5 ways to prevent unconscious bias from ruining your company culture
Diversity and inclusion initiatives have been top of mind for employers throughout 2020, as workplaces grapple with inequalities in the office and beyond. But while it’s important to address obvious instances of discrimination in the workplace, a more pervasive form of unconscious bias will require a rewiring of our natural brain function.
“The brain makes decisions based on previous experiences and those memories guide us in how we deal with current experiences,” says Howard Ross, an unconscious bias trainer at Udarta Consulting, a corporate D&I firm.
When this bias is applied in workplace settings, it can have an impact on the culture of an organization, through hiring practices, promotions, pay structure and the well-being of employees, Ross says, noting that unconscious bias can intensify the sense of separation that people of color feel. “All of those factors are putting added stress on folks to behave with hesitancy or be self-protective,” he says.
Below, Ross shares his five tips for becoming more aware of our unconscious bias and addressing it in effective and long-term ways: