaching to assist in transformation and change.
Our training programs help companies preemptively meet state requirements, build trust at all employee levels, and take measures to prevent lawsuits. Craig Leen, the head of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, said unconscious-bias training is “perfectly fine,” as long as it “teaches that everyone, based on the human condition, has unconscious biases,” and doesn’t specifically call out a particular race or sex as being inherently biased. However, what the Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs deems divisive could land companies in serious trouble. Contractors that violate the order could have their contracts terminated or suspended and may be barred from further business with the U.S. government.
Partnering with Bridge Safety Consultants ensures that your employees receive unconscious bias training that not only meets federal guidelines, but helps your workplace avoid future lawsuits. To learn more about the trainings offered at Bridge Safety Consultants, check out our website here. To sign up for a simple unconscious bias online training for individuals or to schedule a group unconscious bias training for your company either in person or online, enroll here.