How can we make a difference in building the workforce? #BreakTheBias’

The theme of this year's International Women’s Day campaign is #BreakTheBias, honing in on:

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination
A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive
A world where difference is valued and celebrated

Bias is a huge setback in creating truly diverse and inclusive spaces. We have made notable strides in raising awareness of gender-bias issues, but there remain hurdles to overcome in creating a lasting, forward-thinking culture that starts with building the workforce. 

Combating the biases that women face in the hiring process and at work is critical to progress toward gender equality; including promoting, hiring, and retaining women.

Every single one of us is privy to bias

"If you’ve got a brain, you’ve got bias"

- Verna Myers - Cultural Innovator, Author, Activist.

THE FIVE MOST COMMON BIASES IN THE HIRING PROCESS

Halo Effect - Positive impressions of a person/brand/product influence one’s opinion/feeling

Horn Effect - One’s perception of another being unduly influenced by a negative trait

Confirmation Bias - Favours info that affirms one's personal beliefs/values

Safety Bias - Humans overweigh risk and we seek to avoid the non-traditional

Affinity-‘like me’ Bias - Assuming a forged likeness between yourself and a person

FOUR TIPS FOR KEEPING BIAS AT BAY IN THE HIRING PROCESS:
1. Be aware 

Notice and reflect on when your unconscious bias is making judgments and decisions on people. Focus on evidence rather than any subjective assumptions in your decisions

2. Be objective, not subjective

Create measurable criteria in decision-making. For example, use a vacancy-tailored standardised set of questions for screening calls. 

3. Slow down 

Take a moment and reflect - decisions do not need to be rushed, take your time and consider your options. 

4. Broaden your lived experience. Reach people that are different to you

This halts you from making decisions based on implicit bias & encourages you to have a broader approach to selection and development - the key to retaining a diverse range of talent.

"As people, we all have implicit bias. To break the bias, firstly you need to recognise and acknowledge this. Then, and only then, can you implement conscious positive change. A structured hiring process is the only way to "breakthebias" and ensure every candidate has an equal opportunity."

- Sara Burns, Talent Partner @ Hidden

HOW ARE WE MINIMISING WORKPLACE BIAS?

At Hidden, we develop programs, educational events and our app in the name of empowering all employees to identify and challenge bias head-on. As part of our journey, we are committed to continual learning and development for our teams, so that we have the ability to support and guide ourselves, our peers and our clients. 

We work with our employees to ascertain the varying elements of their existence in the workplace. At the core of the conversation is being respectful - not all women’s histories, issues or needs are the same. Some important factors for us in most recent years extend to our wellbeing policies, birth-parent policies, breaking down the stigma surrounding women who choose not to have children, gender identification and menopause.

Additionally, our mission is to remove bias by way of anonymity. The Hidden app utilises bias-free technology to open us up to an incredible pool of diverse talent, focused on skills and experience that continually push us and our clients to do our best work.

Feel free to join The Hidden App

WHY?
"Diverse teams perform 35% higher than industry averages"

- McKinsey

"Diverse teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation"

- BCG

"Inclusive teams make better business decisions 87% of the time"

- Forbes

Diverse teams can do things that homogenous teams cannot. 

Diverse teams are more creative, innovative and effective.

You will have a richer and happier culture.

TO CONCLUDE… 

Moments like International Women's Day are not just about highlighting the amazing women in your life - although, please do. 

The celebration proves an opportunity to reflect on how to breaking the bias.

Increasing diversity when recruiting and developing talent aids the powerhouses of the future!

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Sources

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Activity/17555/Special-Break-the-Bias-Workshop

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rcdts-gender-pay-gap-report-and-data-2020/revenue-and-customs-digital-technology-services-gender-pay-gap-report-2020