Diversity Unconscious Bias And Management

By Stephen C Campbell


At times the question is asked, just why is there all of this talk and fuss [and often confusion] when it comes to first talking about and [more importantly] getting to grips with implementing key process and systems within the organisation. Within the diversity and inclusion consulting process some of these key questions have to be addressed if one is to gain the full support of the management team who are needed to implement a tops down approach when it comes to ensuring that diversity [that has come to be a key business fundamental] is incorporated into the day to day operations of the company in question.

At this point in time it may prove beneficial to take a look at some of the dynamics that we have seen taking place within an organisation that is not full open up to driving diversity and inclusion practices throughout its teams.

Management teams are made up of those who are typically from a narrow band when it comes to the varying dimensions of diversity. Some of the said dimensions are…

  • Social class
  • Ethnicity
  • Skin colour
  • Living location
  • University attended
  • Sexual orientation

… and we can of course go on to add to the list. The unconscious bias of those in the key decision making management ranks are seen to hire those who act, speak and look a certain way that will ‘fit in’ to the company culture [it is said].Now as the business progresses we see that decisions are being made by similar people with their unconscious bias not even allowing their thought processes to be challenged.

In the end whilst certain staff members and management continue to flourish and feel happy with the results of the organisation; at the end of the day it is the company itself that loses out. Why? because the results that could have been seen within the organisation if more diverse thinking resulting from more staff members were allowed into the decision making process in the first place.

The company loses out because revenues could be much higher that they currently are; why? because the resultant products and services that come from embracing diversity and allowing programs to be implemented within the organisation that you as the manager may not fully understand [down to your unconscious bias and limited social background] will be more suited to the marketplace leading to increased revenue and more satisfied customers.

Along with the management team the challenge here lies with the human resources department to now only allow certain individuals through to the interview stage [for statistics some may say]. But to ensure that any fully skilled, educated and competent employee is given the same chance to flourish with the organisation even though they may not be from one the main dominant dimensions of diversity that we see within the management teams and higher level staff.




Stephen C Campbell is a Business Processes & Marketing Strategy Consulting working with organisations regarding Management & Diversity in the Workplace as well as digital marketing strategy development via a sister company: Capid Houser.