Case Study: Municipal Government

I was contracted by a medium size US city to present a series of employee centered workshops focusing on the impact of implicit bias in the workplace. These workshops were designed to satisfy a portion of the diversity training requirements for city workers.


The challenge presented here was twofold. First was to create and present educational workshops on the impact of implicit bias in the workplace.  Second was to design and deliver a workshop experience that would be relevant, dynamic and interactive to for those attending.


I had no advance notice as to the make-up of who would be attending each workshop.  Those in attendance included the judicial branch, various levels of management, support staff, law enforcement officers, as well as skilled laborers.  Often there would be someone that would inform me verbally or with a non-verbal positioning in their chair (or from the back of the room) that he or she was not looking forward to this mandatory workshop.  The challenge of engaging those attending and helping them to see how this topic is relevant to each of them was part of my challenge and enjoyment.


The outcome was exciting and a contrast to the start of the workshop.  Several participants remained afterwards involved in related conversations with me and with each other showing excitement in the content. They continued to say they came because they were told this workshop and the approach to this topic is different from other workshops of similar name. And, several said, I was not disappointed. Toward the end of each workshop we reviewed key points and participants express their individual take-a-ways of our time together.  On several occasions’ participants said that they will change behavior regarding interacting with a wider range of fellow workers.

I felt great satisfaction when several middle managers and a division director told me how they intend to introduce aspects of the workshop content to their full staff. As part of my core belief I offered supportive assistance to the director as they began this new path within their organization.