Over the past couple years, more tech giants have recognized the dramatic lack of diversity in their workforces as a problem.
Google (largely white and male from top to bottom) is trying to establish itself as a leader in this space.
A key initiative is having its roughly 60,000 employees across the world undergo unconscious bias training. Unconscious bias refers to the stereotypes, both negative and positive, that exist in our subconscious and affect our behavior. [Tech Insider]
It’s well worth reading the piece in full, especially if you’re involved in politics and selections of staff or candidates because it highlights how easy it is for ‘I just want the best person for the job’ to become ‘I’m biased in my choices but I don’t know it’.
Especially because, as Google points out, nearly all the decisions we make are subconscious, rather than conscious, ones:
Unconscious bias can prevent individuals from making the most objective decisions. They can cause people to overlook great ideas, undermine individual potential, and create a less than ideal work experience for their colleagues. By understanding unconscious bias and overcoming it at critical moments, individuals can make better decisions – from finding the best talent (no matter what the background) to acknowledging a great idea (no matter who it came from) – and build a workforce and workplace that support and encourages diverse perspectives and contributions …
It’s important to consider how workplaces might alienate certain groups or send subtle message that only certain types of people are welcome. This didn’t mean Google threw out the Legos, Star Wars posters, or Nerf guns. But Google is encouraging employees to be thoughtful about workplace design and decoration.