Is Corporate Canada
HIDDEN BIASES MAY BE COSTING US
OUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
By Zabeen Hirji and Stephen Shea
Diversity and inclusion have long been a focal point for
Corporate Canada, as business leaders strive to create di-verse
teams that are reflective of the market in which they
Leading organizations in this arena have made a marked shift
from diversity (the what) to diversity and inclusion (the how).
We know that individuals with different backgrounds, gender,
experiences, styles, education, expertise, abilities as well as pro-fessional
levels and functions each have unique perspectives that,
when combined with others, can turn out to be far greater than
the sum of the parts. It’s no longer enough to have diversity; the
power of diversity comes from what you do with it.
GOOD INTENTIONS, MIXED RESULTS
While a growing number of organizations are working to im-plement
programs and policies designed to foster a diverse and
inclusive work environment, many are still struggling.
If we understand the value of diverse teams, what exactly is
holding us back from realizing diversity’s full potential? Much of
it could be in our mindset.
According to a team of world-renowned social psychologists
led by Harvard University professor Dr. Mahzarin Banaji, the
root of this apparent disconnect between intent and outcome
may lie in the unconscious mind. Put simply, our mindset is not
26 ❚ MARCH/APRIL 2014 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL