Marleen has been involved with many companies on training cultural sensitivity across industry and in many different organisations.
In the first few years of our democracy, we pussy-footed round issues which are currently being openly, but divisively discussed in South Africa. Nearly 20 years ago, in the halo of the new South Africa, we were all terribly PC, we all rallied around the idea of the Rainbow Nation, but in truth, we did nothing to actively create this harmonious Rainbow Nation – we only spoke about it as an ideal. Consequently, many issues were driven underground.
Social Media has fundamentally changed this landscape. We now know exactly whom we are dealing with and what people think. The racial fault-lines are more enhanced than ever, and issues have never so forcefully been brought to the fore as with movements such as “Black Lives Matter”. The recent spate of shocking femicide and gender violence has also focused our minds on how far we still have to go. The recent events have unleashed the dialogue that should have taken place 20 years ago but didn't. The COVID-19 pandemic has once again exposed the violence, racism, gender issues and xenophobia inside the very fabric of our society and exposed some of us as brutal and totally insensitive to others. It is time for all of us to examine ourselves. AT LAST, we are now talking as a nation – even if the subject matter is sensitive, evokes emotion and anger, the boil is lanced – but how to heal the wounds is what we are now grappling with. The workplace is no different – and what is happening in the greater political landscape is reflected in the workplace with the potential for real conflict. How to deal with the conflict in the workplace is crucial – and providing a platform for discussion, without affecting productivity is key. Our cultural sensitivity sessions, provide such a platform. We encourage dialogue and facilitate sessions which allow employees to move closer to each other after gaining a better understanding of each other.
-Examines our socialisation process and how we got to be who we are in the first place;
-Deals with culture, cultural differences – but also cultural similarities;
-Examines corporate culture and the unifying factors at work;
-Allows you have uncomfortable conversations around White Privilege, micro-aggressions and any other issues that potentially divide us;
-Helps you understand Values – yours and that of the company you work for;
-Workshops how to continue the dialogue beyond the course.
In the course, we finish by letting you design a 3 point Action Plan for your personal and collective commitment to cultural sensitivity in the workplace.