6 simple steps to fighting unconscious bias
By almost any measure, a diverse and inclusive workplace wins: greater innovation, creativity, employee retention, recruiting success and profits. But, so far, actually getting there has seemed beyond the scope of formal corporate diversity programs. There is no magic pill, but here are some simple steps you can take to get rid of the tricky unconscious biases that block progress, so your organization can reap the benefits of diversity.
Based on “Diversity at Work Is Essential and It’s Everyone’s Responsibility” by Jocelyn Mangan (Forbes, 5 October 2017), “3 Ways Companies Are Fighting Bias in the Workplace and Hiring Process” by Samantha McLaren (LinkedIn Talent Blog, 23 July 2018) and “7 Simple Methods to Fight Against Your Unconscious Biases” by Courtney Seiter (Fast Company, 8 April 2015).
#1 Take the initiative
Start an honest conversation about bias.
- State publicly that inclusion is a priority. When you as a leader engage personally with this issue, it sets the tone and gives everyone the encouragement to participate.
- Be prepared to listen more than talk. Be open to everyone’s views and try to keep your defenses down. Bias may be embedded in your company’s culture, but you may have a blind spot to its existence. To avoid “mansplaining” or “whitesplaining,” it’s better to approach the discussion with a learning mindset, along the lines of: “I don’t understand. Can you explain it to me?”
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