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Workplace Bias & How to Avoid It

Nov 15, 2019
Workplace bias takes many forms, but the result is always the same: parts of the workforce are unfairly excluded from experiences and opportunities for which they are qualified.

Toni NeelyThe most common type of bias in the workplace is implicit, or unconscious. It operates at a level below more obvious, conscious prejudice, and affects our decisions in a much more subtle way.

Confronting this type of bias requires a careful approach, because most people are not aware of it. Recognizing that the bias exists is the key to reducing its influence. After all, we cannot manage or change what we are not aware of.  

There is a long list of biases in the workplace ranging from gender to age to personality, title, marital status, disabilities, sexual orientation, weight and the list goes on.

These biases bring irrelevant factors into the decision-making process and can play a role in personal assessments of candidates and employees while influencing the decision to hire, fire and promote in the workplace.

While these influences may be unintentional, it does not change the fact that they are fundamentally unfair.

You can help reduce gender bias in your organization by taking a closer look at your practices to see if there are areas where you can identify and correct it.

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About the Author

A graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, Toni spent her first 15 years with a statewide spirits and wine wholesaler in Indiana.  She began her career as a sales trainee and in 5 short years, earned her place as the General Sales Manager for the Northern third of the state.  In fact, Toni was the first female General Sales Manager in the company’s history.  Three years later, Toni was promoted again and became the company’s first female Marketing Brand Manager.

As Toni grew, so too did her passion for coaching and training. Between the years 2002 – 2011 Toni achieved the following training/facilitating certifications:  Statewide Sales Trainer, Paradigm Discovery Coach and Facilitator (leadership and coaching curriculum), Team Building Facilitator (low and high ropes), Diversity Trainer- delivered training to the following organizations: Eli Lilly, WellPoint, Heinz, Progressive Insurance, The Christ Hospital, Darden Restaurants, and many more.