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Check Your Blind Spots

Presentation from NRF 2019 Retail's Big Show and NRF Foundation Student Program
Elena Richards
Minority Initiatives and Talent Management Leader, PwC US

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Check Your Blind Spots

  1. 1. ELENA RICHARDS Minority Initiatives and Talent Management Leader, PwC US Check Your Blind Spots
  2. 2. PwC | Blind spots Understanding blind spots 4
  3. 3. PwC | Blind spots Blind spot Noun The patterns our brains create based on our experiences that influence how we make decisions and understand the world. (synonym: unconscious bias) 5
  4. 4. PwC | Blind spots Defining blind spots • Unconscious biases are human • The unconscious beliefs we hold about others do not necessarily align with our conscious declared beliefs • Studies show we generally tend to hold unconscious biases that favor who are most like us (ingroup) • Unconscious biases can change 6
  5. 5. PwC | Blind spots © Lee Gardenswartz and Anita Rowe. Internal and External Dimensions are adapted from Marilyn Loden and Judy Rosener. Workforce America! (Business One Irwin, 1991) Power and authority views Body language Being or doing Competition or cooperation Conflict resolution preferences Traditions/ Observances Personal space Individual or team Flexible or structured Cultural Time Organizational Industry Union affiliation Level Role in the company Location Tenure Management status Work experience Division/Department Religion Education Geographic location Communication style Marital/ relationship status Appearance Working style Language/ Accent Parental/Family status Secondary Primary Age Mental/physical ability Gender identity Ethnicity Sexual orientation Sex Race Personality Diversity wheel 8
  6. 6. PwC | Blind spots Understanding blind spots – Types of blind spots 9
  7. 7. PwC | Blind spots Halo - Horns Example: Sam is president of her accounting society school chapter. She’s eager to plan the chapter’s kick-off event. Karen and Jason are new members. Karen arrived early. Jason was late because he got held up in class. Sam’s first impression of Karen is that she’s eager and ready to work. Her first impression of Jason is that he doesn’t care and isn’t reliable. As a result, Sam asks Karen to help co-lead the kick-off event. 10 Halo/horns bias A halo and horns bias occurs when a positive impression (halo) of someone carries over into everything they do or where a negative first impression (horns) or mistake lasts, even if the person performs well in the future.
  8. 8. PwC | Blind spots Example: Sam’s negative impression of Jason carries over into her review of Jason’s work. Jason can’t understand why Sam seems to jump at his smallest mistake where in a similar situation, she overlooks or even justifies Karen’s mistakes. Jason feels like Sam is looking for things that confirm her belief that he’s not doing a good job. 10 Confirmation bias Confirmation bias occurs when you use selective thinking by looking for what confirms your beliefs and ignoring or undervaluing the relevance of what contradicts your beliefs. Confirmation
  9. 9. PwC | Blind spots Example: While at a networking event, Matthew notices Jose is wearing a ring from Matthew’s fraternity. He immediately gravitates toward Jose and they spend a long time reminiscing about their college days. Matthew recalls that there’s an open position his team. They haven’t really talked about work, but he’s certain that any fraternity “brother” would be great for the job. He asks Jose for his resume. When resumes start coming in, Matthew moves Jose’s resume to the top. 10 Similarity bias Similarity bias occurs when we are drawn toward people who are familiar and remind us of ourselves. We often feel more comfortable with them. Research finds that similarity helps us build trust quickly. As a result, it may take longer to build trust with people who have very different backgrounds from our own. Similarity
  10. 10. PwC | Blind spots Example: There’s a new project to staff with lots of late nights and travel. Amy immediately thinks Michelle would be great. Unlike Saj, who has small kids, Michelle is single and doesn’t have kids, so travel shouldn’t be a problem. 10 Prototype bias Prototype bias occurs when we use an unconscious image of the type of person we believe is good at a particular task. Studies show these models are based on the people we have seen succeed in roles in the past. Prototype bias is not limited to gender, race or age; it spans the many dimensions of diversity. Prototype
  11. 11. PwC | Blind spots 14 Blind spots – call to action
  12. 12. PwC | Blind spots The commitments: • Advance diversity and workplace inclusion • Expand unconscious bias education • Share best practices “If he was a white man in that apartment, would it have been different? Would she have reacted differently? Why is it because he was a black man, that she had to act in that way?” - Allison Jean, Bo Jean’s mother, to NBC DFW 15 CEO Act!on for Diversity & Inclusion
  13. 13. PwC | Blind spots I pledge to check my bias, speak up for others, and show up for all. How can you Act On the Pledge? ● I will check my own biases and take meaningful action to understand and mitigate them. ● I will initiate meaningful, complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations with my friends and colleagues. ● I will ask myself, “Do my actions and words reflect the value of inclusion?” ● I will move outside my comfort zone to learn about the experiences and perspectives of others. ● I will share my insights related to what I have learned. I Act On Pledge 16 The I Act On Pledge
  14. 14. PwC | Blind spots 17 Resources -
  15. 15. © 2019 PwC. All rights reserved. Not for further distribution without the permission of PwC. "PwC" refers to the network of member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL), or, as the context requires, individual member firms of the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity and does not act as agent of PwCIL or any other member firm. PwCIL does not provide any services to clients. PwCIL is not responsible or liable for the acts or omissions of any of its member firms nor can it control the exercise of their professional judgment or bind them in any way. No member firm is responsible or liable for the acts or omissions of any other member firm nor can it control the exercise of another member firm's professional judgment or bind another member firm or PwCIL in any way. WARNING: The following disclaimer and copyright notices must be customised for your local territory - if you need assistance with appropriate wording, contact your local Risk Management or Office of General Counsel. 18 Thank you