Statoil: Equality & Diversity Using Drama

The Story

Statoil is an international energy company with over 35 years’ experience on the Norwegian continental shelf, today with operations worldwide. The London operation wanted to raise the level of awareness of Equality and Diversity legislation, compliance and inclusion for its multicultural employees through interactive workshops. To keep the project within budget Statoil wanted a solution that could accommodate larger than usual groups of up to 25 delegates.

We researched and prepared a highly interactive workshop in which professional actors played out typical scenarios designed to touch ‘nerve ends’ and trigger debate. Facilitated by Equality and Diversity specialists, the workshops were held morning and afternoon and were open to all staff allowing up to 50 to attend each day.

To achieve organisational objectives, the programme was designed to be highly focused on three key learning objectives:

  • Recognising barriers to Equality & Diversity on individual and organisational levels
  • Understanding how to avoid discrimination in a multicultural workplace
  • Knowing your responsibilities with regards to safeguard against bullying and harassment

The Programme

Forum Theatre is a training technique that allows the delegate audience to intervene with live role-play scenarios by suggesting changes to the actions or words of the actors. Freedom to talk with the actors encourages delegates to think deeply about what is happening and to look for better ways of interacting with one another. The key to the success of this approach is ensuring that scenarios are scripted specifically for each client project; they must differ to, but draw parallels with typical situations within the client organisation. This allows observers to make judgments on nonthreatening, fictional situations and characters but to also easily apply the learning to their own working lives.

The Impact

The Statoil programme received great response with a unanimous recognition of Statoil’s Equality and Diversity policies. We distributed a tailored electronic survey pre and post event, to track delegate responses and the impact of the training.

A selection of average delegates scores:

  • 95% said they now knew what to do if they experienced or observed bullying or offensive behaviour at work
  • 85% said they would have the confidence to deal with bullying or offensive behaviour at work
  • 83.2% said the training content was relevant to their roles at Statoil
  • 99.4% enjoyed the style of delivery by the facilitator and actors

Top 3 Reasons To Use Drama In Your Workshop

Drama has the unique ability to bring situations to life. By stimulating the emotions and thinking of the delegate audience you can encourage them to reflect on their own behaviours and prejudices – because they want to, not because they have been told to.

  1. Engaging people on an emotional level is a key element in gaining long-term behavioural change.
  2. Because it is so engaging, drama sticks in the memory; research shows that people remember exactly what happened at drama based workshops for months and even years ahead.
  3. It’s a memorable event that can be captured on film and used as part of in-company refreshers; a great way of maximising return on investment and keeping the learning alive for years to come.