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Effective anti-bias training not only identifies biases but works with the unconscious to transform them and establish healthier, more effective thought and behavior patterns.
DENVER, CO, October 19, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The year 2021 was one of growing awareness around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) – in the business world and beyond. Amplified media attention regarding longstanding inequities sparked actions that promote a more inclusive society. Likewise, organizations have committed to changes in culture and policy that will cultivate DEI.
According to Harvard Business Review, more than 1600 CEOs have signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge. The hiring of chief diversity officers has tripled, and 79% of companies say they will raise their DEI budgets in 2022. Various companies have published statements of their intention to diversify their workforce, provide equal pay, and create advancement opportunities, making employees feel safe and respected, regardless of race, gender, or any other aspect of their identity. What's more, many organizations have implemented unconscious bias training as a pillar of their DEI initiatives.
Yet, despite all these actions, the workforce continues to lack diversity and pay rates remain inequitable. Why aren't these efforts resulting in meaningful change?
Awareness alone is not enough
"To transform a company culture, training must go beyond simply promoting awareness – which alone does not change deeply held biases - or the policies and practices that spring from them," said Karen Brown, CEO of Exponential Results, which uses neuroscientific methods to help leaders optimize their performance. "Most organizations' efforts have not delved deep enough to create genuine, lasting change. In fact, ineffective anti-bias training programs can do harm by implying that because bias is unconscious, it is beyond our control."
A study of 700 companies revealed that after traditional, unconscious bias training, the probability that men and women of color would advance within the company actually decreased.
Why? Traditional, unconscious bias training – which addresses how our minds have been conditioned to respond when we encounter people we perceive as different from ourselves – is based on the unfounded belief that mere awareness of bias is enough to change it. In one study, 87% of respondents reported that their organization's training program did little more than explain, on a superficial level, the science behind bias and the detrimental consequences of workplace discrimination, providing no concrete tools or strategies for lasting change.
Make a deeper impact on DEI in 2022
The conscious mind is responsible for only 1% of our thoughts and actions – 99% are driven by the unconscious mind. Effective anti-bias training not only identifies biases but works with the unconscious to transform them and establish healthier, more effective thought and behavior patterns. The goal is to replace judgment with empathy, stereotyping with open-mindedness and inquiry, old habits with new, and biased decisions with equitable ones. The intent is that company leaders can become change-makers toward a more inclusive culture with fair policies and operations. Rather than a band-aid solution, it's a deep, sustained commitment to both individual and systemic transformation that goes beyond awareness, rooted in the conviction that diversity, equity, and inclusion are necessary and right.
Neuroscience-based training changes bias at the source
How do companies ensure DEI training program's success and their investment pays dividends? To make real and lasting change, companies need a comprehensive approach that addresses the issue at its unconscious root. When leaders examine their unconscious biases using neuroscientific principles and leverage the resulting insights to consciously alter thinking and behavior, they can become a transformational force for DEI within their companies and communities.
"Effective, unconscious bias programs utilize strategies for changing recurring thoughts and deeply held beliefs, such as racial and gender stereotypes," noted Brown. "Through interviews, assessments, feedback, metrics, and continuous progress tracking, individuals gain not only self-insight and tools that facilitate development at a level that enables them to make a profound impact both internally and externally."
Starting with leadership affects the entire organization
Structural change starts at the leadership level. Senior leaders not only influence the culture of the organization but are more likely to go unquestioned. Therefore, those with the greatest power need to engage in their own development and actively unearth their implicit biases, as well as the habits and decisions they propagate. This work empowers leaders to catalyze change throughout the organization with actions such as:
• Leading by example
• Uncovering inequities within all functions at all levels of the company
• Rescripting culture, operations, and policies so that they embrace diversity, institute equity, and welcome the uniqueness that individuals bring to the table.
Innovative anti-bias training creates profound change
Proven neuroscience techniques help unravel individual thought patterns that perpetuate challenges, thus empowering leaders to permanently transform those patterns, no longer ensnared by old biases, stereotypes, discriminatory habits, and inequitable decision making. For companies that aspire to truly diverse and equitable cultures and environments of inclusion and acceptance, this approach is revolutionary.
ABOUT EXPONENTIAL RESULTS
Founded in 2012 as Velocity Leadership Consulting, Exponential Results is a minority- and woman-owned business headquartered in Denver, CO. Exponential Results helps senior leaders, executives, divisional teams, and business owners maximize their potential. Founded on the neuroscientific principles of how our minds work, the company's Power Pathways methodology serves as a catalyst for rapid, lasting results. What's more, the results achieved are long-term, because old patterns and habits are transformed. Each of the company's coaches has logged over 20,000 coaching hours and have had careers themselves as corporate senior executives. For more information, visit https://yourexponentialresults.com/.
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