Two days ago, we celebrated International Women’s Day, themed “breaking bias”. Many people and businesses took to their social media platforms to support the breaking of biases against women. In the spirit of breaking the bias, which shouldn’t just be a one-day affair, here are a few biases to break at the workplace.
While we have been trained to accept feedback at work, how about when the feedback is personal? Like asking, can’t you wear original human hair? You shouldn’t look this way because you’re married. How about those times when you know some comments won’t be thrown at you if you’re not in that workspace or in that work-related issue at the moment. Jane, a colleague’s choice of cloth colour does not affect how they work.
Either at work or at home, you and your employees are still human and as humans, we are drawn to what is familiar to us. In-group bias is favouring someone who is like you and excluding those who aren’t in your natural or immediate group. Although at times unconscious, it can have a significant impact on the workplace.
1. A flexible policy at the office will do much good.
2. While it is understandable that biases can be unconscious, it is important for us to understand when we are relying on our impulses driven by unconscious bias, and to challenge them—so that in the end we make more informed and rational decisions, and do not unintentionally exclude anyone.
3. Another way to mitigate bias is by reaching out and connecting to those who don’t seem immediately like us. And often, you’ll find that there are in fact many similarities.
4. Objective hiring criteria is also important to help eliminate bias and promote equality in the hiring process.
Biases at the workplace unconsciously affect your very move at inclusion. As we break biases continually, it is good to know that biases aren’t just against women, they also exist against men, people of a different race and belief, etc. The Corporate Leavers Survey, a national study conducted by the Level Playing Field Institute, shows that “each year over 2 million professionals and managers voluntarily leave their jobs solely because of unfairness”. We can avoid these, check this article on inclusion at the workplace