Having a diverse team can lead to many positive outcomes as Gallup pointed out in a recent study, gender-diverse business units in the retail company have 14% higher average comparable revenue than less-diverse business units. There is also a 15 times increase in sales revenue of companies with a high rate of racial diversity.
Unfortunately, diverse teams are still hard to come by. Just 1% of Google’s tech staff, one of the largest tech companies in the world, is black and a mere 17% are women. There are also fewer women running large companies than there are men named John that are doing so. How do we combat our diversity problem and overcome unconscious bias? Glad you asked…There is a 15x increase in sales revenue of companies with a high rate of racial diversity. Click To Tweet
What to Do When There’s No Diversity
It’s likely you’ve heard the blind recruitment story from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra that found themselves facing a diversity problem as all of the musicians were white males around the 1970s. To solve this problem, they held auditions with screens in front of the judges so they could only hear the music being made and couldn’t see the people playing it. They even put carpet down so women’s heels couldn’t be heard while walking onto the stage. This practice resulted in an orchestra with half women, half men and much more diversity. Taking on this same blind audition concept in the hiring process may be just what the workforce needs to better diversify teams. How do you go about doing so, though?
Blind Recruitment In Your Processes
Large companies like Deloitte and the law firm, Clifford Chance, have adopted blind recruitment to their process in an effort to better diversify their teams. Depending on the position and the company, the information you omit from the hiring course may vary. Deloitte implemented this program because they were concerned with their bias toward the university candidates attended so they started omitting that from the application process. The Toronto Orchestra, on the other hand, did not care about anything else besides music skill and made that the only criteria. Knowing what to omit and what to keep is crucial to obtaining an ideal blind recruitment process.
How to get started: Omit from the application process what it is not essential for the candidate to carry on with their potential position at the company. For example, name, racial background, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, etc.
A SHRM report recently said that 41% of managers are “too busy” to implement diversity initiatives, but to reap the benefits of a diverse team, a process needs to be put in place to begin with. Investing that initial time to do so will help you and your team in the long run.
Know That We Are All Biased
It’s crucial for managers and teams to understand we all have bias tendencies by human nature. In a Google Ventures lecture, Brian Welle who is part of the People Operations department, discusses the unconscious bias we all face in the workforce. (It’s a long video but highly recommended!) The lecture begins with a dismal fact that everyone is a little bit racist or sexist and challenges listeners to take the Implicit Association Test, if they think they’re immune.
Diversity initiatives are not put in place to offend managers and the hires they’ve made in the past and it’s important to let that be known. Welles discusses that we do not have to be chained to our biases, though, and there are ways to combat them like being aware and confronting them when in decision-making roles.
To Do: When starting a diversity initiative in your organization like blind recruitment, ensure your team is educated on bias and even give the Implicit Association Test to show that no one is immune.
Ready to reap the benefits of a diversified team? Start confronting and overcoming your bias with blind recruitment! Already have a process like this in place? Let us know about it in the comments!