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Diversitypop provides DEI training with a military twist

Military training relies on repeatability and reinforcement to drive home training. That approach is being applied to a new DEI training app.

A group of 12 veterans created a diversity, equity and inclusion training tool that leans on military concepts. The result is a mobile app that can deliver diversity and inclusion training to employees no matter where they are.

The diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training app, Diversitypop, provides video, text, surveys, quizzes, nudges and personalization technologies. Its content presentations range from long text to short, TikTok-type videos. HR can use the app for surveys and notifications, gathering data on employee progress.

The military philosophy incorporated into the app focuses on repeatability and reinforcement, according to Drew Bartkiewicz, a co-founder of Diversitypop.

The military relies on repeated drills to create more predictable outcomes in high-stress situations, Bartkiewicz said. He heads Patriapps Software Venture Studio, the veteran-led firm backing Diversitypop, which expects to become its own operating firm next year. "You do a little bit every day to reinforce the thoughts and actions that become part of your routine," he said.

The arrival of a DEI training mobile app is not out of the blue.

The #MeToo movement in 2017 brought along "a greater sense of urgency that something has to be done," said Stacia Garr, co-founder of RedThread Research. The urgency for DEI training accelerated with the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. The events triggered a deeper focus on people analytics "or in understanding, from a data-driven perspective, what's happening with people," she said.

Garr is at work on a study about the DEI training market due out next month.

Data to find inconsistencies

Without analytics, Garr believes DEI training won't fix a firm's diversity problems. Many organizations have "structural bias," and they use data analytics to find inconsistencies and uncover potential diversity concerns. The data itself won't show bias, but it can point to issues, such as not enough women rising in the management ranks, she said.

You do a little bit every day to reinforce the thoughts and actions that become part of your routine.
Drew BartkiewiczCo-founder, Diversitypop

Firms that want to improve diversity and inclusion at their companies will need both the analytics and the DEI training, Garr said.

Diversitypop's SaaS system has a communications layer that enables HR to send push notifications to its employees, prompting them to continue with the training.

Bartkiewicz believes this approach, coupled with the mobile app that also can be configured by HR to nudge employees to keep engaging with it, is a better approach than running classroom training sessions because the DEI training can be accessed at any time.

"If you think and learn on a regular basis that diversity is enriching, interesting and clarifying to your sense of identity, then the treatment of others with respect and curiosity becomes instinctual to you," Bartkiewicz said.

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