A Resource for Local Businesses
"The Perspective" is a monthly publication of the Chamber's Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Task Force, comprised of approximately 30 representatives with a passion for sharing information and learning best practices about diversity, inclusion and minority business development to improve our workforce.
Goal Statement from the Chamber Business Plan:
Task Force Chair: Wesley Escondo, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Wisconsin
Staff Liaison: Kaylynn Stahlbusch, Workforce and Program Director
Eau Claire Area Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey Results (2019 vs. 2021)
The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Taskforce offered businesses a DEI survey to asses the current business climate for DEI in the area. The survey received 206 responses that highlighted the challenges, successes, and potential for DEI in Eau Claire Area businesses.
Access the survey results below to see the 2019 DEI survey data vs. the 2021 survey data.
Unconscious Bias Defined
The Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) is one of the leading employer networks in the UK that covers topics about equity and inclusivity. This video, created by ENEI, highlights the basic meaning of unconscious bias.
What is Unconscious Bias?
Our brains use visual, verbal and behavioral clues to categorize others, for instance by age, gender, ethnicity, or social background, sexual orientation or education. These clues can be incredibly useful as we make our way through life. They help us to determine whether someone might be friendly or hostile. We do this through a process of rapid categorization that is both natural and necessary. This process of rapid categorization as suggested by the psychologist Joseph LeDoux acts as an unconscious danger detector, which helps us to determine whether someone or something is safe.
From a basic human survival standpoint, developed through human evolution, our unconscious judgements or biases are necessary and essential. The process of placing people into categories and pre-judging helps us to make rapid decisions that could literally be life-saving. Social categorization also helps us to deal with everyday encounters, such as visiting the dentist or the doctor. The categorization process helps to inform intuitive and appropriate behaviors and expectations from both parties. These rules of behaviors are stored within our unconscious and saves us from having to decode common social interactions. We behave in socially acceptable ways and make everyday judgements without being aware of doing so.
Why is it important?
The down side of rapid categorisation is that our brains often misread the clues of our unconscious judgements and this shifts us from danger detectors to social labelling and stereotyping that leads to high levels of prejudice and discrimination. In a workplace context bias impacts, for instance, our hiring decisions. Factors that lead to bias include:
Types of Unconscious Bias
Allegis Group, an international talent management company located in Hanover, Maryland outlines the different types of unconscious bias and how these biases impact the workplace.
The Impact of Unconscious Bias in the Work Place
Although widely recognized that diversity of thought and innovation are key to secure bottom-line results and workplace productivity, our unconscious preferences for people who are like us continues to severely challenge our ability to create these conditions.
Biases can sneak into every encounter we have from the language used in job specifications and decisions on who to hire or promote to managers overlooking poor performance of those they know and like.
In recruitment, biases can lead to generalizations that determine the right candidate for the job not based on their skills, but on the perceived origin of their name or nationality. One study by Raconteur revealed that on average 24 per cent of job applicants of white British origin received a positive response from employers, compared with only 15 per cent of ethnic minority applicants with identical CV’s and cover letters. Gender biases are also common with many job roles that historically attract one gender over the other, for example female nurses or male engineers. Whilst in some industries there may be traditional stereotypes, it is important for managers to advertise and hire on the qualities and characteristics required to the job and be aware of how easily gender biases can arise.
In some more severe cases, strong preferential bias of any kind can lead to workplace bullying, unlawful harassment or discrimination putting businesses at high risk of reputational damage and any associated financial costs as issues develop.
Combat Unconscious Bias in the Workplace - 6 Do's and Don'ts
Proactively, many companies have begun to implement measures to reduce unconscious bias when hiring. But what happens after a hire is made? How can business leaders avoid unconscious bias during the lifecycle of an employee’s employment?
Investing in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Workplace is Fiscally Responsible
The ROI of DEI: Still Much Work To Do – March 2021
This article from Performance-Excellence-Network, highlights that organizational EDI efforts are both the right and smart thing to do.
The data are absolutely compelling that diversity and inclusion positively impact organizational performance:
Engaging in conversations about EDI topics, attending educational seminars, reading books, listening to podcasts - there are so many different ways to learn about the biases instilled within ourselves. Below, find different resources to continue your EDI journey.
CVTC Diversity Series
Diversity Basics: Working Better Together as part of the Learn.Grow.Lead conference Tuesday, April 20 from 2 to 3 pm.
Register Here: https://www.cvtc.edu/events/workplace-enrichment-seminar
Final Workplace Allyship Series class: Inclusivity in the Temp Labor Force on May 5 from 12 to 1 PM.
Register Here: https://www.cvtc.edu/events/virtual-lunch-learn-workplace-allyship-series
Movies and Shows
The Impact of Race and Racism on the Health of Patients in Wisconsin (Article)
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.