A road that is paved with good intentions

Diversity in action

Price: £1199 DVD, £999 Video
Published by: Video Arts
Contact www.videoarts.com

Like the road to hell, the road to diversity is paved with good intentions. But too often these intentions can be shallow or shortlived.

The Diversity in Action toolkit, comprising a workbook and DVD, aims to make diversity an issue of strategic importance.

It’s certainly a hardworking product. The DVD allows the viewer to watch the awakening of Oscar, a training manager as stuck in the past as the 1970s-style video on equal opportunities which gathers dust in the back of his resources cupboard.

We watch Oscar emerge from his narrow views as he shakes off his preconceptions about his team and his peers. He is not a racist or a bigot, just a harassed man, stuck in his ways and prone to assumptions. For example he fails to see that Marie, the training administrator in his office, deserves personal development.

But the story ends happily ever after as Oscar, and his former rival Paul from HR, stop treating diversity as a political football. Instead they work together on a diversity strategy which impresses boss Beverley and the rest of the board.

Oscar is a credible figure and is acted well enough for us to care and be interested in his awakening. The other characters are slightly wooden.

Similarly stilted is the linking commentary from paralympian Ade Adepitan. He has an engaging personality but doesn’t speak convincingly on business issues. In fact, he sounds ill at ease when he advises on integrating diversity initiatives with future quality programmes.

Overall though this could be a helpful resource and managers will be able to identify with the politics and tensions around the fictional insurance company.

The toolkit has plenty of legal information as well as detailed advice on planning the training session. It is not a standalone package, but if time and planning are invested it could be core to some valuable sessions or even used repeatedly as part of an organisation-wide programme.

Relevance? Five stars
Interactivity? Three stars
Value for money? Four stars

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