Pearn Kandola Publishing (2009)
The Value of Difference Eliminating bias in organisations
Over the last decade the topic of diversity has been seen as increasingly important by government, public and private sector organisations, the media and society generally.
The desire to treat people fairly and with respect can be considered to be a truly ingrained value in the UK.
Organisations have spent time and effort on creating strategies, identifying champions, setting up network groups, carrying out training etc, etc. However, despite this effort it is widely acknowledged that little has in fact changed. The pay gap between men and women remains much as it was 20 years ago, the employment gap between ethnic minorities and the general population has proven to be stubbornly unchangeable over 30 years.
This book, based on studies carried out by the author and an extensive review of the literature, attempts to take a different perspective on this complicated topic. The book does not take as its starting point organisations customs and practice. Instead it is based on human behaviour and psychology. In order to understand how organisations operate we need to appreciate what drives human behaviour. Why do we choose to affiliate with some people and not others? How do our attitudes drive our behaviour?
The book explores topics that are very rarely discussed in organisations but are ever present (because they are part of our make-up as humans) i.e. prejudice, bias, privilege and power.
We are all biased and rather than trying to deny it we are much better off accepting it and taking responsibility for doing something about it.
The book explores why prejudice exists and how it manifests itself in workplace practices.
As well as reviewing the literature it also presents the findings of research which demonstrates that it is possible to eliminate our unconscious bias in relatively straightforward ways.
The book provides practical guidance to organisations on how these complex issues can be addressed in our organisational priorities.
This is a radical re-thinking and re-casting of diversity. Whilst always accepting that organisations need to take action it focuses its direction on the individual i.e. all of us, to take responsibility for our bias and actions.
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