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.”

Selected quotes:
“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.”

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