Diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias – are you making the progress you need to?

If you are reading our newsletter, there is a good chance you are interested in all things diversity, inclusion and bias related. You may well also be involved in developing, supporting or leading some initiatives within your own organisation to improve diversity levels or inclusion ratings. But how do you know if you are doing the right thing?

One of the very common things we see in the space of diversity, inclusion and bias is that organisations take action or put initiatives in place simply because they see others doing something similar. Or they heard that something works for someone somewhere else. To our mind this is crazy. It’s a bit like taking a random drug because you feel unwell, but you know that the drug in question helped your neighbour when they last felt unwell. You have no real idea why you’re taking it, or what you think it will do, or indeed, what the consequences will be. The same can be said of D&I initiatives that are put in place without a real reason – people aren’t clear about what they’re trying to remedy, or what their action will achieve.

Getting the right diagnosis is critical to getting the right remedy and strategy in place, but we also know that undertaking this diagnosis can be somewhat daunting. Which is why we have been busy overhauling our approach to conducting diversity, inclusion and bias reviews to make them really accessible and easy to do. Our newly developed support packages now allow our clients to run diagnostics using four different levels.

Comprehensive diversity, inclusion and bias reviews

Based on our research and experience of conducting audits and reviews, our new approach to conducting diversity, inclusion and bias reviews means that these reviews can either be conducted for you by Pearn Kandola diversity specialists, or alternatively by key stakeholders within your organisation.

The review process, whether conducted by us or internally by you, addresses 6 critical components of activity that delineate those organisations who are making good progress on diversity, inclusion and bias, from those whose work is somewhat patchy.

The review is based around these 6 key components, and comprises a variety of measures, including online opinion sourcing, surveys, checklists, interviews and focus groups.

Whether you prefer to collect the date using Pearn Kandola diversity specialists or your own in-house team, we are here to provide practical support with reviewing the data, and developing clear action plans and strategic support. This support is based on over 30 years of experience in helping organisations to shift the dial on diversity and inclusion, and indeed, our insight and support sits behind many of the D&I strategies used by organisations around the world today.

Individual measures

To help individual managers and employees embed their learning around areas such as tackling unconscious bias and building an inclusive culture, we have also developed our own individual measures. These include the Inclusive Leader survey and report, which provides individual leaders with clear strengths and areas for development with regard to their current inclusive leadership style. For more information click here.

We have also partnered with The Bias Gym to develop Implicit Association Tests (IATs) for our clients. These tests were developed to measure traditional areas of unconscious bias such as gender or ethnicity, but we are now able to develop specific IATs in line with our clients’ needs. For example, we recently developed an IAT exploring the attitudes of staff in two different, recently merged organisations to provide our client with a great insight into how best to avoid a “them” and “us” culture developing.

Live bias reviews of key decisions

For those who are really looking to diagnose exactly how unconscious bias is affecting the levels of diversity and inclusion across their organisation, live bias reviews are the ultimate diagnostic tool. Put simply, live bias reviews are where an expert in the area of unconscious bias joins a key decision making meeting happening in your organisation, for example a recruitment wash-up, an appraisal or bonus calibration meeting, a succession planning meeting or a promotion panel discussion, with the sole task of identifying the different types of bias that are affecting the decisions made, the cumulative impact of these decisions, as well as the most effective remedies to address them.

It is your choice whether a Pearn Kandola diversity specialist joins your meeting as the live bias expert, or if you would prefer us to train a core group of your colleagues to become your own internal live bias experts. Whichever route you go down, this diagnostic tool is extremely effective in helping people to understand exactly how bias, left unchecked, is allowing their decisions to result in less diverse and inclusive organisations. To watch a short video introduction to our live bias reviews click here.

For more information about Pearn Kandola’s new diversity, inclusion and bias tools call call our Oxford office on 01865 399060 or email info@pearnkandola.com

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