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New Program Combats Racial and Gender Bias in the Workplace Using Virtual Reality

·4 mins read

Live In Their World improves employee interactions, relationships, and organizational culture

NEW YORK, July 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Live In Their World, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that combines psychology and technology to help change workplace behavior, today launched a new remote learning program using virtual reality (VR) to promote lasting, respectful engagement in the workplace. Live In Their World addresses the shortcomings of traditional diversity and inclusion training programs by creating profound awareness of the effects of bias and incivility, while providing employees the skills they need for a healthy workplace.

"After doing research with virtual reality, combined with what I've learned in my career as a psychotherapist, executive coach, and psychology textbook author, it's clear to me that awareness alone is not enough to drive civil behavior and respectful engagement," said Robin S. Rosenberg, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of Live In Their World. "As research has repeatedly shown, people's behavior changes when best practices permeate an entire organization."

Live In Their World uses VR to close the distance caused by the different experiences of employees, as well as resulting bias and incivility—whether working remotely or in the office. The Live In Their World program places its users into the "shoes" of another person to experience, from his or her point of view, what it feels like to be on the receiving end of various forms of bias and incivility. This experience is proven to result in deeper understanding and an enhanced perspective among coworkers.

"By allowing people to step into a new experience, shift their perspective, and gain empathy, Live In Their World is creating long-lasting effects and change within organizations," said Jennifer Brown, nationally known diversity and inclusion consultant, author, and founder and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting. "It's critical to the work that we are doing as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion professionals."

The Live In Their World distributed learning process includes numerous tracks, each with three modules, for companies to use based on their specific needs:

  • Employee Engagement Survey – Employees are surveyed to assess the level of civility and respect they experience and offer to their colleagues

  • VR module – a VR experience that allows employees to experience situations from another person's point of view

  • Online Cognitive Learning – Further develop skills for respectful behavior that were experienced in virtual reality

The program can be done remotely, and the virtual reality experience can be delivered to employees through an immersive video experience on computer, a mobile VR experience via a cell phone and mobile headset, or an Oculus headset at a company's workplace.

Companies can sign up for a chosen number of tracks in a given year. Current tracks include the typical workplace experiences of a Black man, Black woman, and White woman. More tracks are in development. Each one is designed to build skills that are critical for a respectful work environment. These skills include having an open mind that enables giving and receiving feedback, viewing change as an opportunity rather than a threat, displaying curiosity, and constructively intervening as a bystander. For leaders or managers, civility skills also include resolving issues between team members, running effective meetings, addressing bias in performance feedback, and structuring interview processes and hiring plans to decrease bias and discrimination.

"Research has shown that bias and incivility can have a huge cost to organizations," said Rosenberg. "With social shifts and a younger workforce, many employees expect—even demand—a positive, respectful work environment. Not having such an environment materially affects hiring, retention, productivity, and an organization's overall reputation."

About Live In Their World
Live In Their World provides a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) program to enable lasting change in organizational civility and respectful engagement. The program applies the science of psychology to combine emotional and cognitive learning, using both immersive virtual reality and online learning. The program easily scales for delivery to entire organizations. Initially funded by Learn Capital and seed investments, Live In Their World's proof of concept has shown significant impact on awareness, empathy, and implicit bias in participants. Armed with validated outcomes, Live in Their World is partnering with professional organizations and other firms to bring its capabilities within reach of more companies. Headquartered in New York, Live In Their World was founded in 2018. For more information, visit https://www.liveintheirworld.com/.

Media Contact:
Marissa Jabczenski
marissajab@gmail.com
949-812-1450

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SOURCE Live in Their World