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More than diversity training: Confronting hidden bias in the workplace

Cleveland—Unconscious biases are part of our everyday lives. From a business perspective, these attitudes influence hiring and promotion decisions and more; yet, traditional approaches to diversity training don’t address this issue.

And that’s a problem. Research has shown that unconscious biases are detrimental to a company’s bottom line and can impede an organization’s ability to achieve its objectives.

If these attitudes start forming when we’re as young as six years old, what’s the answer to this dilemma? What can employers do?

Greater Cleveland human resources and diversity professionals will hear Diana Cruz Solash, director, EY Global Diversity & Inclusiveness, talk about what her organization is doing to interrupt bias at the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s Eighth Annual Inclusion Conference on Wednesday, August 17 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at LaCentre Conference and Banquet Facility in Westlake.

“Understanding that we each have bias is a necessary—but not sufficient condition—for full inclusion,” said Diana Cruz Solash, director, EY Global Diversity & Inclusiveness. “At EY, we believe that inclusiveness starts with a focus on an individual person’s experience in an organization, understanding where we may be falling short of our intent, then taking action to close these gaps—through fair and equitable policies and processes and asking each other questions to challenge whether our decisions are based on true requirements, rather than preferences or traditions.”

EY ranks No. 3 on DiversityInc’s 2016 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list for several reasons including that fact that the number of women in senior leadership positions is 43.2 percent higher than U.S. companies overall.

Why do we behave this way?

The conference’s morning keynote Mahzarin Banaji, Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Harvard University, and co-author, “Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People,” will discuss how well-intentioned people behave in ways that deviate from their intentions and how this compromises decisions in the workplace. More information about the conference can be found here.

About the Commission on Economic Inclusion:
The Commission on Economic Inclusion is a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP). Its mission is "to significantly improve the level of inclusion-the meaningful involvement of minority businesses and individuals-in the economic engines that drive Northeast Ohio."

About EY:
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders.

In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit