written by Gracie Johnson-Lopez, Diversity & HR Solutions
“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”—William James
How are you navigating the biases associated with women in leadership, generational differences, racial inequity, language barriers and sexual orientation? How do you approach those with whom you are least familiar? Does your team reflect your consumer base?
As business owners, we invest time and resources toward understanding our clients’ needs. As employers in a competitive labor market, we strive to leverage talent by creating respectful work cultures.
Feelings about these and other stereotypes are deeply embedded and something we’ve developed throughout our whole lives. How and where we’ve been brought up, our socialization experiences and media influences, all affect how we think and feel about certain types of people. Who we hire and choose to do business are often based on familiarity and comfort. Bias can generate a different reaction to the same request as trust and opportunity are afforded to some while withheld from others. Similar to contact lenses, biases often alter our world view and informs our decisions without our awareness.
Business continues to be driven by relationships and consumer demands. Untapped biases can rob us of the many opportunities to expand and build the broad alliances required in a global marketplace.
Attend the 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Conference on August 10 to learn 7 Proven Strategies for Combating Unconscious Bias. Registration and conference info here.