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Enhancing inclusivity by demystifying unconscious bias

A global media agency approached us to help them develop a strategy to raise DE&I awareness. We designed a programme, delivered across our client’s global offices, which resulted in our client successfully moving the needle on diversity, inclusivity and mitigating unconscious bias. Read on to find out how we did it.

97% Participants had improved understanding
91% Participants learned practical skills
500+ Micro-actions created
250+ Organisational actions created

The challenge

The global media company asked us to design and facilitate a DE&I awareness-raising programme, aimed at senior executives across the entire group of businesses within the company. Workshops were delivered in various locations, including New York, Los Angeles, Budapest and London. The key aims of this global programme were to:

  • To provide a baseline understanding of the commercial benefits of having a diverse workforce and an inclusive business culture
  • To provide an overview of how unconscious bias impacts key people decisions, including hiring, work allocation, feedback and informal sponsorship
  • To promote the principles of inclusive leadership
  • To provide a framework for promoting inclusive behaviours, aligned to wider business goals

What we did

  • 01 Pre-workshop material
  • 02 Workshop delivery
  • 03 Post-workshop

Stage 1: Pre-workshop material

Participants were asked to read a short article on the nature of unconscious bias in the workplace, as well as highlighting insights gathered within our pre-workshop interviews. 

The article also covered how to make effective change happen, focusing on expected ways of working linked to organisational values and other proven interventions, such as role modelling inclusion, challenging biased thinking and engaging diverse team members.

Stage 2: Workshop delivery

Our workshop was specifically designed to ensure we utilised a range of inclusive learning techniques, including video material, written case studies, small group discussions, whole group discussions and individual reflection.

These workshops followed our AAA learning model of:

  • Awareness – What is unconscious bias?
  • Application – How does biased thinking play out in your organisation?
  • Action – What next steps are you going to take towards positive change?

Stage 3: Post-workshop

All participants were provided with a complimentary copy of our Inclusive Management Briefing Paper. This short, practical and business focused document provided:

  • A summary of the key biases with impact management attitudes, behaviours and decisions
  • The principles of inclusive management – thinking styles, behaviours and decision-making patterns
  • Best practice examples from a range of global businesses
  • Tips on what inclusive managers do to mitigate bias together
  • A short inclusive management self-assessment checklist.

The impact

  • Awareness raising: 97% of leaders who attended the workshops suggested that they had a better idea of what unconscious bias is and how it may influence their judgement of others‍
  • Mitigating bias: 91% of leaders who attended the workshops suggested they were provided with practical tools to reduce bias in decision-making
  • Individual change: Over 500 individual micro-actions were created and are being used to create a systematic culture shift within the company‍
  • Organisational change: Over 250 organisational actions were created to support policy and culture change.

Want to talk about a project?

Contact the team today.