This is the original in-person version of the activity:
Diversity and inclusion is not a workshop but knowledge is power and perspective is key. You might be compelled to use this remote version with your organization so that everyone is more aware of their own privileges relative to those they interact with daily.
So, how do you conduct this over remote teleconferencing tools?
1. Share a Google Sheets link with everyone who has access to the link being allowed as editor.
2. In the video chat, instruct your teammates to denote at the top row that they’ve selected a column-either by putting their name or anonymously with a hyphen or x.
3. Once you have seen that everyone is accounted for by the column claiming, create a starter row dependent on how many statements you plan on having.
For example, if you are reading 25 statements, the starter row will be on line 26 because the first row is occupied by everyone’s names. This means that hypothetically, if all the ‘step backward’ statements applied, that person would finish the activity at row 2, under their name. If all the ‘step forward’ statements applied, that person would finish on row 50.
4. Have everyone place an x on the starter line within their respective column to show that everyone is ready to start.
5. From there, start reading the statements (these can be Googled like this one or self-designed to your own team’s context).
When creating/reading these statements, replace ‘step forward’ with ‘move your marker (the x) down a row/increase in number’ and replace ‘step backwards’ with ‘move your marker (the x) up a row/decrease in number’. The weird up/down is due to the fact that the spreadsheet rows are ascending downwards. So moving down with your cursor/down the page is not moving down/decreasing your row number, but increasing it. Be very careful about clarifying this clearly so people do not get confused and phrase it both ways: the cursor direction as well as the digit value change.
To make it fully clear, read what row number the person should be on. For example, “If you like cheese, move your x up which is decreasing your row number by one. If you like cheese and you were on line 25, for example, you should now be on line 24. If you do not like cheese, move your x down the page which is increasing your row number by one. If you do not like cheese and you were on line 25, you should now be on line 26.” This should help to clear out any lingering confusion around the virtual line movements.
I hope this allows you to not wait until things are “back to normal” to start having these discussions with your teams. Ensure that the discourse and development doesn’t stop there. Make inclusion and awareness an intentional part of your workplace culture even when the topic isn’t trending.
Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Who knows? Maybe I’m a future member of your team.