Anti-Racism and Being an Active Upstander
AllianceBernstein is an ever-changing company with a growing workforce and global scope. More than 1,500 of the firm’s employees live outside of the US. Throughout AB’s ongoing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion journey, the firm has focused on promoting a diverse and connected culture that empowers employees to thrive in their careers.
Following the tragic murder of George Floyd in May 2020, GDP was approached by AllianceBernstein to create an eLearning training module centered on anti-racism. The AB leadership team wanted the eLearning to be engaging, relatable and interactive, with opportunities for participants to share their thoughts and opinions after completion.
We knew that AllianceBernstein was committed to emphasising an anti-racism policy throughout their organisation. We learned that the firm was interested in providing their employees with an in-depth understanding of the global history of racism as a continuation of their current DEI training in addition to providing tips and tools for being an active upstander to support employees on their DEI learning journey. With this in mind, we began familiarising ourselves with AllianceBernstein’s goals and industry. We knew that our training had to be tailored to the financial services sector, the company’s current level of anti-racism awareness and their priorities and aspirations for anti-racism within the organisation.
- We started with a Diagnostic Phase project. This helped us discover the challenges and opportunities surrounding anti-racism at AllianceBernstein and ultimately allowed us to deliver a fully customised set of deliverables.
- We also conducted a Microsoft Forms survey and 1-2-1 interviews with Diversity Champions within AllianceBernstein who are actively engaged in the firm’s DEI efforts. Listening to the lived experiences and perceptions of employees enhanced our understanding of the state of anti-racism in the business.
- Our aim was to nurture allyship through education: helping people identify racist behavior and providing the tools and strategies to challenge racism in every form. With the help of a subject matter expert, we developed an anti-racism training module. It focused on the history of racism, colonialism, micro-aggressions and micro-inequities. We aligned these topics with AllianceBernstein’s values and goals, emphasizing how racism and racist behavior run contrary to AB’s mission.
The Anti-Racism and Being an Active Upstander training module has been translated into Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese. Feedback from just some of these employees have included:
‘I think the training is great. It covers everything in a clear, concise and impactful manner.’
‘[It covered] things we would not consider.’
‘It’s good to step back and think again.’
‘Content [was] very engaging.’