Richard Chapman, Managing Member, Chapman AssociatesRichard Chapman, Managing Member
The positive impact and benefits of Diversity and Inclusion (DI) is no longer debatable. Gartner’s research shows that companies and organizations with best-in-class DI programs and leadership prove a better ROI and outperform other businesses. Although diverse and inclusive organizations drive innovative results, companies still struggle to attract and retain diverse talent due to workplace inclusivity issues. At Chapman Associates, the company provides leader-led interactive training sessions to organizations looking to shape their diversity and inclusion programs and policies. The company is lead by Richard Chapman, who has extensive legal practice experience, focusing on labor and employment law, business litigation, disputes, and counseling. As a managing member of Chapman Associates, Chapman aims to advance workplace compliance by administering a positive, memorable training experience. He has successfully designed, customized, and presented hundreds of dynamic compliance training sessions for many organizations.

Chapman Associates was established in 2006 by Mindy Chapman, who was a labor and employment attorney who specialized in developing and providing workplace training. She created high-impact training and compliance programs that focus on leader-led live and interactive training for large organizations.

Mindy began to incorporate her unique training methods in various disciplines of corporate training, including diversity and inclusion, harassment prevention, and management. By incorporating her signature sense of humor and authoritative voice into training, Mindy impacted thousands of professionals. She led the company successfully for over a decade until her tragic demise from brain cancer. Based on feedback from her clients, in 2015 Mindy’s husband Richard began leading the company and continuing to offer leader-led, interactive training. His initial vision was to pay tribute to Mindy by providing interactive workplace training to organizations using the content and approach she had developed. However, he soon realized he couldn’t deliver the training as Mindy had so uniquely done. For that reason, he built a slightly different presentation model by combining Mindy’s materials with his own experience as a practicing lawyer and manager at Clark Hill where he continues as of counsel. Ever since he took over the company, Chapman continues to serve Mindy’s clients and onboard new clients.

Manifesting Success through Inspired Action

According to Chapman, although organizations show interest in building a diverse and inclusive workforce, their existing DI programs often overlook an individual’s role in achieving the same. He says, “While diversity is an organization’s initiative, inclusion becomes reality only when individuals take action.” To encourage appropriate behaviors, Chapman Associates focuses on providing personal level training that enables employees to take inspired action at the workplace as colleagues, managers, and mentors. To achieve this, Chapman shares his personal experiences with diversity and inclusion during discussions with employees and allows them to acknowledge their unique situations. Such discussions also provide an opportunity to realize the value of diversity and inclusion as a high-priced asset of an organization. “We tell our clients that an inclusive environment by its nature is a diverse environment,” says Chapman.

The company’s training programs cover all elements of diversity and inclusion, including implicit bias, racism, economic issues, and more. With the foundational elements of DI defined, an atmosphere where people can express their own experiences in dealing with such sensitive matters is established. In Chapman's experience, if participants open up to these issues without hesitation, teaching them how to handle workplace-related issues is straightforward. Through his training sessions, Chapman works with participants to develop the skills to address diversity and inclusion issues proactively. By permitting and encouraging employees to talk freely and share their experiences, barriers are removed. This collaborative process has proved to be incredibly effective. More often than not, new ideas are generated by employees. In essence, Chapman's training is a human-centered approach that enables people to learn from others’ experiences and manifests success through inspired action.

By the end of a training program, Chapman Associates empowers employees to effectively manage and prevent workplace harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. This approach supports management's objective to prevent attrition by establishing an inclusive work environment where individuals can thrive in an inclusive work environment.

We tell our clients that an inclusive environment by its nature is a diverse environment,” says Chapman

Better Understanding through Continuous Engagement

It is not uncommon for HR managers to struggle with implementing an inclusive project; legal issues are another common challenge. One of the key differentiating factors of Chapman Associates is that the company prides itself on actively engaging with clients to understand their current culture, the challenges they are facing, and the goals they want to achieve. With a good understanding of the client’s business and by incorporating proven processes, custom training programs are developed.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has evolved by offering virtual and (as safety dictates and legal restrictions are lifted) in-person training programs. As their clients’ workforce started to work remotely, moving to a virtual platform such as Zoom became the norm. Chapman and clients agree, moving to a virtual platform has not limited opportunities for engaging and interactive discussions. A trademark of Chapman Training is the inclusion of printed materials and other props. Recognizing the value of these materials in creating memorable insights, materials are sent to virtual training participants before a session.

Another outcome of the pandemic was Chapman's recognition that employees were struggling in new ways with job stress, feeling unconnected, and balancing family responsibilities. To address these fear and anxiety concerns and to build resilience, training programs have been created with mental health in mind. Client feedback has reinforced the need for and value of Chapman's experience developing relevant and timing training.

Shaping a More Inclusive and Diverse Future

Recently,a privately-held pharmaceutical services company engaged Chapman Associates to lead a diversity and inclusion program. The company started working with the client’s new hires and helped them understand the critical issues associated with harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. The objective of the training was to establish best practices within the company. Chapman provided extensive training to the client’s employees and provided on-going training when the same employees were promoted to managers. Ongoing training gave the newly promoted managers a new perspective on the importance of diversity and inclusion. Examples of how to address employee concerns were core elements of the program. As a result of the memorable training, leadership saw an increase in the number of incidents reported in accordance with the lessons learned during the training. Using memory-based tools to teach new terms associated with reporting incidents became ingrained in the client’s culture.
Such success stories stem from Chapman Associates’ extensive experience in transforming an organization’s diversity and inclusion program.

Moving ahead, as people have started to return to the office, Chapman Associates will offer both virtual and in-person training. The company also plans to create virtual programs that enable participants to view the content on-demand.
As a notable lawyer working in this industry for over 35 years, Chapman has successfully trained organizations on the intricate aspects of diversity and inclusion. To reach a larger audience, he plans to share his industry experiences by speaking at events and writing blogs. Currently, a corporate education program called “Lessons from the Training Room” provides interested readers insights into the value of training as well as roadmaps for how to incorporate training topics into a company culture. This knowledge sharing program is shared on Linkedin and the company's website, and is an example of how Chapman is dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion challenges for interested leaders and forward-thinking businesses.