feeling that you’re in a place where you’re safe, a place where you can
express your gifts, your thoughts, and your ideas without fear of be-ing;condemned;because;you;have;a;certain;type;of;background;or;fit
into a category. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have disagreements or
biology. Inclusion isn’t easy, but we strive toward it.
Gerrie: Since this shift in thinking requires a significant mindset
change, have you provided any diversity-specific training inter-
Mike: Yes, we hired an external contractor to raise awareness about
the;concept;of;micro-inequities.;Quite;honestly,;until;I;got;into;discus-sions about diversity and inclusion, I wasn’t familiar with the term.
bias. Through the training, people gained more insight on the topic,
Gerrie: What would be an example of a situation in which uncon-
scious bias or micro-inequities show up?
Mike: Meetings are when you observe behavior, overshadowed by
unconscious bias, most often.
Some people are ignored. Some people are valued more than others.
Some people get shut down. It might be that person’s particular bias
against a certain ethnic group.
One unconscious bias that we often encounter is when a person’s
name is mispronounced. There are names from other cultures that are
you don’t understand it at first. By pronouncing their name correctly,
you show respect for the person.
Gerrie: Self-awareness is the first step towards changing behavior
and mindset. What changes have you seen in people’s behavior as
a result of the training?
realize that how they say something has an impact on others. It’s increased people’s self-awareness about personal biases, and very subtly
communicated the message, “That’s not who we want to be.”