Unconscious bias is like a muscle and you can learn to exercise it in different ways
Starbucks is closing all 8,000 coffee shops in the USA today, 29th May, to provide unconscious bias training to all staff. This training is first in a series of steps the chain is taking to mitigate brand damage in the wake of the recent furore about the discriminatory treatment of two black men in one Philadelphia store.
EW Group CEO Jane Farrell joined Yassmin Abdel on today’s BBC Radio 4 Today programme to speak to John Humphreys about how we train on diversity and inclusion, including at British Land Plc and for Sadiq Khan at The Greater London Authority.
“Unconscious bias is like a muscle and you can learn to exercise it in different ways,” Jane explained to listeners. “You can change your behaviour at work to take account of difference. If the standards are clear and the manager is made aware of their bias then yes, a 4-hour training session can make a difference.”
Listen to the Radio 4 Today programme again here. The discussion about Starbucks and the impact of unconscious bias training is at 2:54:00.
Jane founded EW Group with Dr Annie Hedge in 1992. She has consulted and trained widely, and specialises in working with senior management teams to improve individual, team and organisational performance.
As a full-service diversity and inclusion consultancy, EW Group partners with clients to address unconscious bias and build inclusive cultures. We know that accounting for difference in the workplace builds better workplaces and ultimately makes businesses more profitable and more productive. Training is often a first step and a building block that can support a clear strategy on diversity and inclusion.