> DIVERSITY & UNCONSCIOUS BIAS
Diversity: a strategic imperative.
Diversity and inclusion efforts have been around for a long time. In recent years, they have been invigorated by growing evidence on how diverse organizations, including those with more women, achieve greater business performance. Diverse organizations:
- Access larger talent pools and richer perspectives
- Understand and anticipate their clients’ needs better
- Unlock individual creativity and problem solving
While consensus grows on the strategic impetus for diversity, meaningful change has been slow to follow. Understanding how unconscious biases interfere with our stated aspirations is emerging as a critical step towards designing impactful solutions.
Our unconscious minds: the invisible part of the problem.
Unconscious biases are implicit preferences shaped by the sum of our experiences that affect – and distort – how we perceive each other. They are the expectable result of our brain’s limited capacity to consciously process information, and its reliance on mental shortcuts to quickly respond.
At work, our interactions with people routinely require us to assess ideas, performance, and potential. Despite our best intentions, this process limits our ability to identify, develop and promote talented individuals, and to openly explore new ideas.
Simply stated, unconscious biases push us towards the comfortable and familiar, and away from the unfamiliar and diverse. By considering these invisible forces, organizations can take on new approaches and unlock untapped potential.