LIVE WEBCAST!

Our blind spots can keep us from seeing inner qualities while focusing on outward appearances. Don’t get caught in that trap.

AllyO and TalVista were live with Torin Ellis, Elaine Orler, Madeline Laurano, and Professor Danielle Gaucher. They discussed the definition of diversity and inclusion and the role bias plays in Talent Acquisition.

 

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Madeline:

Hi everyone I’m thrilled to be here today and moderating this all-star panel to talk about a topic that’s really important today in our workforce we’re gonna talk about checking our blind spots and helping companies avoid unconscious bias so before I introduce our very impressive panelists here today I wanted to say a very big thank you to tell Vista and alio for making this event possible for being leaders and diversity and inclusion and bringing awareness to a really important topic and I also want to go over a few housekeeping items for those of you on the call you can see some of this information up on the screen you this webinar is being recorded that’s a good news you’re gonna hear a lot today so you can always come back and check it out and hear the recording everyone’s gonna be on mute we’re gonna have a really fun and lively discussion and we have some time at the end for Q&A; so post your questions we will definitely make sure we get to them if not during the webinar we’ll respond to them after the event so with that I want to introduce our amazing panel today so I’ll start with Elaine Euler who is a very dear friend of mine she is the CEO of talent function she’s also the co-founder of TalVista she’s an expert on all things talent acquisition she’s taught me everything I know about this space and we’re thrilled to have her here today Torin Ellis is here with us he’s the diversity strategist he’s also the host of career mix on Sirius XM he’s the author of our IP the resume which I love and definitely need to check that out if you’ve been at any recruiting conference HR tech conference in the past year you have seen Torrance speak you’ve probably seen a keynote he’s everywhere and I am absolutely thrilled that he’s here and then finally certainly last but not least is Danielle Goucher she is an associate professor at the university of Manitoba she is an academic a true expert on diversity and inclusion and I’m really excited she’s here because she has some awesome research and data to share with us so let’s with that get started but Torin before we even get started we need to we need to understand these glasses.

Torin:

You know yeah so let me tell you Madeline the glasses are just a frame of reference for everyone that’s out there listening and I got them from Eric Quam man you can find him on twitter at equal man and basically the story behind the glasses is his work inside of Africa and one of the things that Eric stands for is that when you are doing something that is challenging you have to lean into that discomfort and he’s known for leaning into the discomfort and the glasses to him makes him feel like a superhero and I want all of our listeners and attendees to feel like superheroes

Madeline:

I love it and I think it’s perfect for this topic today because I think it’s a topic a lot of companies tend to want to avoid talking about diversity inclusion talking about unconscious bias but we need to we need to get uncomfortable and I think we’re gonna ask some uncomfortable questions here today and and really embrace that so great way to kick it off so even before we get started I have some some questions I’m gonna ask our panelists here but before we do that I want to launch a poll so we’re gonna ask all of you on the call today a few questions we’re gonna start with what does do to be in the work base mean to you so I’m gonna launch this poll and hopefully you can all see it up here can the workplace mean to you does it mean more women in the workplace does it mean a greater underrepresented workforce doesn’t mean ideas used from the front line increases for a disabled workforce or does it mean all of the above so let’s take a few minutes here it’s interesting because I think when we first started talking about diversity inclusion years ago so often companies just thought that that was about women versus men so well we’ll see what what we get here for responses and we have a few responses coming in we’re going to wait a few more minutes and then we will close it and share these results so awesome I think kudos to all of you on on the call today because you said all of the above which definitely the broader view of diversity in the workplace and and that’s what we’re gonna talk about so the reason we asked this poll and I think it’s it’s really important is because so often there’s different definitions around diversity and inclusion and companies often don’t know where to start because they can’t agree on what exactly it means so we’re gonna start there we’re gonna start by asking you all what is diversity what is inclusion and who’s responsible within an organization Danielle I’m gonna turn this over to you first because I know you do a lot of research on this and you can help us set the stage here

Danielle:

Yeah so the questions are you know what is diversity and what is inclusion and I think those are related terms but they also are distinct in some ways so in the broadest sense we typically think of diversity as just referring to the various ways that people differ on a very on a number of different characteristics so there’s a lot of research that’s been conducted looking at racial and gender diversity within organizations about those groups that have been traditionally underrepresented and not just within the organization more broadly but also at those decision-making tables so in high levels of the organization and recently people have started talking about other forms of diversity – perhaps less visible forms like sexual orientation or socioeconomic status or background differences and religion and there’s also been increasing dialogue about intersectionality so how different aspects of social discrimination overlap with gender age is another important one that continues to show up so often researchers will focus on the numbers these are the percentage of people within these various organizations with certain characteristics as an indicator of diversity within the organization so that’s definitely one metric but when I think of diversity I also always think of equal opportunity as well so are the processes in place within an organization’s ones that will actually lead to equal opportunity for all job seekers and employees so that’s the diversity side but that term inclusion I think means something a little bit different so I think of inclusion as the degree to which a particular person or place is welcoming to diverse types of people so at least in my opinion the most inclusive environments are those that don’t just tolerate difference so it’s not about you know check checking the box but are those environments that really celebrate differences and see those differences as value-added I guess that last part of the the question was who’s responsible for diversity inclusion within organizations so from my perspective I think everybody is responsible everyone has a responsibility to learn about and work towards diversity and inclusion that’s definitely a good answer but I think because of the extra influence that legitimately leaders that they have within organizations that also comes with the extra responsibility to ensure that they’re upholding those a egalitarian ideals not only in principle but also in practice yeah so leaders a difference in what I’m hearing difference difference in diversity from inclusion a broad sense

Madeline:

I love that you talk about equal opportunity and then the responsibility really looking at the leaders to lead this charge Torin what about you do you see a difference in companies understanding the difference between diversity and inclusion?

Torin:

Yeah there’s absolutely a difference and if we want big words we’re gonna make sure we stay in that corner down there with Danielle she used word egalitarian so we promised not to to confuse you I’m gonna try to keep it extremely simple convening the unfamiliar the unknown and unusual people with confidence and intent that they’re aligning we’ll achieve greater that’s really what it’s all about for me Madeline it’s about bringing a variety of different voices to the equation what we’ve done over the last you know 50 or so years is we’ve allowed the the media to shape the narrative around what diversity looks like and we did that backs of black and brown people or we’ve pinned it from a gender perspective on women when the diversity definition has always been a larger definition it meant it manifests in a larger place but it rests really with that gender in and that you know that that ethnicity if you will but I think it’s really about just bringing a collective of people together and we really don’t have to make it all that challenging yeah it’s simple it needs to be simple and I think you’re right there are all these influences outside media you know what we’re what we’re hearing in other places that impact how we think about diversity in the workforce and make it you know very narrow and feeling like companies are just overwhelmed with where to start

Madeline:

Elaine we talk about responsibility and you and I have had several conversations about who’s responsible for diversity and inclusion what’s what’s your opinion on who’s responsible within an organization

Elaine:

My answer is all of us every one of us is responsible at any given time but I think the bigger part about it is that we each need to do our own self check to make sure that we are thinking about what is different from what is familiar what is comfortable and how do we challenge ourselves to think beyond what we might have been raised or what feels comfortable and eat and evolve into what really would be inclusion, which is the ability to embrace each other regardless and I think everybody has an individual responsibility to get there getting uncomfortable putting those sunglasses on right torn so that’s my bias

Madeline:

Let’s talk about the role that bias plays in telling acquisition the role that it plays in certainly the the employee experience as well Danielle what are you seeing from a research perspective with how bias is really impacting how we hire candidates and then how we engage them once they’re on board

Danielle:

Yeah well there’s many the academics approached this question from many different perspectives in my research lab we’ve investigated the various barriers that people face that exists at the individual level so these are the individual biases that people hold that sometimes become manifest in the institution’s so for example just at the individual level we found that people have a tendency to justify and legitimize the status quo you know so when they look to the social landscape and see I’ll just use the example of few female senior managers then there’s this tendency to perceive this as the way it should be right so there’s this strong status quo bias this basic tendency people have to want to keep things the same so that that acts as one barrier other other academics have focused on the role of stereotypes so those are these broad generalizations that people hold about members of a particular group that are based solely on that person’s social identity and there’s a really large literature on the consequences of things like explicit and implicit stereotypes and we know that stereotypes these generalizations can hinder of different points in in the hiring process so right from the start they can affect who companies are thinking of when they think of the ideal candidate so if I asked you to think of the ideal nurse who comes to mind or if I asked you to list all of the famous geniuses that you know people’s lists probably will end up containing more male than female figures so related to this or this idea of stereotyping in some earlier work we had shown that the wording and the ad can sometimes subtly reflect gender stereotypes in job advertisements so we had run years ago – archival studies where we had shown that words that are associated with male stereotypes these were words like challenge lead and competitive that they were more likely to appear within the job ads of ads that were in traditionally male-dominated fields and that those words ended up affecting how appealing people found the various jobs so the important point to note here is that first we had identified that biased wording existed in job ads with greater masculine wording within the job ads like engineering and security compared to those traditionally what you might call pink collar jobs and so that was the first step but the presence of gendered wording on its own really didn’t make the paper so once we saw evidence for its existence the presence of gendered wording then we also followed that up with laboratory studies where we investigated whether the type of gendered words that showed up in the real-world job ads if those could actually affect people’s appraisals of the job so that was the second step and we did find that people prefer job when jobs or found those jobs more appealing when there was a match between the type of wording used in the job ad and their self-identified gender yeah so stereotypes can affect the hiring process very very early on but they don’t just affect hiring or stop there they can also affect later performance evaluations and things like that – and also the type of attributions that people make about men and women’s performance so there is some really interesting research showing that male job applicants for example who expressed anger we’re actually more likely to be hired than those who expressed sadness wears women’s anger because it runs counter to social expectations that can actually detour expressions of anger can actually decrease rather than increase perceived competence and status and in terms of the attributions I know in terms of the attributions that people were making about other people’s behavior you know when they were asked why did he she or they act that way men’s anger was really seen as a response to the circumstances whereas women’s anger was attributed or seen to be having to do something about her character like oh she’s just an angry person you know so there’s all these type of findings out there and actually they’re they’re widely accessible and people can find this research and it has been summarized in I think accessible ways so for example there’s something called the gender action portal and I think it’s heart housed at Harvard Business School but I can double check on that and there they write these summaries about about the research that I think is relevant to what we’re talking about today that’s amazing I mean not just impacting the recruiting process you know I’ve seen studies where they show these words I’m really attract you know men versus versus my manner can be discriminatory on a very broad level from what we talked about earlier but even to think about once you are on board that how that impacts your performance how that impacts your engagement how that impacts how you’re perceived to provide value to your organization in the overall experience is really powerful and you know again we need to put those glasses on to be able to get uncomfortable to understand what those biases and stereotypes are that we all carry

Madeline:

Thank you for sharing that that’s amazing and that have resource to gender action portal I’m sure if we can put it in the chat box here for anyone that wants to check it out and so we talked about these bias and these stereotypes exist they’re certainly impacting on acquisition you’re impacting the employee experience so Torin can you help us understand what are some of the ways that companies are taking action – we know they’re there and I know that you’ve talked to a lot of different companies some actions that they’re doing or maybe even aren’t doing that could help them avoid

Torin:

Yeah absolutely absolutely so there’s an incredible individual in New York City his name is Kajal and he runs a company called higher talent and as she said that he wanted to focus more on the positive aspect and and so one of the things that he has if you go out on social media you can do hashtag consciously unbiased and I think that that’s a wonderful play on the phraseology and the position and posture that we’ve taken over the last several years because we often talk about conscious and unconscious biases if you will and I firmly believe that all bias is conscious like you understand when you are cutting your handbag when I get on the elevator or you understand when you are systematically changing your side of the street that you’re walking on when certain people are on the sidewalk you understand that you are pattern matching when you are looking for certain individuals to join your organization you even understand Madeline when you are not providing the proper motivation inspiration and support to the people that are inside of your workplace once they’ve been on board and then they are performing so I think that we for the most part I would say that 90% of us none understand and recognize that when we are exhibiting some sort of bias I don’t care what you call it conscious unconscious implicit stereotypic I don’t give a damn about any of that I know that you recognize when you are exhibiting that type of bias so the three things that I would encourage any organization to do if they’re not doing is have some combination of certification and training there is an difference between sitting inside of a training and sitting inside of a certification we know that we can sit inside of a training and go back to our desk or cubicle and do exactly what we’ve been doing because we didn’t pay any attention whatsoever and so we we know that there there is value in having a combination of certification and training inside of the workplace and I’m not talking about the type of stunts that Starbucks did when they closed down for half of the day or what Sephora did when they closed down for half of a day that’s not the type of I’m talking consistent and continuous the second thing that I think organizations can do if they really want to be serious about D&I; and actually if they want to be serious about diversity equity inclusion and belonging the second thing that I think that they can do madeline is standardize their processes when we look at the value points inside of an organization whether it be the sourcing the recruiting the hiring the man the onboarding when we look at you know corporate social responsibility and every other value point in the organization we should have a standardized process and how TalVista does an incredible job and this is not a sales plug for them but they do an incredible job amongst others of standardizing the process if you will when we start from the hiring process on board to the on board and I think that to many organizations are operating with a disjoint it this connected process they give it to you one way give it to me an entirely different way and then they try to make a uniform decision and that just doesn’t work the third and final thing that they can do and I encourage all of them to do is they need to bring in a consultant there is absolutely no way that these organizations no matter how large they are have all of the answers even with a 50 thousand a hundred thousand two hundred thousand people they don’t have all of the answers and I think that it’s often advantageous to bring the consultant an outside voice into the organization to kind of evaluate what’s going on and give them some observation of how they can optimize and make things a bit better those are the three things that I would encourage them to do I love it it’s great

Madeline:

Yeah I love that you start off by talking about that this a lot of these biases are their conscience we know that they exist and we just don’t know necessarily how to change them what I love about the three things that you share the certification the standardization and then getting help from a consultant and a resource is that that changes the culture that shows a commitment to changing the culture of your company it’s not a reaction it’s not done in an ad hoc way and saying we’re making a commitment to change what we’re doing at our organization in a consistent and meaningful way so that’s fantastic thank you for summing it up that way so with that we’re gonna launch our second poll and we’re going to ask about blind spots so who has blind spots in your organization is it everyone but me only me we all have them but we don’t want to admit it I know I have my thoughts and tour just to kind of continue the conversation that you just started do you think that that when most people see this question you know I think we know what we all probably would answer but subconsciously do you think most people think it’s everyone but me

Torin:

Oh absolutely and that problem is worse and more prevalent among leadership you know they feel like they Eva send it to a certain level and they feel like they don’t have some of the Achilles heels if you will of other people so oftentimes people are looking at everyone but me and it’s hard to change once you have that mentality as a leader

Madeline:

So let’s let’s share these results I’m going to close the poll and share the results we have such a great audience today so kudos to all of you 100 percent we all have them but we don’t want to admit it so that brings us to our next question and we’re going to ask about blind spots and how did they contribute to or manifest our I seized with an organization in Elaine I’m going to start with you

Elaine:

Well I think the answer was what the audience already said which is we just don’t want to admit it and I think the reality is the minute we accept that this is something that’s inherent we can actually start to address it and I always like to consider you know blind spots are our brains tricking us because it’s trying to protect us familiar equals safe is always the way our brains are going to register and those often times are Brian spots because the wrong things which are triggered as familiar triggers safe which means that the things that aren’t familiar triggers unsafe and therefore the clutching of your purse or the crossing of the street or those other things that torn so eloquently described as things we do because we think we need to but yet we haven’t consciously taken a look at that current situation and said is this situation similar to something else I might have experienced so we need to we need to ask ourselves the question on a regular basis we need to we need to there’s so many awesome TEDx sessions the flip it to test it and some others that just really bring our conscious awareness back forward and say is this something am I am i reacting to something that is true am i reacting to something that might have been true in a moment before but became catastrophic ly true always and how do I adjust my thinking in those kinds of ways and so for me that is always I’m constantly asking myself now I feel safe is that because it’s familiar or if I don’t feel safe or something felt uncomfortable my personal example is I have a really tough time sounding out words I never learned phonetic sounding out words so you asked me somebody’s last name if I see a last name on a piece of paper I’m immediately feeling unsafe and uncomfortable because I can’t pronounce that last name doesn’t matter what they look like doesn’t matter where they came from if I can’t pronounce your last name I am gonna be uncomfortable in the first time I meet you but I’m practicing now owning that as my issue not their issue and not making that part of an issue for everybody else but being able to start to express to say look tell me your last name because when I hear it I can embed it but I can’t read it and that’s that’s just where we need to be we need to get to as a society is to start saying these things make me feel uncomfortable but it’s not rational it doesn’t have any bearing into everything else that’s going on so how do i how do I overcome that in my brain how do I move more practical things too familiar equal safe not the universal everything else

Madeline:

Yeah really practical on being able to be open about that and then take ownership for it that’s great Danielle I know we’ve talked about blind spots aren’t always necessarily the obvious thing that companies are thinking about from a research perspective how do you see blind spots impacting these

Danielle:

Yeah so there’s been a number of books that I’ve actually used research and summarized research really accessible ones there’s actually a book called blind spot that’s all about the hidden biases of people and they identify those and and discuss a little bit about how to overcome them there’s another book that’s on my reading list I haven’t read it yet but it’s called invisible influence and that too is all about the hidden influences things that people aren’t conscious of but how they affect people’s behavior and decision making and judgments I think there are some specific examples of from industry in there but it may not be focused totally on industry

Madeline:

Yeah great that makes sense so we’ve got so many Greece went to do a little recap of so many great resources that have been shared already with the gender Action portal blind spots as a resource consciously unbiased that torn shared and higher talent so I think there’s some great resources for anyone on the call that’s that’s looking into this further and and what the organization can do so we’ve talked about the biases that companies have how to avoid them within talent acquisition and the employee experience and we’re gonna launch our third and final poll now cuz we’re gonna talk a little  bit about what companies can do to improve diversity inclusion today so how can companies improved Earth’s diversity and inclusion today increased transparency in the process ensure fair and equitable treatment of all candidates see people skills and not their exterior or all of the above and then tornado but back to what you shared – it’s thinking about really embedding it in the culture certification standardization consultants to really make sure that edit sticks yeah and consistency in the process don’t forget that one consistency in the process yeah absolutely so my guess here is that you know based on the other polls that we’ve done today we’re gonna see D as being the answer with this this great audience today so we’ll close the poll and we will share the results yes I was right all of the above I’m not always right but today yes so thank you all for for participating in our polls and we’re gonna now talk to our panelists a little bit about what companies are doing to improve diversity and inclusion and I want to ask a specific question about this it’s a question I get asked quite a bit so I’m very curious to hear your results is around the role technology plays what can technology do to help companies with the biases that we talked about as well as improving their diversity inclusion efforts and Elaine I noticed as a topic near and dear to your heart so I’m gonna turn it over to you

Elaine:

Well certainly when it comes to the talent acquisition equation it’s absolutely very near and dear to my heart so thank you and I think I probably will come out in front and say that I have a bias on what I want technology to be able to do because I don’t I stand in a position where I don’t want technology to make the decision for me but I will absolutely leverage technology where it will help me make a better decision so I’m constantly looking at tools or helping to invent tools that are focused around bringing bringing me and my best self forward in that decision so whether it be redaction hiding information that my familiar brain might use in an assessment that is not necessary in that assessment or not necessary in that review so that I focus on what’s relevant versus what’s familiar or much like the though the words and terms necessary in a job description being able to elevate those those words to me so that I can make a conscious decision on changing that word or understanding the implications of what those words might have two different audiences again so I am making better decisions throughout so for me technology’s decision support and the ability for me to check check where I’m at understand and provide a better step forward we’re when technology started to position that it will do it for me or it can do it better than I can in some cases perhaps it can put widgets together faster but I’m not prepared to say that it’s consciously going to make a more a better person decision as a product we’re getting there there’s a lot of advancements around artificial intelligence and those other things I think we’re gonna cover but for me it’s decision support is what we need because we need to improve ourselves and if a tool can help put me give me guardrails you give me coaching can elevate if I have a bad behavior to the right folks that need to coach me those kinds of things I think are really important for where technology should go

Madeline:

Great so I’m hearing two big things there one is it’s almost combining what a Torin shared earlier with maybe what technology can do and certainly the advances that we’re seeing from certain providers out there so that’s certainly one way and then also it reminds me of a lot of what Danielle shared from the research in terms of the words like challenge or lead that tend to be really targeting men and maybe you know not not women or certain ethnicities so how can we think about using technology to help identify what those words are and help us make some immediate changes within it and again it may it may never be that I get to change that word all the time but awareness and knowledge repetitive behavior if I’m constantly becoming aware that this could be in an exclusionary term to other other folks or individuals for whatever reason I’m gonna consciously think about other ways to use other words so in fact the the proverbial phrase all tides raise all boats I’m gonna butcher all analogies but I think that that is really where I think technology should be it should be enabling us to bring our best self forward  Elaine you mentioned AI which is always the buzzword on a webinar I’ve seen so many different articles out there about the role an AI plays in diversity and inclusion does AI helps companies and individuals to avoid these conscious or unconscious bias or does it hurt them and Torin I’ll start with you

Torin:

Yes so we can do both you know we may refer to a study that was done I want to say last year at some point and they had an AI company to come in and they did facial recognition on the congressional body and you know all of those members went through or most of them went through and you know it erroneously identified who many of them were and even categorized many of the African American politicians as being criminals and so we already see and and I don’t want people out there laughing because I know that you all are saying Torin is saying politicians and some of them being categorized as criminals and you’re like yeah but that’s not what I’m Trying to say I’m really trying to say that the AI and the system didn’t necessarily work well and so Elaine is already you know she stated it in an incredible way an accurate way that people do the best job of hiring peopleI firmly believe that have always believed that and will continue to believe that but that we can use that aHR tech to amplify and to make our process a bit more efficient maybe a bit more accurate and a bit more repetitive if you will speed it up and so the one thing that I want Madeleine is and I’m actually looking at another screen and you know for the listeners out there you can go to AI now institute.org AI nowinstitute.org they recently released a report titled discriminating systems and it talks about the AI space and while they are focused on AI I Absolutely believe that we can take the recommendations out of that report and just drop them over the entire diversity and inclusion conversation and it would still apply you know we are that lack of representation is not doing any of the organization’s any good as it relates to creating systems that all of us feels like we are a part of and can benefit from that won’t be discriminatory you know less than that that advantageous for any of us so AI can it work absolutely can it work against us

Madeline:

Absolutely yeah great answer it goes both ways and it’s not it’s obviously not perfect, what is, but I love that resource AI nowinstitute.orgI i’ll definitely be checking that outElaine I know you have lots of thoughts on AI and the role it plays and bias and

Elaine:

I think I’m just gonna say ditto to whatTurin said since we’re gonna play this back and forth but I think I from a recruiting standpoint for anybody of zones call I’ve been in the recruiting industry since it started in the early 1800s or close to thereabouts but in the first technology problem I was on was a system that I did algorithms to extract skills and from that technology in the early 90s pre-internet the concept was how do you make sure that it was really getting all the skills how did you load somebody skills Bank so that when the recruiter searched those skills you weren’t excluding somebody because they misspelled a word or mistyped it or it didn’t OCR and you don’t know what OCR is look it up because it’s a historic way in which you move resumes around but that concept was how do you make sure that you’re including everybody from that those phrases so for me as I think about where we are with AI today it’s that same concept of unless unless we’re training the system to look beyond or around our own biases the systems will have bias so unless we are conscious to understanding what those are and checking it questioning it asking the question is this really the truth always the truth forever the truth or was it the truth in that moment and I think we’re still we’re still evolving to how technology can and can’t address those things and I Learned I love the analogy you’re right you know the facial recognition is big one voice low voice recognition right now is another one but they the concepts of these things were learning a lot but we’re also learning that we have inherited a lot of our own bias in the systems today

Torin:

Yeah they’re real quick you know to that point you know for me it’s bigger than just recruiting and while I know that that’s the focus of our conversation today I want people on the call to know that when I show up I’m Showing up representing humanity and I think about smart cities and how these cities are about to evolve and implement some of these applications and some of this technology a lot of your workforce is now going to be at work because these systems are going to you know erroneously penalize them it’s going to ensnare them in ways that they don’t expect whether it be at an airport whether it be paying a bill for their electric company or water companies so while we think about work I think about humanity and so when I put my feet on the bed on the floor in the morning I Got to move through life as a black man and I’m always thinking about how does that impact how I go about my day how will that impact for you as a woman how you go about your day how will it impact you know those that are considered immigrants as they go about their day soI really just want people to as we’re thinking about the recruiting conversation let’s think about it in the broader context of humanity

Madeline:

It’s absolutely true and it’s such a good point that you bring up because it’s it is the bigger picture it’s the full experience of our lives and how it impacts every interaction we have with people and how we go through how we go through the day which ultimately impacts the work that we do as well and I think you know even all the research Danielle That you’ve shared really speaks to that full experience that full humanity that Torin’s talking about not just in the recruiting process so this is fantasticI have learned already so much I’m Taking notes here and then writing all of this these resources down there sharing my brain spinning but I think what I want to do now is close it out with one question from me that I’m gonna ask each of you and then we’re gonna open it up to audience questions and I’m gonna ask what is the one thing that you think companies can do today to really start to think about this imagine I know you’ve you’ve all shared a lot of already but if you could kind of leave everyone on this call on this webinar today with with the one piece of advice that that you would share what would that be and Danielle I’ll start with you

Danielle:

mmm okay the one thing there’s many things but if I have to pick one thing it’s it’s probably hoping that companies you know not only make a commitment to diversity and fostering cultures of fairness and inclusion and equal opportunity but to make sure that companies aren’t putting blind faith in every diversity initiative that just pops up, I’m a strong proponent of program evaluation and so if there’s a commitment to be made it’s to be made to committing to evaluate those diversity initiatives and programs that are put into place to make sure that they’re actually working in the way that you’ve attended and and they’re actually working to foster a culture of inclusiveness these aren’t like set it and forget it initiatives so to speak

Madeline:

Yeah yeah fantastic Torin what about you

Torin:

Truth and Reconciliation real simple nineteen nineteen Ford was one of the first organizations that decided that they wanted to hire a diverse group of people that under-representation was extremely important to them 1919 but sinceMadeleine we’ve had 1941 1948 1961 1964and fifty years later we still have black and brown people leaving the workplace at a clip faster than ever before because these organizations have not told the truth you’ve got too many people better sitting out there that are afraid to have an uncomfortable conversation around diversity equity inclusion and belonging and so the one thing that I would say for each and every person listening to sit down inside of your organization and tell the truth explore the truth where are we as it relates to our you know participation our pursuit of de I and Where are we and what do we need to do to change our course so that we have a more inclusive organization

Madeline:

I love it and you know what employees and candidates they know the truth they see the truth so it’s it’s time for organizations to to be honest with themselves to

Elaine:

What about you I think for me it’s the biggest thing as we’ve we’ve often LED businesses or driven HR and talent acquisition and all the work that we do from a fear-based model cost containment what do we need to do to avoid risk we’ll do the minimum amount possible to just not get caught and I think we need to reverse that andI think we need to start to say that the opportunity for our businesses and our organizations because I can appeal to the altruistic yes we should do what’s right because it’s right and I’m not sure everybody will be there but if we actually stop and say this is a business it’s about making money it’s about adding value to the industry or whatever the product or services are going to be then a diverse talent pool understanding diversity understanding how inclusion actually drives that as a business factor is more important to the c-suite and more important to the business and we’ll do help to drive that change I Want I want to be able to say just do what’s right and all will go well for all of us but at the end of the day I Think we we do spend too much time focused on how to stay out of trouble versus thinking about equal amount of time of how do we actually deliver what’s best and deliver something better back to the world and I think pushing it towards this is a revenue generation opportunity this is a business growth opportunity this is that’s what’s going to bring about more into your business we’ve got to get to those metrics and measures and that’s one of the thingsI’m committed to doing is continuing to help prove that this is the right thing to do and not only is it the right thing to do, it’s the best thing to do

Madeline:

Great it couldn’t agree more so i heard it here some some key takeaways and now we are going to get really interesting because we are turning the questions over to all of you in the audience and already we have so many great questions so thank you all I wish I thought of some of these because there are certainly questions that I’d like to hear the answers to as well and the first question that I’m going to ask and I’m Going to start with Danielle is about gender list and I have questions about this too is what is the source of the gender list that’s used in technology and when was the last time that was updated for most companies you know how should companies be thinking about the gender list that they’re using right

Danielle:

Yeah so our original lists were compiled by going to the literature and looking at what other researchers had deemed as being associated with the male gender stereotypes so that was a little while ago now when I look back at those original word lists I think most of those words seem pretty relevant still to the male gender stereotypes so for example some of the words were taken from something called the BEM sex-role inventory which if you googled that I believe that inventory list would would show up but there were other ones as well which I’m happy to share with people if they’re interested that would give the specific source for each word so to speak so we do have that but we also know that stereotype content can change right over time probably large periods of time rather than short periods of time and we know that there is some cultural variability in in stereotype content so and it may also depend on the context so I think of you know the word brave wasn’t it did or there might be derivatives of brave but anyway the specific word brave was maybe not on the original list but I could seethe word brave being associated with male gender stereotypes except for maybe in the context when you’re talking about the brave mama bear protecting her cubs in which case that evokes a different image so these words are I think in some ways context dependent and so it’s important to keep that in mind when you’re when you’re looking at your job ads yeah  so it’s so interesting I mean even some of the words that you brought up with challenge and others I wouldn’t have thought necessarily were you know male or female bias one way or the other and but thinking about it it all makes a lot of sense so we’re doing some oh sorry to interfere where we’re going to be having people read various gender words and then we’re using EEG so we’ve done this with eye tracking methods but now we’re using EEG and so what we’re hoping to find or be able to locate is that when there’s an incongruence between the pronoun and the wording used something kind of goes off and we’ll be able to detect that through using on these physiological measures using EEG so that’s some of the stuff we’re doing now but this you know academic papers and research take a long long time, there was a long process to these things we develop hypotheses and ideas we have to go through a EEG procedure and things take months and so hopefully we’ll have more answers soon well

Madeline:

That’s great, there are some questions on dat too so thanks for sharing that butI think the research taking a long time to me builds trust in what you’re sharing it shows that there’s rigor behind it and I think that’s so important, especially for

Elaine:

Because I think what Danielle said is so critical and it’s worth saying again the research does take so much time and I think for any organization that is trying to adjust or think about the terms of the words that they use and make sure that they’re using them in the right context for the for the most amount of inclusion and just to make sure that they’re not offending anybody in that way it’s important to stay true to the research data because if we think about other tools just piggybacking or making some decisions without the research to defend it we run the risk of putting ourselves into another bias situation I get asked all the time well dude does your text optimization tool work inIndia and in France and can I put it in multi-language and our answer is sterling no because Danielle hasn’t shown us where the research exists for the words that are true and are considered non inclusionary in these other countries and any other cultures because in each culture in each situation it may be different so I just think it is while it’s something we’re stepping into and we really need to understand it’s not something you run toto just have something else create a whole bunch of let’s just because it’s a list it really needs to be defended by the research and this is where I pull the line on artificial intelligence can only do so much without the humane research and I can’t wait for the EEG study and that kind of data results because you need decision support but i need decision support with foundational data that has truly been vetted we’re making it up so

Madeline:

Absolutely so I’m gonna shift gears a little bit and turn this over to Torin and this is always a popular topic and talent acquisition blinded resumes but what are your thoughts opinions recommendations to companies that are thinking about blinded resumes and and using that as potentially a way to avoid bias

Torin:

Listen at some point you have to reveal yourself correct and so if we have issues further down in the process what we still need to address those issues and so you know I don’t have a real strong opinion on them one way or another if an organization feels that that technology or that step in the process is important for them it will help advance their pipeline representation in terms of or presentation to the hiring managers thenI’m cool with that Madeleine but at some point that candidate has to reveal him or her or their self and so the bottom line is we need to make sure that we are focused on the problem and not just a band-aid

Madeline:

Yeah yeah I agree 100% Elaine question came in and I’m gonna turn our definition of diversity and inclusion is about age discrimination and how are you seeing that play a role and talent acquisition when you think about diversity and inclusion and specifically with the technology to how can companies think about biases around around age

Elaine:

Oh this one I think we’ve been dealing with for so many years because it comes back to the functional resume versus the chronological and the it was if it wasn’t age challenged now it was the gap in resume remember all those days in recruiting if you had a two-year gap in your resume you were not you were there was a you’re at risk and and where we have to overcome these assumptions and so the same thing seeing 20 years of history in resume today 20 years of experience can they do the job or not so whether we go to the redacted or not or the blind resume or not the opportunity to hide the dates and just focus on do they do you have the skills the qualities and characteristics to do the job that’s one of the ways you can help combat that but I do think we’re in for a lot more of that going forward because being able to bring your whole self to your resume and I think the resume is myself that’s my ability to tell you who I am and what I’m capable of doing and why Iwant to do the work for whomever I’m Applying and if I can’t bring my whole self to that I’m already starting with some kind of fictitious version or some simplified version to make you happy it’s not going to make a great starting point so hiding the dates keeping the skills maybe we redesigned the whole resume and the CV all over again there’s a lot of opportunity for change in this category but recruiters have to be conscious of the fact that we can’t discriminate on age we need to look at just abilities and then focus on that first

Madeline:

And it’s every age group it’s not just yeah I made the gaps in the resume that’s a very important thing to bring up so I’m gonna ask the question to Torin in this came in I think it’s a really interesting question and I think this goes back to your certification standardization consultant consistency is helping a diversity and inclusion committee made up of people who don’t work specifically in talent or HRHR have an impact on recruiting and do they what they happen

Torin:

I think you said how can people who are not directly associated with the recruiting function have an impact on what was the last part

Madeline:

On recruiting if they’re if the company has a diversity and inclusion committee within the organization and it’s not necessarily part of HR how can impact recruiting efforts and bridge that communication

Torin:

Absolutely so I think when let me just go straight to an example of like or GS or B RGS business resource groups or employee resource groups oftentimes Madeline they are external facing functions they get out in the community and they help build houses they do fundraisers if you will for community groups or whatever the external facing function is internally they tend to be you know sessions where we feel safe that psychological safety and we can talk about you know problems around mentorship or problems around lack of resources but we are kind of in this tight nucleus type bubble of what our conversation looks like and when I think about them I’m always amazed because I think about what Deloitte did in August of 2017 and they actually did away with employee resource groups because white men don’t feel included now if that’s not the biggest I’m not gonna curse no seriously so first and foremost no one should have to send an invitation to white men white women black men black women you know no one should have to send you an invitation to make you feel like you’re part of a group and so my direct response to you and that person who posed that question is they have to be able to marry that external and internal function if you will and work in a way that is complementary to recruitment so invite people from the recruiting team into the meeting invite people from the sourcing team into the meeting invite hiring . managers into the meeting so we can talk about your business group or your department invite people into those meetings so that we understand when we are curating events we can do more than just build houses or donate blood we can go out and invite or pay for the tickets for all of the students at an HBCU to go see Black Panther or we can make sure that all of the people from Mishima can do something at a dinner if you will a private dinner for our organization or we can go to the local you know military institution and we can put on a resume writing and interviewing class and tell them why we need people in you know cyber security because of that human intelligence said we can do things that are event related that complement the recruiting efforts so my direct response is you gotta marry that external and internal function so that it is a complement to the business growth

Madeline:

That’s great advice and I think that speaks again to the culture you’re changing the culture you’re being part of a community you’re not just doing these ad hoc initiatives within recruitment you’re making this broader and goes back to your humanity point that you made earlier too so I think that’s fantastic so I think with that we probably need to wrap up unfortunately we’re just getting to the top of the hour and I want to take a minute to thank all of our panelists this was an amazing webinar for me I’ve learned so much it’s a topic I get asked about quite a bit as an analyst and I don’t always have the right answers to be perfectly transparent and I’ve learned so much from all three of you and I’ve Taken lots of notes and hopefully will be able to incorporate this into some follow up but the other so many resources that were shared and I want to call out to other resources that are really important for anyone on the call to take a look at and check out and that’s our two sponsors for today’s webinar AllyO and TalVista two companies that have really made a commitment to helping organizations in diversity and inclusion not just talent acquisition but AllyO also has broader within other areas ofHR and if you’re an organization and you need support not just with creating the standardization and consistency but you’re also looking at and evaluating technology providers the area these are two leaders that we certainly recognized in this space so definitely check out their websites as well I love the glasses I wish I had my glasses on right now Turin but I think it’s been tasks like and it’s a wonderful metaphor thatI’ll definitely be quoting you on so thank you to everyone that joined us today thank you for being open to this conversation and we’ll say goodbye for now

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