* * * * *
Let’s really get honest with each other. How many have thought these things:
1. You see the pretty blond successful woman: “Yeah, she obviously got there by sleeping with the bosses.”
2. You see the overweight employee … “They are probably slow and lazy and spend half their day eating snacks at their desk.”
3. You see the new young millennial employee … “Ughh! I hope I don’t have to work with him. He will probably feel entitled, will probably want to be promoted into my job after 3 months, and will probably be playing video games all day at his desk.”
4. The older mature employee … they will never be able to keep up with change and always wants to do things the way they were done 20 years ago.
5. The single mother with three small children … “I don’t want her on my team. She’ll probably miss half of each work week taking care of child emergencies.
6. The new black female executive … “Obviously promoted to fill a quota. And they get double credit with her … black AND a woman.”
7. The gay man and the lesbian. “Oh – I better be careful – all they will be thinking about all day is having sex with me.”
And of course this list is not exhaustive… I am sure you can think of several more.
So what should we do? It is important to recognize that these unconscious bias thoughts could simply pop into our head. We need to realize that they are there and that they are wrong, and take deliberate action to squelch them. Get to know each person you work with as an individual with a job to do and with key skills they bring with them. Realize the value of each and every team member, and work to promote a diverse team that works together in a mutually respectful climate to achieve the very best business results.
We can each take thoughtful preemptive action to set aside our unconscious bias to create a workplace where everyone is equally valued and treated with respect.
# # # # # # #
Blog author Stan Kimer is career development and diversity consultant. Within the diversity and inclusion area, Stan can handle all areas of diversity, and has a deep expertise in LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender.) Please do explore the Total Engagement Consulting website to learn more of Stan’s expertise, and please do not hesitate to contact him at [email protected] to discuss how he can assist your organization in these areas.