Originally published on August 23, 2017.
At the moment, some countries around the globe are becoming more nationalistic. During this time, businesses that emphasize diversity will have an edge over the ones that don’t. Beyond that, the companies that aim to optimize diversity should do so to also avoid a “Culture of Yes.”
So, what does that mean? A “Culture of Yes” company or department contains people with similar experiences or point of views. This may inadvertently lead to decisions being made with unconscious bias. Or it could possibly limit the flow of new ideas.
Take Google for example- when YouTube released its first video upload app for iOS, many videos were upside down. How come? Because Google’s almost exclusively right-handed developer team unconsciously designed the app for right-handed users.
In an effort to avoid unconscious bias, some companies offer “unconscious bias training.” Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, explains that unconscious bias training encourages “the best ideas [to] shine through, no matter who comes up with them.”
Diversity training can also help employees better understand how to properly handle the challenges that may arise between diverse employees in a workplace. As Hult News points out, cultural training can go a long way to help resolve many communication and integration issues that global businesses may face.
Companies like Google and PWC go even further by collecting data to measure their diversity improvement over time. Another way Google works to reduce bias: it provides its hiring leadership a consistent rubric, to help them streamline diversity-related questions they can choose to ask during interviews.
Earlier this year at SXSW, Judith Williams, Global Head of Diversity at Dropbox, praised these and similar initiatives to highlight companies aiming to hire for culture contribution, not just a cultural fit. Similarly, Robin Hauser, director and producer of Bias (a documentary that examines unconscious bias and how it affects our choices in hiring, promoting, and funding), agreed that diversity makes a business more productive and creative.
To learn more about the topic, you can watch the following discussion between Robin Hauser and Judith Williams at the W2O PreCommerce Summit at SXSW.
Read more posts by Cindy Ramirez