Friday, July 21, 2017

The Silent Killer of Diverse Trainers: Microaggressions and Inequality - ASSOCIATION OF TALENT DEVELOPMENT

by Christian Ohonba 
Originally published: July 19, 2017

As a trainer of color, the obstacle of inequality is a day-to-day experience. In 2017, the workforce is the most diverse it has ever been. From age to race to gender to religion to disability, there are a plethora of signifiers that can make an employee the only “different” person in their space. As the workforce has changed, the trainer has changed as well. In the past, the role of trainer was given to a certain demographic. Now, if a company isn’t careful, archaic ideologies can push out invaluable human capital.

In my current role, I am a training consultant for a software company, and I travel around the country to train our clients. For many, traveling is an enjoyable experience. However, for a minority, the process is much different. I constantly go above and beyond the call of duty to protect myself from potential questions or verbal attacks. Microaggressions are often overlooked and explained away. This can have a debilitating effect on your energy levels. On one hand, it is important to defend yourself; however, you may be labeled as confrontational or unable to go with the flow. These jabs build up over time.