Photo: Julianne Gallimore, Instructor for the Diversity and Inclusion certificate at Kompass Professional Development
Over the last few years, we've seen a tremendous increase in corporate training programs in diversity and inclusion.
Leaders are finally recognizing the critical importance of fostering a genuinely inclusive workplace culture.
The problem is, management often lacks the skillset and knowledge needed to recruit, nurture, and retain a diverse workforce.
Julianne Gallimore has built a career around helping companies navigate this challenging process.
She has a proven track record in human resources, with a specialization in diversity and inclusion training, coaching, and consulting.
And now, Julianne has signed on to teach the new Diversity and Inclusion certificate at Kompass Professional Development.
We interviewed her this week to learn more about her background and what skills she'll be teaching in class. Read on for the highlights.
Q: Julianne, can you give us some background on your professional experience in diversity and inclusion?
Julianne: My expertise lies in successfully partnering with line executives and management to proactively address business issues pertaining to workforce development, organizational planning, employee engagement, and productivity.
I educate staff on a wide range of programmes and initiatives that foster a culturally inclusive and diverse environment. This includes coaching, consulting, mentoring, and managing an inclusive strategy through every part of an institution or organization.
Q: Do you have some experience as an educator, or will this be your first foray into teaching?
Julianne: Throughout my career, I have created materials and provided training for Diversity and Inclusion across many different organizations and institutions, both virtually and through onsite courses, workshops, and seminars.
Q: What skills will you focus on in the Diversity and Inclusion certificate? What will students learn?
Julianne: Diversity is a fact. It is also paradoxical. We need to be capable of seeing and hearing differences in order to reap the benefits of diversity. But seeing and hearing differences hones our discriminating reflexes and can also lead to discrimination.
Students in the Diversity and Inclusion certificate learn how to understand the paradox and its dynamics, identify ways to manage it, and equip all managers and executives to lead inclusively across an organization.
The ultimate takeaway is practical tools and techniques to better channel the diversity potential in the workplace for greater performance and innovation.
Q: Who is the Diversity and Inclusion certificate designed for? Who would be a good fit for this course?
Julianne: Inclusive leadership is essential for making sure diverse thinking is respected, managed, and applied.
Inclusive leaders are uniquely prepared to communicate and influence in a way that gets everyone on board with new ideas and new ways of doing things.
So, if you’re in leadership or want to advance your career as a contributor, a diversity and inclusion certification is essential for that advancement.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you’re seeing with regard to diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
Julianne: One of the biggest challenges is getting a diverse applicant pool. Companies can do all the right things and still receive applications from people who look alike, have the same values, and come from similar backgrounds.
Resistance to change is another common barrier to assimilating more diversity in work groups. Resistance forces minorities to bear the burden of changing to fit the existing culture, thereby limiting the value of having new perspectives in the first place.
Managing and communicating with a diverse work population is another key challenge. Managers must understand the customs and cultural predispositions of their subordinates and carefully ensure they do not violate crucial cultural rules.
It is the role of the managers to change the existing organizational culture to one of diversity and inclusion.
Q: In your experience, what’s the biggest misconception about diversity and inclusion?
Julianne: One of the most common myths is that “diversity is about race.”
Your team should be racially diverse; that much is true. However, a person's race isn’t the only human identifier that’s used to discriminate against employees or potential hires.
Likewise, hiring a more racially diverse team will have a positive impact but it isn’t the only type of diversity that has that effect.
When you’re working to develop a more diverse team, you’ll need to think about a multitude of ways that your people could be different from one another and embrace them all.
Your company should invite a diversity of religion, nationality, sexuality, customs, beliefs, abilities, and personality types - all of which bring new and valuable perspectives to the office.
Q: How does one start a career as a diversity and inclusion manager, coordinator, or specialist?
Julianne: There are a lot of paths to get into the diversity and inclusion role. Many start out in human resources, but people have also stepped in with backgrounds in law, engineering, social justice, corporate affairs or another area.
The key is that you have to show interest in doing work that helps the organization move toward a diverse and inclusive culture.
This field is continuously changing with each new generation of talent, and staying on top of cultural shifts will be essential to your ability to secure roles in diversity and inclusion.
Q: Why should companies invest in diversity training for managers and HR staff? What are the biggest benefits?
Julianne: Companies need to provide diversity training in order to hire and retain the best talent, maximize their markets, and avoid bad publicity and costly lawsuits.
When you make diversity training in the workplace a priority, your company reaps the benefits in more ways than one.
You’ll create an inclusive environment that fosters innovation, ensure your brand will be popular with all demographics, and thus boost your revenue.
With better team morale due to cultural differences, you’ll draw attention from top talent and grow your company with the best possible people.
Q: How do you see the field of diversity and inclusion evolving over the coming years?
Julianne: Never before has the world seen such a globally united voice against racism, which includes the voices of all races and ages against systemic barriers.
The workplace of the (near) future will be diverse, inclusive and increasingly more representative of today’s society. Not because it’s trendy, but because the world is changing, and the workplace needs to embrace it.
Let there be no doubt, the success of our future will rest on leadership ability to become inclusive. The powers that be, regardless of industry, have a duty to ensure that inclusion is part and parcel of organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
Leadership must make changes now. The time has come. There can be no more excuses.
Learn more about Diversity and Inclusion training at Kompass
Kompass offers a Diversity and Inclusion certificate that is delivered completely online.
Training can be completed in 3-6 months, depending on the pace you choose.
The courses focus on practical skills and tools to foster an inclusive work environment and help diverse teams reach their full potential.
Click below to learn more about the certificate or chat live with admissions.