What to Do About Employees Who Consciously Exclude Women
“Unconscious bias” and “inclusive leadership” have become diversity buzzwords. This makes sense given recent research highlighting how related trainings — when facilitated and implemented properly — are key ingredients for cultivating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. But what should companies do about leaders who continue to display unquestionably conscious bias?
These are the conscious “excluders,” who despite various corporate interventions, continue to treat some folks differently due to their social group membership. These few often highly influential people may help explain the recent stagnation in progress toward gender equality in organizational leadership. In fact, our latest study of 90 companies and more than 320,000 employees in Switzerland showed that the share of women in leadership positions only increased 1% over the last five years. But this trend is not specific to Switzerland; it’s echoed in statistics across the globe. New research specifically pinpoints bias and exclusion as stalling mechanisms in our progress toward greater gender diversity in STEM.