We are all unstereotyped but still biased. Is this title a stereotype itself? Yes it is!


 

Are you a Punk, an Indie, a Nerd or an Hipster?

Before defining yourself, have a look at this video created by the Danish TV2.

Done?

Ok, now we can talk about stereotypes…


According to Cambridge Dictionary, a stereotype is:


"a set idea that people have about what someone or something is like, especially an idea that is wrong"

Ex. I think I fit the popular stereotype of a mad scientist



We live in a world full of inputs, we are continuously attracted by stimuli and we just can’t handle too much informations. For this reason our mind is set to automatically choose where to focus on, and that’s for making our lives easier.

“Have you already been in this kind of situation? Here your behavioral scheme!”

“Is it something new? Fine, let’s take a moment.”

That’s basically how our mind works.


If we can decide whether we want to handle with stereotypes or not in our everyday life, more attention is required by the organizations. The workplace has become a place where different cultures meet each other and collide with each other. Difference can be seen as an obstacle or as a development opportunity.


For example, after the previoust storm of accuses about workplace sexual harassment and gender discrimination, Uber has released its first diversity report.

The report reveals a workforce that is overwhelmingly made of white or Asian men. Just 15.4% of the tech staff are women, while blacks and Latinos account for 1% and 2.1% of tech staff, respectively. The company’s technical leadership is entirely white and Asian, and 88.7% male.

“In addition to moving the ball forward on all the data above, we recognize the relative lack of diversity across all forms of leadership, including on our board of directors, and will be thoughtful about diversity as the company grows”, Uber declaired.

By the way, Uber’s diversity statistics are generally in line with other major tech employers.



 

Diversity and inclusion is now an integrated strategy that covers different aspects of the organizations such as talent attraction, talent development, marketing, learning and development. Based on the Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2017 48% of companies consider their global cultural diversity strategy adequate, 69% instead consider their strategy excellent at supporting family and worklife balance models in their workplace.

D&I strategies now become required even by the workers. Why?

Globalization. The current global political and economic market is challenging the balance between immigration and nationalism. D&I is now closely related to equality, human rights and social justice.

Longer careers mean a wider generation span in workplaces. Millennials perceive inclusion as a mandatory part of the organizations’ culture. They are asking for integration, equal opportunities and multicultural environment. Companies need to align their approach to these expectations or they will lose the next generation talents.

 

But inclusion is not just employer branding, it has become a competitive advantage. The survey run by Deloitte demonstrates that inclusive teams are more innovative, engaged and creative. In fact, if we think from a psychological point of view, people who feel included are more comfortable to speak freely and contribute actively. We are likely to take the risk and express ourselves only if the environment is supporting us.

A more diverse and inclusive workforce can boost financial performance, reputation, innovation as well as staff motivation. It can also help companies to anticipate and meet the needs of a diverse customer base.

 

So, how leaders can promote a better gender balance within the workplace? Here are some of the key actions:


  • Teams have a very high level of diversity, not just in terms of gender but also of age and background – leaders are required to make sure to utilize these diverse experiences and to listen carefully to what everyone in the team has to say. Observing how they interact and therefore learning more about customers’ motivations and needs.

  • Good mentors can help colleagues meet career challenges by sharing their personal experiences and examples of strategies that have worked in the past.

  • Ad hoc training sessions to promote acceptance, collaboration and integration.

 

Now let’s talk more deeply

Diversity is not only about ethnicity, gender or age, we should look at diversity in a broader perspective, such as diversity of thoughts, cognitive aspects and emotional life. Diversity is more as an educational program which also includes debiasing business processes.


The true is that even though we try to be more inclusive, more cooperative and equal, it is really hard to delete the whole range of unconscious bias we have. Bias are something like microaggressions - the brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, sexual-orientation, and religious slights and insults. -


Fortune.com report analyzes how these microaggressions are impacting unconsciously our everyday working life. They collected 248 performance reviews from 28 companies from large technology corporations to small startups. The reviews came from 180 male and female managers. Here the foundings:

A few examples of the feedback:

 

“Constructive feedback on your performance as a feature crew tester can be summed up by saying that you still have some skills to continue to develop.”

“Hone your strategies for guiding your team and developing their skills. It is important to set proper guidance around priorities and to help as needed in designs and product decisions.”

“There were a few cases where it would have been extremely helpful if you had gone deeper into the details to help move an area forward.”

“Take time to slow down and listen. You would achieve even more.”


Also women received this kind of constructive feedback too. But the women’s reviews included others elements that were absent from the men’s:

“You can come across as abrasive sometimes. I know you don’t mean to, but you need to pay attention to your tone.”

“Your peers sometimes feel that you don’t leave them enough room. Sometimes you need to step back to let others shine.”

“The presentation ultimately went well. But along the way, we discovered many areas for improvement. You would have had an easier time if you had been less judgmental about R---‘s contributions from the beginning.”

 

This kind of negative personality criticism—watch your tone! step back! stop being so judgmental!—shows up twice in the 83 critical reviews received by men. It shows up in 71 of the 94 critical reviews received by women.


These findings illustrate the idea that if a women is too “nice” at work or uses stereotypically feminine vocal characteristics she’ll be seen as too soft and won’t be taken seriously. On the other side, if a woman is too assertive she is seen as brusque and bitchy.

What has been found is that even female managers critiqued women’s personalities and not men’s, hinting that these perceptions and biases are deeply and perhaps unconsciously engrained in the way we view women at work. (Fortune.com)


Preconceptions like these can create barriers to gender equality, but they are actually very easy to overcome; you just need to be effective. As soon as people see the value you create, and the competency and professionalism you bring to the role, their perception towards you changes dramatically.


“Most of us believe that we are ethical and unbiased. We imagine we’re good decision makers, able to objectively size up a job candidate or a venture deal and reach a fair and rational conclusion that’s in our, and our organization’s, best interests,” writes Harvard University researcher Mahzarin Banaji in Harvard Business Review. “But more than two decades of research confirms that, in reality, most of us fall woefully short of our inflated self-perception.”

Here a video of Google promoting its project of studying the unconscious decisions we make:

So…. What’s coming next?

…. New rules must be written


Let data speak for themselves

Companies should analyze their processes and remove cultural bias:


  • promoting diverse leaders and making them understand the importance of diversity

  • reducing bias in recruitment and performance review

  • relating compensation to diversity goals


Taken from granted that human being has bias he is totally unconscious to have, what organizations can do is to standardize their processes, for example in recruitment and performance reviews.

Let data tell the truth!

#Unstereotype your Mind

#Unstereotype your Workplace

#Unstereotype the World

 

#Diversity #inclusion #stereotype #bias