Home » Building a foundation of respect - Part 6

Building a foundation of respect - Part 6

August 3, 2017

The challenges:

  • Ensuring that recruitment processes effectively reach candidates from under-represented groups
  • Ensuring that workplace culture encourages everyone to succeed

The solutions:

  • Recognizing that recruitment processes and workplace culture can be biased in unintended ways
  • Taking steps to ensure that recruitment and retention/promotion systems are not biased against any worker

Bias:

  • Bias is an inclination or preference formed without reasonable justification that can prevent judgement from being balanced or even-handed.
  • Bias can be based on stereotyped beliefs about individuals and groups.
  • Everyone has biases, but by being aware of them, we can choose to not let them influence our behaviour and decisions.

Unconscious bias:

  • Often we are unaware that we have  biases because they are very deep in our subconscious.
  • These biased perceptions can form the basis of business decisions and the development of business processes without conscious awareness that they exclude those outside of the dominant group.

Workplace culture:

  • It's both the cause and effect of written and unwritten shared meanings, assumptions and values that guide and shape behaviour at work. 
  • A workplace that is dominated by one sex or one race will reflect the shared meanings and values of that sex or race.
  • This can have unintended consequences on who gets hired and promoted.

IS YOUR COMPANY EXCLUDING QUALIFIED CANDIDATES FOR HIRING & PROMOTION DUE TO BIASED RECRUITMENT & WORKPLACE PRACTICES?

Job ads:

  • If a company always advertises job postings in  the same platform, it will always reach the same group of people.
    • Solution: Place job ads in at least three different platforms.

Workplace orientation:

  • Don't assume that new recruits will "just fit in."
  • Because the majority of employees in construction are men, the workplace culture is male-oriented and new recruits, especially women, may not understand this culture.
    • Solution: Clearly explain your workplace culture and expectations so they have an equal chance of success.

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OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT: What it means to treat people as professionals.

Previous installment: Celebrating Canadian women in tradeswork on Canada's 150th anniversary

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Resources:

  • Advancing Women in the Skilled Trades. Inclusive Job Advertisement Checklist. Available online: www.advancewomenintrades.com
  • Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. Understanding Hidden Bias. 2014. Webinar.
  • Kaplan, Sarah. "Meritocracy: From Myth to Reality." In Rotman Magazine. Spring 2015.
  • Women Building Futures. She Works: Best Practices Awareness Workshops. May 2012.

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- JOIN THE CONVERSATION -
What are some of things you can do to help new recruits feel welcome?

 

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