Is Your Bias Diluting Your Diversity?

Is Your Bias Diluting Your Diversity? image diluted diversityIs Your Bias Diluting Your Diversity?

I read a great piece by CEO Dionne Lew (@DionneLew) the other day that really caused me to question the decision-making skills of my leadership. Fortunately my “Optimism Bias” kicked in and I decided that I still make solid leadership decisions. I’ll explain more later.

The title of Dionne’s piece is “Do leaders actually ‘make’ decisions?” It discusses how most of us are conditioned and driven by biases of which we have no idea are driving the decisions that we make. These biases partially explain why many organizations and/or people lack diversity in their hiring practices. What are these biases you ask?

I’m glad you asked. According to studies shared by Dionne in her post, biases that we all have are Confirmation Bias, Self-Serving Bias, Optimism Bias, Hindsight Bias, and Survivorship Bias. It’s the Confirmation Bias that I believe often leads to a hiring manager to be less inclined to truly embrace diversity in his or her hiring practices.

Even when many organizations or hiring managers believe they are actually making rational decisions that contribute to a more diverse workforce, chances are that’s not the case.

I’ve seen many cases where organizations hire someone of a different gender, race or ethnic background and view that as a major stride in diversity. I’m all for diversity in areas of gender, race and ethnicity, however, if everyone you hire thinks like you then that defeats the purpose and power of diversity.

Learn to embrace those that not only look different but those that think different. Embrace debate. Welcome disagreement. Celebrate challenges.

Knowing that I have these biases will help me to be more open and discerning in my decision making as a leader. Then again, that could be my “Optimism Bias” kicking in. In any event, it’s important to remember that diversity comes in many forms.

Be careful not to fill your roster with a team of everyone that thinks like you. Don’t let your Confirmation Bias rob you of the power of diversity.

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities. #Diversity

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