Ask any manager or employer why nurturing an inclusive and diverse workplace is important, and most will say one of three things: it’s morally the right thing to do, it aids recruitment and retention or there’s a strong business case in doing so. Usually, it’ll be a mix of all three.
Yet there’s a world of difference between knowledge and awareness and successful outcomes. All too often, unconscious bias can be a barrier to achieving D&I objectives.
“We all have biases, let’s be absolutely clear,” says Jeannette Lichner, non-executive director at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and senior adviser. “Our brains are programmed to like people who feel and appear like us, so those neural pathways are really firmly embedded unless we do something to change it. A lot of unconscious bias is about recognising our own foibles.”
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