Is the private sector paying more attention to implicit bias in the workplace?

Guest post by Justin Rico Oyola

rico_oyola_ejs_200pxActress Geena Davis was recently interviewed by Mckinsey & Company on Gender bias without borders, a recent report by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. In the article she conveys to the top global management consultancy how male dominated roles in the boardroom and in media dramatically affect our perceptions of the world.

Davis makes the case that life often imitates art by highlighting how research shows, “that the percentage of fictional women in the workforce is even lower than the one that exists in the real world. In the international films we studied, less than 25 percent of employed characters were female, while women make up 40 percent of the global workforce.”

So as we consume media, we may subconsciously be consuming messages that say, ‘women leadership is not valued or women cannot make significant multi-million dollar decisions,’ because we do not see these images taking place on media when in reality it is happening.

It is clearer that the need to embrace diversity to drive innovation and strengthen corporate competitive edge is being discussed among corporate elites; however, peeling the layers of the onion back to assess how implicit/subconscious bias affects individual and organizational decision-making will require more persistence in identifying widespread approaches to addressing current disparities.

Read the commentary here.

Justin Rico Oyola served as EJS’ Associate Director from 2004 to 2007. He is a social impact consultant and has been a regional manager for Nextdoor and Organizing for America. He was also a Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum.

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