From Good Intentions to Real Change: How Step Up Helps Organizations Uproot Bias

Amy Kesling, ACC
May 25, 2021

The urgency of building truly inclusive workplaces is undeniable. In the wake of George Floyd's murder and the call for social justice, organizations are facing increased pressure to go beyond mere statements and take concrete action. However, many struggle to move past generic diversity training and create lasting, systemic change.

Step Up: Equity Matters enters the scene, offering a unique approach. This Madison-based consulting group, led by Tania Ibarra, helps organizations of all sizes embark on their DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) journey. Recognizing the limitations of traditional training, Step Up developed the Uprooting Bias Online Challenge (UBOC), a revolutionary online tool that combines individual assessment and basic DEI training.

UBOC's strength lies in its multi-faceted approach:

  • Individual Assessment: It measures employee readiness in three key areas: recognizing biases, owning them emotionally, and committing to disruption. This data helps organizations identify strengths, weaknesses, and tailor their strategy accordingly.
  • Personalized Learning: UBOC provides foundational DEI training, giving employees a common language to discuss and understand their role in creating a more equitable workplace.
  • Actionable Insights: Based on the assessment results, organizations receive a roadmap for building their capacity to advance DEI. They also gain valuable insights into the support employees need, such as accountability, peer support, and clearer goal definition.

The impact of Step Up's approach is evident in their clients' success stories. Slipstream, an energy efficiency firm, partnered with Step Up to build a more inclusive culture. Initially unsure how to move beyond "good intentions," they found Step Up's guidance invaluable.

Lyra Trapp, Slipstream's Chief People Officer, describes the transformation: "It's helped the team become more targeted about the training and activities we're bringing forward. Before, it felt like throwing spaghetti at the wall. Step Up's tools and measurement techniques have refocused our DEI team, allowing us to see where we can make the most impact."

Step Up's approach resonates with organizations seeking to go beyond performative actions. They emphasize the importance of "unlearning" ingrained biases and building new, equitable practices.

Key Takeaways:

  • Traditional DEI training often falls short in creating lasting change.
  • Step Up's UBOC offers a personalized and data-driven approach to DEI.
  • Organizations like Slipstream are experiencing positive results through Step Up's guidance.
  • Unlearning biases and building new practices is crucial for true DEI.

Ready to embark on your own DEI journey? Step Up can help you move beyond good intentions and achieve real, impactful change. Contact us today!