Questions I’ve Been Asked: Part 4

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Q:  Is whether an organization uses unconscious bias training a fair litmus test for potential employees who care about diversity?

A: If I am a potential employee concerned about diversity, then yes, I think that the knowledge that a company leverages unconscious bias (aka implicit associations or hidden preferences) education to help build individual and group awareness of differences is a fair test to judge organizational commitment to diversity.  That said, there is as yet no definitive proof that unconscious bias training actually effects behavior change, so it’s critical to understand that human behavior and the ability to value differences among people (race, gender, age, etc.) is extremely complex and not easily altered.  In other words, it’s good that a company provides unconscious bias training, but this is not a “once-and-done” proposition to manage sustainable change over time.

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