Addressing Racism in the Workplace

By Teresa Oakley-Smith

Despite the fact that a great deal of progress has been made in the years since the introduction of democratic government, the incidence of racism in the workplace, although lessened, still persists. Consequently, much more will still need to be done before it can be totally eliminated. In order to achieve the necessary transformation, the entire process of change needs to be managed with both care and sensitivity. Perhaps not surprisingly then, in almost all cases, this is a task that is best undertaken by an independent third party with a specialised knowledge and sound experience of the process of change management.

In Johannesburg, one company has been playing a leading role in effecting transformation within the nation’s business hub and throughout the province since it was first established in 1993. The consultancy, aptly named Diversi-T, offers its clients a selection of highly effective, tailored solutions for implementation across a widely divergent range of fields. Its consistent record of success has resulted in a very substantial client base that is continuing to grow.

Totally dedicated to its goals, Diversi-T adopts a proven 3-step strategy. The process begins with a preliminary assessment, then progresses to the appropriate training and, finally, is followed up and reinforced through a programme of ongoing support. These 3 important steps are mandatory to the success of any intervention that is intended to achieve success in combating racism in the workplace.

The initial assessment phase needs to be thorough in order to ensure a suitably effective plan, tailored to a given company’s unique needs. The consultation will be conducted by widely-experienced personnel and may include a climate survey, culture audit or policy review, or any combination of these as deemed necessary. It will particularly focus on identifying how best to implement an employment equity policy and to provide the required skills development services.

With regard to the latter exercise, an internal skills development committee will be appointed and suitably trained. Diversi-T will then register with the appropriate SETA and assume the role of facilitator, conducting the analysis, providing the training, and submitting grant applications as relevant. Alternatively, Diversi-T can assist organisations in developing the necessary accreditation required in order to undertake these activities on their own behalf.

Standard training modules address vital key issues such as employment, diversity awareness, and skills development. In addition, it covers important support functions that, to name just a few, include team building, conflict management and initiatives useful in the prevention of sexual harassment.

The elimination of racism in the workplace is crucial to our economy and Diversi-T is an acknowledged leader in this field. As such, we can and will be able to help you on this matter to ensure that there is synergy within your workforce.