Starbucks. Sephora. In a new era of social media exposure these are only the beginning. But they are not the only organizations to have allowed unconscious bias to go unchecked.
The math is pretty simple: closing all your stores for one day to complete what most will argue is an ineffective Diversity training costs your organization millions. And for what? To put a bandaid on something that will flare back up.
Any company that wants to continue to grow and succeed has only one choice. This is a choice that needs leaders who are willing to play the long game. Leaders who understand that inclusion and diversity efforts are not PR opportunities will make the right choice. And that right choice will save you millions. More importantly, it will save us from ourselves.
This Unconscious Bias fight we are facing is an individual one at first. We can only break our own biases by first understanding what they are. Once we can comprehend our bias and how we act upon them, then we can choose to change. There are only two paths of choice: continuing down the Unconscious Bias path or choosing the Conscious Inclusion path.
The final choice is developing a sustainable model, a habit, for choosing inclusion. If all individuals can do that, then we can come together as a group to truly build more inclusive companies. This is how we change the disturbing trend that Starbucks, Sephora and so many others are setting.
It has to start with me. Then it can end with all of us.