Implementing unconscious bias training is no small feat. You must first start by understanding different unconscious bias examples people are susceptible to, especially in the recruitment and employment atmosphere.
To gain a better idea of what companies are actively doing to improve diversity and inclusion and reduce unconscious bias in the workplace, we asked a few of our partner companies why and how they utilize unconscious bias training in their workplaces.
“After requests for more D&I training, we created a full-time team of diverse employees who are designing a six-hour D&I training for employees. The program will provide more specific actions and tools to approach bias and differences in the workplace. We’ll have managers complete it and then roll it out to the entire organization in 2018. We also brought in the San Francisco-based firm, Paradigm, to do unconscious bias training focused on the lifecycle of the employee.”
AJ (Anna) Johnson, Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager at Braintree
“To foster an inclusive environment, we offer unconscious bias training, which is mandatory for people managers; interview for ‘culture add’ instead of ‘culture fit’ and have piloted removing resumes from the engineering interview process. Our employee-driven diversity council focuses on providing opportunities for learning, community building and celebration during nationally recognized months of diversity.”
Stacey Kraft, Chief People Officer at Enova
Image via Sprout Social
“It takes a commitment from leadership and the support of the entire team to successfully promote a diverse and inclusive workplace. We are fortunate to have both. The importance of this can be seen from the creation of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Leadership Team, which includes executives from Sprout’s C-suite as well as members of the overall team. They oversee organization-wide initiatives aimed at ensuring everyone can bring their full selves to work.
These initiatives take the form of everything from implementing new processes that help remove bias during recruitment, to implementing monthly DEI Guild meetings that foster opportunities for deeper learning to creating a strong benefits package that meets the needs of our diverse team. Most recently, we have supported these initiatives by holding a company-wide unconscious bias training, facilitating a panel on the experiences of Black/African-American employees at Sprout and offering additional all-gender restrooms to our team.”
Michelle Bess, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead at Sprout Social
“Start small in one area. Bring in an expert on unconscious bias to present to your employees. This can be expensive, but this is what started the conversation in our Boulder office and lit a fire in people. Invite a guest speaker to come in on a relevant topic. We also had an amazing webex on interview suggestions when speaking with candidates who require special accommodations for cognitive disabilities in the workplace.
Send out a survey to ask what employees are thinking and looking for on the topic of diversity. Offer to host a diverse group’s meet-up at your office — and have employees volunteer to assist or attend. Provide employees with information on diverse volunteer opportunities in the area. Try one thing. If you don’t try, you won’t know!”
Beth Finger, Senior Recruiter for CA Technologies in America
“For us, it starts with being intentional about our efforts across the entire candidate and employee lifecycle. When it comes to attracting a diverse set of candidates, we go the extra mile to remove biased language — gender or otherwise — from our job descriptions now that there is a lot of research on how word choice can subtly discourage certain groups from applying. We also like to make sure our inclusive work culture is highlighted online and on our website so that everyone feels welcome to apply.
We, of course, also use our own assessments to be more objective about who we hire and to minimize unconscious bias in the hiring process. When it comes to perks, we take into account that not all candidates are attracted by video games and foosball. We make sure our perks are as diverse as our team. Examples include amazing health benefits, generous family leave, work-from-home policies and flexible work schedules.”
Amyra Rand, VP of Sales and Strategic Partnerships at Criteria Corp