Dragonfly Consultants Leverages Virtual Reality to Overcome Gender Bias

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“We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” -Malala Yousafzai

SAN FRANCISCO March 14, 2018

Stories of gender discrimination and inequality are rising everywhere – in news headlines, tv reports, social media, and even at work. People are demanding equality and inclusion, but organizations are falling short. Today's data time and time again shows that with gender and diversity discrimination, companies are experiencing higher turnover, which costs them millions of dollars each year. Employees are experiencing a lack of morale, leading to less productivity and innovation. But, why are organizations failing at overcoming these issues?

Current diversity programs are taught through lecture, slides and maybe a few exercises, where interactions are limited. It's not sticking and only touches the surface of creating awareness and cultural change. Gender discrimination lies deeper within unconscious bias, and in order to understand all personal biases, programs need to work at the individual level, as well as the group level.

Inspired by personal experiences and hearing from a variety of connections, Dragonfly Consultants' co-founders, Adrienne Seal and Michelle Sullivan, found it critical to develop a more sustainable method of cultural change. Stories around the lack of career advancement for women, low representation of women in leadership roles, experiences of gender stereotypes, and overall, unequal behavior towards women have ignited the need to tackle the issues of gender bias and inequality. So, what makes Dragonfly Consultants' method different?

Dragonfly Consultants is offering customized VR Diversity Workshops with the help of NativeVR to create an immersive, 360 experience to uncover and explore today’s issues around inclusion and diversity. By tailoring the workshop with what is going on in the organization, people become more connected and accountable. Utilizing virtual reality as a tool in the workshop portrays real-life work experiences that offer different gender perspectives, and participants can explore various diversity issues. People can actually “live” in other people's shoes, creating empathy and a new felt experience that is otherwise difficult to emit through presentation slides and handouts.

Along with the VR experience, the workshop dives deeper by:

1) Understanding the felt experience at the individual level
2) Recognizing the group dynamics and how to self-regulate group behavior
3) Identifying the organizational levers for change to align and reinforce the overall values of the organization for sustainable inclusion

The overall Virtual Reality workshop is designed to foster a positive dialogue around diversity issues by letting each viewer explore both gender perspectives at their own choice. No-one sees exactly the same story.

On March 24, 2018, Dragonfly Consultants will be sharing more of their experiences and background on why they developed this VR Diversity Workshop at the Empowered Women's Leadership Summit in San Francisco, CA. Adrienne Seal will be a featured speaker, along with other women leaders from companies like Pandora, Visa, Broadway Angels, LinkedIn, and many more. Dragonfly Consultants will also have a booth, offering live VR demos and additional information on how companies can create more diverse and inclusive environments. Don't miss out, and purchase your ticket here.

To learn more about Dragonfly Consultants, visit their website at http://www.DragonflyConsultants.net or email info(at)dragonflyconsultants(dot)net.

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Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson

Sarah is a financial reporter, focusing on technology, national security, and policing. Before joining Daily Telescope she worked as a staff writer at Fast Company and spent two years as a foreign correspondent in Turkey. Her work has been published in Al Jazeera America, The Nation, Vice News, Motherboard, and many other outlets.
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