The importance of Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace is more than just today’s hot HR topic. It is an area where many organizations are struggling and being held accountable. Over the next few months, HudsonMann will be providing key information and tools to assist you in analyzing your organization from a Diversity & Inclusion standpoint. We welcome you to join us!
Implicit bias is getting a lot of buzz in the press recently. The article will address what implicit bias is and how it may be affecting your workplace.
A lifetime of social and cultural learning has embedded into our minds numerous implicit biases. These implicit biases can be described as automatic evaluations of individuals based on assumed traits of their social group. Simplified examples can be associating a lack of technology or creative expertise in older applicants or seeing younger applicants as less competent in business.
Fact: A report on top CEOs published in 2017, showed that there were more CEOs named David (8) and Steve or Stephen (7) than there were female CEOs total (6).
Note that implicit biases are referred to as “automatic.” On the other hand, explicit biases are more overt and obvious to those involved or to bystanders. An example could be someone yelling a racial epithet into a crowd. This type of bias is becoming socially unacceptable and many individuals will be challenged on their beliefs or attitudes once they have been expressed.
While implicit bias is subtle and discreet, it is also considered more pervasive and damaging than explicit bias. Actions that stem from implicit bias may be hard for a person to notice. Nevertheless, they can set off unintended chain reactions that may hurt a company. Additionally, bias can lead to many negative outcomes for those who are unknowingly targeted. When it comes to managing talent in the workforce, implicit bias can affect activities such as sourcing of candidates for a new position to what advice or opinions we may consider important. It can also unwittingly undermine the organization’s culture. What is most important is knowing these biases, understanding how they form and mitigating their effects on the workforce.
When battling implicit bias, especially in the workplace, it is important to obtain a more critical view of the criteria you are using to evaluate diversification success. In-depth and timely metrics of your organization’s diversity are key aspects of doing this. By utilizing a diversity and inclusion analysis tool, such as the DIVERSIFi platform, you can directly compare how locations are performing when it comes to recruiting, hiring, promoting and retaining top diverse talent to ascertain if implicit or explicit biases are hindering the processes. Bench-marking tools can assist you in finding those hidden successes and potential “pain points” across your organization.
Corporate diversity analytics, bias training and mindfulness in your treatment of others are positive steps towards eliminating the effect of bias in the workplace. While the change may not happen overnight, we hope that this series – DIVERSIFi Your Workplace – will be the catalyst for change in your workplace.
Footnote: If you found yourself uncomfortable reading the examples in this article, you are not alone. All the included instances bear out in the research studies. Advancing inclusion requires acknowledging difficult issues and building awareness.