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  • Writer's pictureNoelani Pearl Hernandez

Everyone is Bias!

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Diversity, equity, and inclusion, along with belonging, are the new buzzwords that organizations use to show that they care about their diverse employees.

To make them more than just buzzwords, organizations must take a deeper dive by updating their policies, leadership accountability in hiring practices, and by being intentional with their personal biases. It is not beneficial for anyone’s growth to experience diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, alone in a vacuum.

Everyone is biased.

Let me repeat this for the people in the back. Everyone is biased. Understanding your biases helps you take the following steps toward an authentic, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

Your biases, whether implicit or unconscious, affect your day-to-day work life. These prejudices affect how you view people, experience life, and they often influence your decisions.

Most often, biases are formed throughout childhood and young adulthood, so be sure to consider your background, family situation, religion, culture, and other experiences. Your brain automatically uses this input to make rapid judgments about different types of groups of people. It's human nature. However, these biases can impact your thoughts, attitudes, and actions regarding people.

Understanding your own bias allows you to check and hold yourself accountable during those difficult conversations.

In the workplace, employees' and managers' unconscious biases can lead to assumptions, preferential treatment, and/or slip into liability issues. Things like discrimination, harassment, and bullying can infiltrate every part of your company, from recruitment to management and lower employee retention.

Other ways to reduce these hidden biases are through training, communication, and education by reading, understanding, and failing forward. Your organization can create a diversity statement, code of conduct policy, or meeting agreements focusing on equity, inclusion, and belonging to help you create a respectful workplace. Doing this will make your employees feel safer.

We have some tools you can use to help you work towards a more equitable workplace. We have content regarding inclusive hiring practices. It's designed to help you understand how to become more inclusive in your hiring.

Since this column addresses biases, below is a link to the Harvard Implicit Bias Test. The bias tests include:

Take a moment to take a test and see how you score. You might be surprised! Reflect on your score as a learning experience helping you understand your bias so that you can become more aware as you move forward in the world.


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