ONE CLICK AWAY
FROM THE TRUTH
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CULTURAL COMPETENCY TRAINING PROGRAM
To help organizations become more inclusive and minimize biases
in hiring, the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA)
created a Cultural Competency Training Program in partnership
with Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
The one-day program will be offered in spring, summer and
fall of 2014 and provides strategies to effectively hire, on-board,
train and retain culturally diverse candidates and newcomers to
For more information, please visit www.culturallyaware.ca.
■■ Who do I like to assign to work on project teams? Who do I
tap for the lead role? Do I have the same go-to people all or
most of the time?
■■ Who do I encourage to lead or speak out at meetings? Am I
creating opportunities for those less extroverted to demonstrate
their capabilities equally to clients or other colleagues?
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Once we acknowledge that our brains are wired to be biased and we
begin to explore our personal biases, it becomes possible to identify
the disconnect between our intentions and our actions.
Leaders can adopt a more mindful approach to their interactions
and decision-making by adopting simple methods to counter their
unconscious tendencies. Leaders should feel challenged to:
■■ Think differently: make a conscious effort to seek out people
with different backgrounds, experiences and capabilities to col-laborate
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on teams and projects
■■ Learn differently: seek out opportunities to immerse yourself
and your team members in different environments outside your
(or their) comfort zone
■■ Act differently: take deliberate actions that disrupt your normal
process and help prevent biases from shaping your decisions
A TIME FOR CHANGE: INTENTIONAL ACTION
MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Focusing on hidden biases pushes us into uncomfortable areas and
raises issues that we are cautious to talk about – for fear of offend-ing
or saying the wrong thing.
But for leaders, it’s important to explore this complex and some-times
difficult topic. By raising their own awareness, recognizing
bias and mitigating its impact, leaders have a unique opportunity
and responsibility to set a course for others.
Leaders everywhere should feel encouraged to take the time to
think about their unconscious biases and show the courage to ad-dress
them. It might be uncomfortable at first, but worthwhile
change is seldom easy.
With diversity and inclusiveness issues top of mind for high per-forming
businesses in Canada and around the world, there has
never been a better time to be courageous in this regard. ■
Zabeen Hirji is RBC’s chief human resources officer with global
responsibility for human resources as well as brand, communications
and corporate citizenship.
Stephen Shea is EY Canada’s managing partner, Talent.
30 ❚ MARCH/APRIL 2014 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL