In today’s global marketplace, organizations are competing to attract and retain top talent. To ensure that top talent is not overlooked, employers must mitigate biases and stereotypes in their organizations to build inclusive workplaces. Building an inclusive workplace starts with understanding our own biases. Unconscious bias is pervasive in the workplace and leads to barriers and challenges for employers and employees. Here are some tips to help your organization practice inclusiveness.
1. Make the unconscious conscious
Having unconscious bias is human nature. We all exhibit unconscious bias — ingrained prejudices we do not even know we have. When it comes to women, bias is the result of decades of stereotypes. Most of us have been led to believe that men lead and women nurture. Acknowledging
unconscious bias is a crucial step in making your workplace more inclusive. Take this Implicit Association Test: https://implicit.harvard.ed/implicit/
2. Start the conversation
It is a fact that women and men are equally good business leaders, but gender stereotypes are still pervasive in the workplace. According to Pew Research Center, 54% of Americans interviewed say men would do a better job running a professional sports team, while only 8% say women would be better at doing so. Men and women are both capable of doing the job, but the perception and stereotype that men can do it better serves as a barrier to women wanting to do it. According to Catalyst, a research organization, research shows that stereotyping is one of the key contributors to the gender gap in corporate leadership. Catalyst research finds that women view gender stereotypes as a significant barrier to advancement.
As a leader, assist employees and colleagues in understanding that stereotypes are oversimplified views about a group of people and that these views can change. Start the conversation.
3. It is your turn, speak up
According to research, women get interrupted 2.8 times more often than men. Both men and women are more likely to interrupt when speaking with a woman than with a man.
As a leader, consider how you facilitate your meetings. Do you seek input from every person on the team? Does every team member offer input? Implement a no-interruption rule during a team meeting and discussion. Go around the room and allow each team member to participate. Monitor the team dynamics throughout the discussion.When an interruption occurs, anyone on the team may call it out. Stop the person interrupting by reminding them about the no-interruption rule. Simply say: “Wait, let them finish,” or “I want to hear what so-and-so is saying.” Be nice about it, but speak up!