By: Helm Construction Solutions (buildhelm.com)
This toolkit was developed by Kate Stephenson and Mel Baiser of HELM Construction Solutions with help and feedback from many of our colleagues in the building trades and social justice movements. It includes topics like:
- Defining the Challenge
- Changing Company Culture
- Hiring and Retaining a Diverse Team
- What is Privilege?
- Becoming an Ally
- Additional Resources
“We recognize this is just a first step towards raising awareness of these issues in our industry and our workplaces, but we felt the need to start somewhere.”
“Our goal is to increase the number of women, trans and gender non-conforming folks in the building trades, and to offer some specific help to progressive business owners who want to help but don’t know how to approach the problem.” – Kate Stephenson
If you have feedback on the Toolkit, ideas to share, or suggestions for additions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HELM Construction Solutions works with owners, designers and builders to create high performance and sustainable buildings and businesses. HELM provides a range of innovative services to help your business and your projects run smoothly and efficiently. We are committed to high performance and sustainable building practices that are not only right for the environment, but result in more durable buildings, better indoor air quality, comfort and a significant reduction in the operating costs of your home or business. HELM is a collaborative team with over thirty years of combined construction, management, leadership and education expertise.
[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”http://changethestoryvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Breaking-Down-Bias-v1.0-September-2016.pdf” title=”Download the toolkit” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Download the toolkit.[/x_button]
Source: Harvard Business Review: July/August 2016
“Iris Bohnet thinks firms are wasting their money on diversity training. The problem is, most programs just don’t work. Rather than run more workshops or try to eradicate the biases that cause discrimination, she says, companies need to redesign their processes to prevent biased choices in the first place.
Bohnet directs the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and cochairs its Behavioral Insights Group. Her new book, What Works,describes how simple changes—from eliminating the practice of sharing self-evaluations to rewarding office volunteerism—can reduce the biased behaviors that undermine organizational performance. In this edited interview with HBR senior editor Gardiner Morse, Bohnet describes how behavioral design can neutralize our biases and unleash untapped talent.”
“It’s very hard to eliminate our bias, but we can design organizations to make it easier for our biased minds to get things right.”
“Until we see more male kindergarten teachers or female engineers, we need behavioral designs to make it easier for our biased minds to get things right and break the link between our gut reactions and our actions.”
“So if managers see inflated ratings on a self-evaluation, they tend to unconsciously adjust their appraisal up a bit. Likewise, poorer self-appraisals, even if they’re inaccurate, skew managers’ ratings downward. This is a real problem, because there are clear gender (and also cross-cultural) differences in self-confidence.”
“Enlisting men is partly about helping them to see the benefits of equality. Fathers of daughters are some of the strongest proponents of gender equality, for obvious reasons, so they can be particularly powerful voices when it comes to bringing other men along. Research on male CEOs, politicians, and judges show that fathers of daughters care more about gender equality than men without children or with only sons.”
[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”https://hbr.org/2016/07/designing-a-bias-free-organization” title=”Designing a Bias-Free Organization” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Read the full article[/x_button]
Source: Harvard Business Review: July/August 2016
“It’s hard to argue with the benefits of diversity, given the decades’ worth of studies showing that a diverse workforce measurably improves decision making, problem solving, creativity, innovation, and flexibility.Most of us also believe that hiring, development, and compensation decisions should come down to who deserves what. Although the two ideas don’t seem contradictory, they’re tough to reconcile in practice. Cognitive roadblocks keep getting in the way.”
“We believe we know good talent when we see it, yet we usually don’t – we’re terrible at evaluating people objectively.”
“If those in power think this world is basically fair and just – they won’t even recognize – much less worry about – systemic unfairness.”
“At each stage she consistently found that evaluators had little or nothing to say about the “rock stars” or the “rejects.” They deliberated mainly about candidates in the middle, which is where stereotypes about women and minorities came into play.”
“Women and minorities who actively push for diversity are punished by their organizations – they get lower performance ratings than those who don’t. Men who promote diversity don’t suffer the same penalty.”
“Millennials think of diversity and inclusion as valuing open participation by employees with different perspectives and personalities. In contrast, older workers think of its equitable representation and assimilation of people from different demographic groups.”
“Senior leaders need to recognize their organizations’ inequities – probably more than anyone else, since they have the power to make changes. But once they’ve climbed to their positions, they usually lose sight of what they had to overcome to get there.”
“It’s extraordinarily difficult to rewire the human brain, but we can “alter the environment in which decisions are made.” This approach – known as choice architecture – involves mitigating biases, not reversing them…the idea is to deliberately structure how ou present information and options: You don’t take away individuals’ right to decide or tell them what they should do. You just make it easier for them to reach more rational decisions.”
[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”https://hbr.org/2016/07/we-just-cant-handle-diversity” title=”We Just Can’t Handle Diversity” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Read the full article[/x_button]
Source: Harvard Business Review: July/August 2016
“It shouldn’t be surprising that most diversity programs aren’t increasing diversity. Despite a few new bells and whistles, courtesy of big data, companies are basically doubling down on the same approaches they’ve used since the 1960s—which often make things worse, not better. Firms have long relied on diversity training to reduce bias on the job, hiring tests and performance ratings to limit it in recruitment and promotions, and grievance systems to give employees a way to challenge managers. Those tools are designed to preempt lawsuits by policing managers’ thoughts and actions. Yet laboratory studies show that this kind of force-feeding can activate bias rather than stamp it out. As social scientists have found, people often rebel against rules to assert their autonomy. Try to coerce me to do X, Y, or Z, and I’ll do the opposite just to prove that I’m my own person.”
“Firms have long relied on diversity training to reduce bias on the job, hiring tests and performance ratings to limit it in recruitment and promotions, and grievance systems to give employees a way to challenge managers… Yet laboratory studies show that this kind of force-feeding can activate bias rather than stamp it out.”
“It’s more effective to engage managers in solving the problem, increase their on-the-job contact with female and minority workers, and promote social accountability – the desire to look fair-minded. That’s why interventions such as targeted college recruitment, mentoring programs, self-managed teams, and task forces have boosted diversity in business.”
“The positive effects of diversity training rarely last beyond a day or two, and a number of studies suggest that it can activate bias or spark a backlash.”
“But studies show that raters tend to lowball women and minorities in performance reviews.”
“Things don’t get better when firms put in formal grievance systems; they get worse.”
“A number of companies have gotten consistently positive results with tactics that don’t focus on control. They apply three basic principles: engage managers in solving the problem, expose them to people from different groups, and encourage social accountability for change.”
“On average, companies that put in diversity task forces see 9% to 30% increases in representation of white women and of each minority group in management over the next five years.”
[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”https://hbr.org/2016/07/we-just-cant-handle-diversity” title=”Why Diversity Programs Fail” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Read the full article[/x_button]
The Gender Bias Learning Project is housed within the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings College of the Law.
Gender bias typically stems not from malevolence, but from the perceived mismatch between the “typical woman” and the requirements of jobs that historically were held by men such as professor, scientist, and investment banker. In fact, many of the historically male dominated jobs are still held predominantly by men. For example, tenure-track jobs at research institutions still are 70-80% male.
Gender bias takes many forms, some obvious and others subtle. Here are some common examples of more subtle forms of bias:
- Objective rules applied rigidly to women but leniently to men
- The persistent assumption that a mother is home with her children when she is at a committee meeting, presenting at a conference, or home writing her book
- An atmosphere where women are accepted only if they cater to the comfort levels of men who expect them to play traditionally feminine roles
Click here for the PDF bingo scorecard.
[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”http://www.genderbiasbingo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/gbb_laminate_card.pdf” title=”Gender Bias Bingo” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Check it out![/x_button]