DEI Training: Understanding Unconscious Bias

dei training canada

Having a diverse, inclusive workplace should be the standard in 2023. The world has changed significantly in the last three years; the pandemic highlighted the glaring gaps in inclusion and diversity within the corporate world.

Here at Pivot HR Services, we can help you break through the barrier of unconscious bias. Our customizable training will give your team the tools to deprogram these biases. The DEI training focuses on best practices by integrating people’s unique perspectives, skillsets, contributions, etc., to allow for diverse thought.

Instead of the age-old “yes” organizations, where everyone followed the directive of higher-ups, we encourage the collaboration of leadership & employees to expose different perspectives of doing things. Diversity and Inclusion training comes from the need to provide an opportunity to speak up in situations where historically marginalized people would have been silenced, like the workplace.

What is Unconscious Bias?

Let’s start with a definition. The University of Victoria defines unconscious bias as the “assumptions, beliefs, attitudes and stereotypes human brains have about different groups.” It is a subconscious type of othering that happens automatically in our brains.

First impressions are a perfect example of unconscious bias. Within seconds of an initial meeting, your brain will subconsciously analyze and categorize a person per the learned mental biases you have developed throughout your life. The way we perceive, respond and react to new people and environments is influenced by past experiences.

Longstanding societal standards stem from rotten roots– misogyny, racism, ableism; the list goes on. Modern-day employers are responsible for moving away from the outdated stereotypes of generations before.

What can you do about it?

It’s important to note that having unconscious bias does not make you a bad person. We all do it; that’s simply how our brains are wired. Our brains fill in the blanks with images and thoughts that are familiar to us.

This instinct of rapid-fire categorization and recognition has kept humans at the top of the food chain because our amygdala triggers the fight-or-flight response. Unconscious bias reveals itself subtly in the workplace, like with microaggressions and passive aggression.

It is important to acknowledge those biases, learn why you have that bias, and then be open to broadening your awareness.

Examining your own behaviour is the first step to battling your unconscious bias. Being willing to do the hard, often uncomfortable work of looking inward will reap great rewards. Once you see it within yourself, it’s hard to unsee. That is where progress begins.

What can your business do?

Diverse & inclusive organizations create more productive organizations. We know that about 70% of all millennials will only choose to work with organizations with a DEI strategy. Gen Z isn’t far behind—the people you want to work with want to know your organization exists within that framework. We also know that people are far more likely to stay in a place where they feel included and belong.

Immersing these practices and principles into the very ethos of your company has important implications. Internally, having a cohesive DEI program provides psychological safety for your employees.

Are you wondering what value Diversity & Inclusivity training will bring to your company? Contact our team to find out more.

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