Recently, I attended the Unconscious Bias and Inclusion Practices in the Workplace event. This event was sponsored by the Alliance for Business Leading Equality (ABLE) which is a Business Resource Group here at CDW. Over 80 coworkers across various CDW locations met and took time to enjoy lunch and network before Lora Laverty, CDW Sr. Corporate Counsel and ABLE Co-Chair, opened the event.
Lora began the presentation with a recent story where she learned a personal lesson – was it because of a bias she wasn’t aware of? That was the reason we were all there. This drew in the crowd. Lora then introduced the main speaker, Stephen Cornejo of Allstate, who began the main presentation. Stephen discussed how to recognize social stereotypes about people outside of our own conscious awareness. He went on to talk about how we need to be aware of our own biases and walked us through the “cognitive illusions” going on in our brains.
We broke into small groups for discussion on personal experiences with bias – either a good or bad assumption made about you or an incorrect assumption you made about another person. As a large group, some coworkers then shared their examples. One coworker shared how she was asked where she was from and when she responded “Greenwich,” her professor assumed she had come from money and made a comment about this. Not everyone from Greenwich, CT is from money and this assumption made the coworker feel both frustrated and uncomfortable.
I learned a lot during this event and hope other attendees did too. The takeaways from this event were: 1) recognize our biases and when we are most susceptible to unconscious bias and 2) actively work to interrupt them.
Sometimes we need to stop and think about things just a moment longer or challenge ourselves as to what we are really thinking to make the right decisions.
I look forward to learning more about #ABLE and the events they will be doing to celebrate inclusion here at CDW. #inclusion #unconsciousbias
Ericca is a Manager, Enterprise Information Management at CDW and a member of our Business Resource Group, ABLE.