Collector - March 2018 - 22
5 QUICK TIPS TO SUPPORT
WORKPLACE INCLUSION EFFORTS
Use gender-neutral pronouns in emails: "Thanks, all!" instead
of "Thanks, guys!"
Think outside the box when it comes to celebrating holidays
and encourage employees to bring foods from their cultures
or countries of origin on special days.
Make sure the photos on your website show job applicants,
clients and consumers that your company values diversity.
Flexible schedules come in handy not only for working parents,
but also students and people taking care of aging parents.
Have everyone on staff take an unconscious bias
test. Harvard University offers a free one called Project
Chambers said. "But the reality is that people
are different. So when you focus your hiring
and screening on only one or two things,
you're basically stacking the deck in such
a way that you are almost guaranteed a
Hiring bias-the tendency for
interviewers to favor candidates who are
like them-is real. Train managers to
prevent unconscious bias, and make sure
they hear from leadership that diversity is a
A more data-driven approach to hiring
can help here. A 2003 study by UCLA
researchers discovered that job seekers with
white-sounding names receive 50 percent
more callbacks for interviews than those
with black-sounding names. That's why in
the early stages of the hiring process, some
companies scrub resume details that could
introduce bias of any kind before passing
them to hiring managers.
TrueAccord redacts names and
educational background from resumes
to prevent hiring managers from making
subjective decisions on a candidate. When
they interview for a position, candidates
speak to a team of panelists from the
company (of varying age, gender and
ethnicity as well as rank and department)
who later give Alvarez anonymous feedback
on the candidate.
TrueAccord also uses an applicant
tracking system called Lever to score
applicants and archive notes on their
"A lot of companies don't invest in a system
like this but for us it's really important if we
want to continue with the momentum we
have on diversity," Alvarez said.
Finally, when applicants go to your
website, do they see a diverse workforce
portrayed there? Last fall, TrueAccord hired
a videographer to come in and shoot footage
of staff that Alvarez said will be posted on
the company's website.
"It's not only for applicants but also for
our customers and the community we
serve-we want them to know that they are
working with people who understand their
circumstances," Alvarez said.
PROVIDING SUPPORT AND
Once you get a diverse workforce, how do
you maintain it? Companies often "expect
that they can merely put people who differ
in a group and magic will happen without
them attending to it at all," said Patrick
McKay, a professor of human resource
management at the Rutgers School of
Management and Labor Relations.
To get that "magic," ask yourself: is
your current corporate climate conducive
to having people of differing ages, races,
socioeconomic backgrounds and genders
working together? What are you doing to
show employees that you value diversity
When Dawn Van Horn, human resources
manager for Berlin-Wheeler Inc., learned
that one of the company's employees had
recently undergone a gender transition, she
sat down with the person to determine what
management could do to better support
them, including how they wanted to be
addressed and how the company's dress
The employee pointed out they were
still using the restroom that corresponded
with their assigned sex at birth, so Van
Horn negotiated with senior management
and their landlord to change one of the
building's multiple women's restrooms
into a gender-neutral space, with a sign
designating it as such.
"Everybody on staff knew why it was
done, and the change went over fairly well,"
Van Horn noted. "One of our staff even took
a picture of it and put it on their Facebook
page with a note about how cool their
employers are for making it happen."
Van Horn also went through BerlinWheeler's policy and procedure handbook
to make sure everything-including job
descriptions-used gender-neutral pronouns.
Unconscious bias is not isolated to the
hiring phase-it often comes into play when
managers evaluate employees' performance
for raises or advancement.
"Statistically, men promote men," Alvarez
said. "To counter that, we've implemented
a talent matrix that has two axis points:
One evaluates a person's competency
and skill sets, the other evaluates their
results and accomplishments. It takes
the subjectivity out of a performance