As we close the books on another year, it is time to reflect on the year that was. As has been our tradition in the past few years, we have compiled and are sharing our top diversity marketing blunders of 2016.
In this blog series I have been exploring unconscious bias in the workplace. In the last blob post, I explored how unconscious bias plays out in the hiring process. This time, we'll explore how what hiring managers can do to minimize bias in the hiring process.
First of all, those involved in the hiring process need to reflect on their biases in order to identify them. This can be done in the following ways:
1. Increase your self-awareness: The first step to minimizing the impact of your biases in hiring is to be aware of these biases. Harvard's Implicit Association Test is an online tool to help you explore your biases. You can access it at: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/education.html
2. Explore your thoughts and feelings: Explore your thoughts and any feelings of discomfort you may have when interacting with people from diverse communities, backgrounds and identities. This will help you identify any biases you may have.
Throughout this series I have been exploring unconscious bias. In the first blog post, I introduced you to unconscious bias. We then looked at the impact of unconscious bias in the workplace. This time, we'll explore how unconscious bias plays out in the hiring process.
Despite an increasingly diverse labour market, women, racialized people (visible minorities), Aboriginal people, and persons with disabilities continue to experience higher rates of unemployment and under-employment, even with equivalent levels of education. The outcomes for these groups provide evidence of the systemic and interpersonal discrimination they continue to experience in the labour market.
While it is important for organizations to review their hiring process to ensure that it focuses on assessing the candidate's skills and abilities, it is also important that those on the hiring panel understand the impact of their biases on the process and the hiring decision.
In this post, I'll review the 13 types of unconscious biases that impact the process and hiring decisions. These biases are summarized here and discussed below:
In my last blog post, I introduced you to unconscious bias. This time let's take a closer look at its impact in the workplace.
As I discussed in the last post, we all have biases. And these biases can't be parked at the door when we come to work. They impact our interactions with clients as well as co-workers, subordinates, and leaders. As a result, unconscious biases impact the success of individuals throughout their careers. For equity-seeking groups (i.e., women, racialized and Aboriginal employees, persons with disabilities, newcomers, LGBTQ) the result is lower pay, higher rates of under-employment and higher unemployment even when they have the same levels of education.
Unconscious bias operates in subtle but damaging ways throughout the organization. If left unchecked, they can also undermine an organization's equity and diversity efforts and help to shape an organizational culture that is exclusive rather than inclusive.
Even small negative or positive biases have a cumulative effect over one's lifetime. Positive biases support some people to be successful while negative biases undermine the success of others. The result can be large differences in power and position over one's career.
Tana Turner is Principal of Turner Consulting Group Inc. She has over 25 years of experience in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion.