Due to the social justice issues faced during the pandemic, diversity and inclusion became the primary goal for many companies and organizations post-2020. Challenging the status quo and promoting equal opportunity has been attempted for years, but it still has not been an easy task to achieve. Given the magnitude of the topic, society is forced to discuss the reasons why, even if they may be uncomfortable to talk about.
Addressing Unconscious Bias
Unconscious bias is defined as prejudice or unsupported judgments in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared to another. These biases affect decision making and they are displayed against groups based on class, gender, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, age, disability and more. Many people have unconscious biases that formed through subtle and innocuous reinforcement through media, education and more.
The problem is these subtle stereotypes lead to dangerous ways of living that are not for the better of our society and work life. Unconscious bias further becomes a deeper issue, because it can lead to prejudicial behavior. This is one of the major reasons why challenging the status quo is difficult; these biases are often more dominant than we realize.
How Does This Affect Work Life?
When you do not address unconscious biases, you become complicit to the lack of inclusion and equity in the workplace. This unconscious thought can be a driving factor for how others are treated and the opportunity that they are presented. Not only is it a stressful environment to work in, but those who might be a fit for certain positions are not allotted those opportunities or appropriate compensation.
The Road to Change
Awareness training is available and should be exercised to minimize how discrimination is exhibited within a company, business, or organization. By bringing the issue of biases (conscious and unconscious) to the forefront you have an opportunity to address discrimination and increase the knowledge on how it affects decision making. Creating plans and structures to follow gives an opportunity for more deliberative actions to be provided.
The truth is many people are tired of empty promises and words leading to nowhere. However, everyone loves to see people sincerely trying and making an effort to real change. Accountability and education matters. Making serious steps on learning how to make inclusive and equitable environments prevalent should be a priority.