Why Overcoming Unconscious Bias Is Key to Your Organization’s Success

Question:

One of the focus areas in my organization is promoting diversity and inclusion, and we would like to expand our current program to include more issues that have a real impact to our team and our community.  I have heard about “Unconscious Bias” but don’t know much about it.  Should this be a topic I’m including in our diversity initiative?

Answer:

Diversity and Inclusion initiatives are critically important to not only ensure that your workplace is free from discrimination and welcoming to all, but have also been shown to increase profit, employee engagement, and employee retention.  Expanding your program beyond the traditional training topics can be the key to unlocking collaboration among your team members and showing that everyone is respected and has valued input.

One new topic for you to consider adding to your Diversity and Inclusion training toolkit is Unconscious (or Implicit) Bias.  Unconscious bias refers to the associations that our brains make involuntarily and without our awareness based upon people’s membership in a particular group, such as:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Age
  • LGBTQ

We all have unconscious biases, and these biases can be very detrimental to the workplace if not properly addressed and eradicated.  A recent study by the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business and nonprofit company MDI found that people with disabilities encounter a great deal of implicit bias in their job search:

Companies like PwC have taken notice and have started tackling implicit bias head-on through a series of online training videos as well as their “CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion” initiative,

Diversity and Inclusion programs can be powerful tools that can set the unique tone of your workplace culture.  Expanding the focus areas of your company’s initiative to include Unconscious Bias and other meaningful topics can help improve your business metrics and the satisfaction of your employees!

 

Would your organization benefit from a training program on “Overcoming the Unconscious Bias?” Our Director of Organizational Effectiveness, Brianne Waugh, MA, ODCP, has a dynamic presentation that is engaging and thought provoking and will have an impact on your team.  Let’s talk about how we can offer this program for your organization. Contact us now and our President will be in touch with you right away to talk in more detail.