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Home > News > June 2005 > 29-Jun-2005

Bank uses drama for diversity training programme

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi has provided equal opportunities and diversity training for all 600 UK staff by combining drama-based training with an online tutorial.

The drama-based training programme, delivered by Steps Drama, is designed to highlight the behavioural aspects of diversity and the implications of diversity legislation.

Called The Diversity Programme, the three-hour training session has been delivered 16 times, with an average of 35 staff attending each time, at the bank’s Broadgate office in London. It will continue to run every six months, for new recruits and new expatriate managers who come over from Japan.

"Diversity is about understanding, respecting, embracing and celebrating our differences," said Dale Gunstone, the bank’s Learning and Development Manager.

"We wanted to explain this to our staff so they see diversity as an opportunity not a threat. Steps worked with us to develop the programme content and they were able to reflect the culture of the bank by bringing in a diverse mix of professional role players, including Japanese actors."

The programme features four scenarios, in which the actors role play characters in business-related situations. The scenarios are designed to highlight a range of issues including discrimination against race, ethnic heritage, religious values, educational background, disability, gender and sexual orientation.

"The audience members interact with the characters in the scenarios and they discuss all of the diversity issues raised," said Gunstone. "Drama is particularly effective for this type of training because it is an entertaining and memorable medium which can bring out very serious learning messages."

Gunstone concluded: "The drama-based training programme has been a major step forward for the bank and it has far exceeded our expectations. Feedback from staff has been very positive. It is always difficult to take people off a dealing floor for training but when you then get e-mails thanking you and saying it was really worthwhile, you know you’ve achieved your objective. Steps have been very responsive and extremely helpful. They have a very good team who brought a number of different issues to life."

The bank is supplementing the drama-based training with an online tutorial resource. The 45-minute interactive tutorial is designed to highlight the main characteristics of diversity, its impact and the factors behind its growth as well as the barriers to diversity, including attitudes and cultural differences. Users are presented with information and they receive feedback based on their answers to set questions.

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