25 ago 2021

4 ways virtual training boosts inclusion and why you should care


Making training and education more inclusive, hence more accessible to people from different backgrounds, should be top of the agenda for successful, forward-looking organizations. A focus on inclusivity will support tackling pressing societal issues; and boost innovation, employee retention, attract talent and increase overall profitability.

Inclusion can be defined as the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded. Going virtual removes specific barriers to training and education and opens the doors to broader and more diverse groups of learners.

Why is inclusion important? 

Supporting inclusion will bring numerous benefits to your organization or educational institution. It will help the world become a better, more equitable place and it will also boost your business.

Being inclusive will attract a diverse workforce from multiple backgrounds, with different cultures, experiences and knowledge. It will support a more proactive, innovative and creative environment. Working in such an environment will prove an enriching experience supporting employee engagement and retention rates and enable a better understanding of the world - a strong advantage in an interconnected, globalized era. 

Furthermore, it will boost an organization´s chances to attract bright, new talent. In a workforce survey lead by CNBC and Survey Monkey in the US, almost 80% of workers stated they want to work for an organization that values diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Inclusive organizations that bring talent from diverse backgrounds do better in business. According to McKinsey (2020) the topmost ethnical and culturally diverse organizations outperformed the bottom by 36% in profitability. In terms of gender parity, the same report found that organizations with over 30% women executives were more likely to outperform organizations with few to no women executives by 48%. 

In the higher education environment, the situation is similar. According to Tomorrow’s MBA, an annual survey by consultancy CarringtonCrisp, cited in Financial Times, 67% of the students believe diversity and equality are important to business education. 

Virtual teaching and training can support inclusive and equitable quality education, lifelong learning opportunities for all and an improved gender balance.

How can virtual teaching and training boost inclusion? 

1. Diversity

Virtual and hybrid training support learners who cannot join the standard classroom of an institution or organization. 

Due to its global capacity and scaling potential, a more diverse range of learners than ever before can gain access to education that was beyond their reach until now. In education, it no longer matters where a participant is geographically, but academically.  

For remote workers on the other hand, it will support their skilling path, help them become more engaged in the company culture and strengthen relationships with colleagues in different parts of the world. 

2. Flexibility

Virtual learning will allow any individual who does not want to interrupt their career or cannot afford to do so, juggle a full-time job, family duties and learning more easily.

For live sessions, participants can join from any physical space connected to the internet. If something comes up, powerful virtual solutions allow for session recording which can be watched at one´s convenience. Through its flexible nature, virtual and hybrid training can also happen in the evening, on weekends, during lunch breaks etc. 

3. Cost reduction

Inclusivity can be enhanced by reducing training or tuition fees as other types of costs can be decreased significantly. That in turn, for an educational institution specifically, could even increase the number of scholarships.  
Travelling for either instructor and/or participants is removed, just as accommodation or catering. Even more, other costs such as rental space, maintenance and on-paper materials will be drastically reduced. 

4. Personality

Lastly, virtual and hybrid training can be more suitable than standard classroom instruction for some personality types. They are excellent methods for rather introverted participants who might lack the confidence to share their thoughts in a face-to-face setting or in front of a large group.  

This type of learner will feel more comfortable and open to speaking up via digital means, be it the chat section, a breakout room, or be very responsive to the interactive content presented, such as quizzes and polls. 


Barco can help your organization teach and train in a more inclusive way 

Our virtual teaching and training solution, Barco weConnect can help your company become more inclusive and help tackle global societal problems, increase business performance and attract bright, forward-thinking talent that will lead you towards success.