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The Undeniable Impact of Workplace Diversity [Infographic]

Workplace diversity is not a new topic. And yet, the world of work hasn’t made nearly enough progress in gender, cultural, and ethnic diversity.

The prevailing wisdom: Today’s business leaders (many of whom are older white males) still don’t fully understand the importance of workplace diversity. That perhaps, if those leaders were aware of diversity’s impact on their bottom line, they’d deliberately tie business goals to building a diverse workforce.

Consider the latest data points available to us, as shown in the infographic below from CoachDiversity Institute:

  • 60 percent of employees have seen or experienced discrimination at work
  • 41 percent of managers say they are too busy to incorporate diversity into their work routines
  • Of those people in the C-suite, only 4 percent are women of color, and just 10 percent are men of color
  • By almost 4:1, white men outnumber white women in executive positions

Workplace Diversity: Time for Change

Yes, it is time for real change. In fact, for several years, the carefully-gathered evidence has been irrefutable: The businesses that maintain a diverse culture far outperform the competition:

  • Companies with the highest gender diversity are 25 percent more likely to have higher profits
  • Companies with higher cultural and ethnic diversity are 36 percent more likely to have above-average profits
  • 57 percent of employees want their companies to be more diverse
  • 64 percent of job candidates say diversity and inclusion are critical considerations when accepting a job
  • 87 percent of the time, more diverse teams make better decisions than individual decision-makers
  • More diverse companies are 1.7x more innovative than less diverse companies

The data is clear: Business leaders must begin to create diverse workplaces more deliberately. But first, they must start intentional conversations.

How to Talk About Diversity

For some time, meaningful conversations about diversity have taken a back seat to lip service. After all, when pressed, business leaders have shown a tendency to say all the right things versus doing what is right. So how do we start the tough conversations that lead to quantifiable change?

This is where we really appreciate the infographic by CoachDiversity. Here, you’ll see how to start and continue the much-needed conversations in your business. From expecting and welcoming diverse viewpoints to encouraging more listening than talking and underscoring the common goal even during the most challenging conversations, it’s in here.

Take a few minutes to review this insightful infographic. Embrace just how essential diversity is to the business world. Then start a tough but oh-so-necessary conversation about workplace diversity in your company.

 

Editors’ Note: March is Women’s History Month, where we commemorate and encourage the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. To learn more, click here.

 

workplace diversity

#WorkTrends: Beating Your Bias

Yassmin Abdel-Magied says she changed the appearance of her headscarf one day and noticed that people on the street began to look at her differently. This experience with the power of unconscious bias was the basis for Abdel-Magied’s moving TED Talk, and it’s one of many moments that she says led her on the path to becoming a writer, broadcaster and activist.

Abdel-Magied joined us from London to discuss one of the most important conversations happening in HR right now: bias. We dug in deep for a candid discussion about the state of inclusion right now — and the hard work all of us can do to make things better.

Listen to the full conversation or read the recap below. Subscribe so you never miss an episode.

How the Conversation Around Bias Has Changed

Abdel-Magied says she’s seen the conversation around bias change significantly throughout her career, and especially in the past five years. One of the most significant changes around how we talk about bias, she says, is the emphasis that organizations have put on combating unconscious bias. “Cognitive and implicit bias had been talked about in the academic circles for a while, but this was the first time the subject had come into the corporate space,” she says.

However, Abdel-Magied says organizations aren’t going far enough, with too many believing that having a single conversation on the topic is enough. “People are thinking that a little bit of unconscious bias training is going to fix all of our problems,” she says. “[It] is a little bit of a problem.”

Why Tech Won’t Fix Bias

Abdel-Magied says her frustration with the conversation around bias also extends to technological offerings that organizations have been embracing. Many organizations have embraced AI solutions to help with hiring and management practices, hoping that they can eliminate bias in their processes. She says this is a false promise. “Nothing is a silver bullet,” she says. “You’re not going to fix the issue of diversity and inclusion by building an app.”

To truly tackle the issue of bias in the workplace, she says, those within organizations need to understand that their workplace is a reflection of society. People need to have honest conversations with each other and dig deep within themselves to confront their biases. It’s “hard work,” Abdel-Magied says, but without the effort, true change isn’t attainable.

What Leaders Can Do

Abdel-Magied says there are two ways leaders can better prepare themselves to fight bias.

First, leaders need to make sure they’re identifying and confronting their own biases and prejudices. Abdel-Magied suggests jump-starting this effort by reading. “Start to make yourself uncomfortable by reading things outside your general area,” she says. Two books she recommends are “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race” by Reni Eddo-Lodge and “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo.

Second, leaders need to seek out ways that bias has seeped into their workplace. Abdel-Magied says a very actionable place to start is an organization’s shortlist for promotions. “When you have two women on the shortlist, you are 79 times more likely to hire a woman — simply because when you only have one woman on the shortlist you’re only focusing on the fact that she’s a woman,” she says.

Abdel-Magied also suggests making sure your organization’s diversity and inclusion department has real muscle. This means beefing up its budget and responsibilities, and ensuring that diversity and inclusion is a viable path for those in HR. “If it’s not something you’re putting any resources behind, have a look at all those different aspects and do a bit of work on yourself,” she says. “I think then you’ve got a good start.”

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Pay Inequity

“People don’t care who they hurt or beat. For the love of money.” excerpt from the song “For the Love of Money,” by The O’Jays

Pay inequity. This is a well-worn topic that has been getting a lot of attention, especially over the past few years. Pay inequity is an insidious practice felt by many and one that knows no boundaries. Undeniably, it’s more targeted at certain people based on their gender, age, occupation, education, race, religion, and geography. There are even people in the Hollywood spotlight who have spoken out against this transgressive bias, as even these privileged few have felt the wrath of pay inequity’s duplicitous effects.

Albeit the United States Supreme Court has laws in place to counteract the negative effects of pay inequity, it’s still an all-to-common occurrence, because these laws are not properly enforced with assurances of stringent consequences to the offenders.

You’ve Not Come A Long Way Baby

From 1974 through 2014 the organization, American Association of Women, conducted a research study that found female workers in the United States were garnering salaries (depending on the state) that range from ten percent to thirty-five percent less than their male counterparts doing the same job with the same number of years’ experience. This same organization predicts that based on the current salary trend, it will take another 100 years for this pay gap to close. Further, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States is one of the more egregious countries when it comes to the blatant practice of pay inequity in the gender pay gap.

The topic of pay inequity is not just a matter of gender and race bias, however women, especially those of color, tend to be at the bottom of the pay scale. According to an article in The New York Times, a 2016 research study uncovered the harsh reality of how businesses view work performed by women. The study found that duties completed by women are not perceived as being a value-add in the workplace. Further, some researchers suggest that society places pressure on women to pursue historically lower paying female-oriented jobs versus seeking jobs that men have traditionally held. The conclusion here is that women succumbing to these pressures are being suppressed by a society that is not ready to view women as equals to men in the workplace and beyond. But women are not the only people suffering from this bias.

Other Casualties

The topic of pay inequity goes beyond targeting women; it similarly affects both women and men of color. Valerie Wilson, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, determined that the pay discrepancy between white households and black households in the United States, has widened since 1979. Further the National Women’s Law Center found that the average Latin male and female employee would have to work 73 years longer to collect the same pay as their white male counterparts.

The National Bureau of Economic Research economists, Carruthers and Wanamaker, conducted an investigation to unearth wage discrepancies against black men during the 1940’s. One thing they uncovered was certain localized laws from the 20th century and earlier (mostly practiced in the southern area of the United States) set a precedence where segregated, oppressed black citizens were only allowed access to public schools where very little money was endowed and with that, adequate education was lacking to advance and support post-school employment to better paying jobs. The sad truth is this oppression is still felt and imposed on black working Americans decades later.

Additionally, a combination of age, inexperience and gender can, also, come into play when pay inequity is suspected. As employers are evaluating people entering the workforce and considering their universally under-developed skills, instances of young females being paid less has been reported when compared to males in the same age group.

How Can We Solve This Problem?

As a society, we need to re-examine certain perceptions and traditions, however if we cannot come to a consensus, we will never move the needle forward to solve the problem of pay inequity. To begin, better wide-spread education and public awareness are a must. People need to know where their money is going and how it is being spent. There are many suggested solutions from varying pundits to remedy the pay inequity problem, but they need to see a follow-through on execution. Three such ideas are:

  • Cap CEO pay
  • Increase taxes on the super-rich
  • Penalize companies for shipping jobs abroad

Clearly when it comes to these ideas, we need an aggressive plan of action. Capping CEO salaries, can be done but certain considerations need to be identified first. Who will be the oversight to enforce this? How will the appropriate consequences be determined and how will the policy be imposed? Which CEOs fall into the capped salary structure? Obviously, publically traded companies must disclose their financials, so they’re the obvious choice, but are there other companies which should be considered? Also, setting a limit on CEO exit plans, where all too often, the golden parachute is a ridiculous amount of money. Increasing taxes on the 0.00001 percent of the population that are billionaires is certainly worth a long look. As one solution, a structured plan can be imposed with proper tax levying based on capital gains within identifiable tax brackets. Penalizing companies for sending work abroad is a good idea, but companies need to be properly incentivized to want to keep work here. If companies choose not to observe, then imposing penalties such as paying tariffs, along with increased income tax for business conducted here may need to go into effect. Also, as part of keeping consumers informed, boycotting the company’s products and services may be used as a message to companies that do not comply.

These three options are just a few in a long list of other proposed solutions that have many layers of complexity to consider. With thorough consideration they can work, but a better understanding of the consequences and benefits needs to be carefully weighed first. We need a workable solution with quantifiable outcomes and accountability that incentivizes companies to do the right things and a system in place that oversees the follow-through on execution of the policies. Conjecture is not going to get us to where we need to be. Caring, listening, talking, resolving and taking the appropriate steps to stop pay bias is the right thing to do… of this, I am sure.

 

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Discrimination: A Workplace Disorder

I came across an article recently that caught my attention. The story centered on the topic of discrimination as commented by and seen through the eyes of a few recruiters in the staffing industry. At first I assumed this was an outlier situation, but upon finishing the article I was met with a startling realization. This story, in fact, was not an isolated instance, but something much worse. The comments in this article illustrated the very nature of systemic discrimination across America and how well engrained it is in this country.

The Civil Rights Act Of 1964

No, workplace discrimination is not a new topic. Discrimination has probably been around since the beginning of humankind, but started to get some notable attention in the 1960’s.

In 1964, the U.S. Congress passed a law, called the Civil Rights Act, which stated no employer will discriminate on the basis of sex or race in hiring, promoting, and firing. In the final legislation, the wording was expanded to include it’s unlawful for an employer to “fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, privileges or employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” I support this law and would like to believe so does every other employer, but the reality is, it’s been over 50 years since this law passed and we are still battling discrimination in this country.

Its 2016

Fast forward to 2016. The article I mentioned previously was published in January of this year. The story is about the conversations and actions taken by temporary placement agencies across the country. The people who spoke out were recruiters who recanted stories of incessant, and often times, blatant discrimination stemming from clients who would instruct them to not send particular people for interviews, as well as comments and actions from their own managers in the staffing office. These recruiters were used as messengers to carry out the discriminatory acts, however, it does not absolve them from their actions, as they chose the path of less resistance. Over time the offenders become desensitized to this way of thinking and acting. As in the case of the placement agencies there is, all too often, a monetary value placed on discrimination, as in the case of job placements, that creates a justification for its existence. In essence, it becomes a systemic process and accepted way of doing business.

When staffing agencies do business with companies that stipulate biased hiring requests, staffing firms, in effect, propagate the act of discrimination for the benefit of client relations and a healthy bottom line. In reality, these actions compromise staffing’s integrity and create a false sense of economic well-being within their firm. Attempting to justify these actions because “that’s our policy” or “our client wants it that way” or “my boss gave me an order,” takes on a permanency and acceptance that once started is very difficult to stop. Further, companies that use staffing agencies, as an extension of their hiring process, need to observe and adhere to the labor laws and not use third-party staffing as a way to circumvent their moral responsibility to hire responsibly and non-discriminatorily. According to economist Marc Bendick, “The fact of the matter is that a lot of the regular employers basically want to contract out their discrimination. They know the workforce they want, but they don’t themselves want to violate workplace discrimination laws. They want clean hands.”

Further, companies that refuse to observe fair and sound labor practices may use this to their advantage to exclude benefits, proper compensation, rewards and recognition, and to deny contractors and part-time workers from seeking recourse in the instance of an unwarranted termination.

Conscious Versus Unconscious Versus The Social Conscious

Discrimination is something many, if not most, people from all walks of life have experienced. Unlike what the staffing professionals described in the article, discrimination is often times a sense or feeling someone has about how s/he’s been treated. This is why covert discrimination is tough to prove and more difficult to identify.

To add more complexity to the topic, the act of discrimination can be categorized as either conscious or unconscious. Conscious meaning that someone is knowingly and with intentional malice discriminating against people. Of the two, unconscious is the most dangerous. It’s bigotry that sits inconspicuously within the hearts and minds of people who display it in ways that come naturally to them and without forethought of consequences. Like conscious bigotry, unconscious is intentional and delivered with malice, though not always realized by the offender. The discernible difference between the two is, unconscious is so finely ingrained into the deliverer’s character that s/he may not view the bigoted comment or action as being offensive. Neither conscious nor unconscious is more or less odious than the other. Both lack social consciousness and subsequently, greed, want and fear are at the heart of these biases.

Add Social Media To The Mix

Social media has opened very wide doors into knowing a lot about people and in the case of employers, a lot about job candidates. Profile information that may house photos alluding to or disclosing age (think ClassMates updates on Facebook), religious affiliation (pictures of a brother wearing his yarmulke), and even something as innocuous as pictures of your child, dog and life partner. These images reveal information that can potentially be used against a person and further given social media is a digital venue, all information is saved for posterity. My comments are not an attempt to discourage anyone from using social media, whether it’s the company or job seeker. The point I’m making is that social has added another dimension to the ways discrimination may rear its ugly head and something everyone should approach with sensitivity.

Where To Begin

Without acknowledging the egregious nature of discrimination and implementing structured processes to eliminate it, bias and subsequent discriminatory acts in the workplace will not change. The only way to combat discrimination is to take it on with full intention. It should start with non-discriminatory practices for hiring and carry through the entirety of each person’s employment.

To start, whether required by law or not employers need to incorporate a structured process into their hiring practices where unbiased policies are adhered to by all parties involved in the vetting and acquisition of new talent. There are many technological tools available for companies and staffing firms which help remove the element of doubt when identifying candidates and aid in EEOC reporting, contrary to what was stated by someone in the aforementioned article. Once people are onboarded, these individuals should be provided access to the employee handbook that outlines what will not be tolerated in the workplace. (Employers must be familiar with their legal obligations as prescribed by national and state laws.) All employees, regardless of tenure and position, need to access the handbook and should be required to review and be given opportunity to ask questions if something is not easily understood. Many legal professionals recommend handbooks that outline general workplace policies and employees’ responsibilities, with emphasis on consistency and accountability. Further all employees, especially managers, need to be trained to identify what’s discriminatory and what’s not and to be provided resources to either wage complaints or manage complaints without suffering retribution. Above all, a governing power needs to be in place to ensure that consistency and adherence are being practiced by everyone within the organization.

What I mention here is important, albeit, just the tip of the iceberg. Much more is needed to eradicate discrimination in the workplace, but the most important steps are recognizing the signs (intentional or unintentional) and taking action to eliminate it from your business. Leadership needs to live up to their mission statements and create workplaces that value and recognize diverse contributions and further how this can tie into customer service delivery and positively affect the company’s bottom line. In recognizing that people are not commodities, but are contributors to the advancement of a company’s mission, the culture of the organization takes a different view of the human relationship with each person.

Lastly, until people reevaluate the attitude of “greed is good” and balance that with the greater good of humankind, discrimination will continue as part of the business machinery in this country. Will you be that person who steps up to make a difference?

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Hiring Without Bias 3 Steps Your Company Needs to Take

With the relentless media focus on the subject of diversity, you may think that bias in the hiring process is a well-controlled issue.

It’s not!

In fact, one of the biggest challenges and most frequent missteps of recruiters, hiring manager and companies is overlooking fair and impartial hiring practices, at every level of employment and for every type of position.

Overcoming these inclinations starts at the top, with a change of corporate culture. Once leadership recognizing that unconscious biases affect all decisions making, they can begin to improve their hiring practices with these three vital steps .

STEP ONE: BUILD AWARENESS

It’s human nature to make unconscious judgments based on personal values and predispositions. That’s why every staff member must acknowledge that bias in the workplace is real. After all, it is an offensive and risky practice, and in most cases, it is unintentionally carried out by good people.

Why does this unfairness exist in the workplace? For a number of reasons.

One cause is insecurity. Often, those in a position to carry out the hiring function feel threatened by a job candidate–perhaps concerned that he/she is smarter, better looking or even more well-connected.

Another possible motive for bias is perceived fit: the decision maker sometimes subconsciously select employees of a similar color, age, gender or background.

Sometimes, previous experiences lead to biased hiring decisions. For example, the belief that extroverts always make the best sales representatives or that long commutes breed excessive absenteeism are not factual, just anecdotal. (In fact, many people benefit from their long commute, using the time to relax, read or meditate.)

Finally, there may be cultural stereotypes that drive hiring decisions; deep seated negativity regarding numerous factors, including race, religion, sexual preference, and physical appearance.

Thankfully, there are tools to measures attitudes that team members may be unwilling or unable to recognize. One popular test is called The IAT (Implicit Association Test.) This online tool, developed by Harvard University, has been used to assess unconscious bias in the military health, education, law enforcement, fortune 500s and the media. Recognizing these inclinations (which are not only company-wide but society-wide) is necessary to establish organization-wide “buy-in” before developing fair hiring solutions.

STEP TWO: FORMALIZE TRAINING

Every company needs a formal process to address unfair hiring practices (not to mention overall bias in the workplace.) Many firms develop their own framework for educating their employees. Others prefer to sign on with one of the many vendors who offer subscription-based programs, online modules or in-person training programs to help companies lower their risk of hiring bias.

Most importantly, an effective training must provide a thoughtful strategic approach to hiring people in underrepresented groups. The most robust systems appraise and address every aspect of hiring, from the job posting, to the evaluation of resumes, to interviewing and even the negotiation/onboarding process.

Another important subject to be covered in a training program is comprehensive federal and local employment law, especially as it relates to biased hiring practices.

Moving past individual training, a training program should provide team-based hiring strategies complete with checks and balances that protect the organization from litigation. Structured criteria should include a resume screening process, pre-approved interview questions and a panel approach to assessing candidates in a fair, unbiased way.

STEP THREE: EVALUATE AND EVOLVE

Like other functions in the workplace, hiring should be audited and improved continuously– not a once-and-done initiative, but an ongoing mission. By reviewing hiring metrics, HR can continually evaluate and raise their standards to ensure ongoing fairness and in the hiring process. Overlooking this vital step will eventually lead to the hiring of less qualified candidates. And this can mean trouble to the bottom line. After all, in an increasingly competitive marketplace, where talent breeds profit, drawing from a balanced workforce is vital to success!

photo credit: number 3 via photopin (license)

Dos & Don’ts of Screening Your Candidates Online

Should employers use social media to screen candidates? A good question without a right answer; it’s a gray area both in the law and company policies, especially because many employers don’t even have a social media policy. However, there are pros and cons to utilizing social media and search engines in the hiring process, and hiring managers want to know—to snoop or not to snoop?

First, let’s take a look at how many in HR say that they use social media in the hiring process. A significant portion of employers do use social media but not for screening job candidates. According to recent data from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 77 percent of all employers surveyed “are increasingly using social networking sites for recruiting, primarily as a way to attract passive job candidates.” Far fewer employers — just 20 percent — use social sites or online search engines to screen job candidates.

Even with legal dangers overhead, some employers feel that using social media gives them another powerful tool to protect their interests, especially when it comes to hiring the right kinds of people and building an effective workforce. Take a look at these three key legal concerns.

Privacy: Employees and job applicants expect and are entitled to a reasonable level of privacy. State and federal laws, as well as the contractual terms for some social media services, may limit your reach into a prospect’s profile.

Discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and state laws prohibit employers from making hiring decisions based on protected class information — information that could be seen inadvertently on a job applicant’s profile.

Accuracy: The Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) requires maximum possible accuracy in background checks. If you can’t prove something, you shouldn’t use it.

Alongside the risks, there are seven crucial dos and don’ts as you determine whether or not you should be using social media in the hiring process.

  1. Do designate a project owner. Consider putting a knowledgeable, well-trained individual in charge of reviewing and vetting the information found on social sites before turning the information over to the hiring manager.
  2. Don’t ask candidates for passwords. It’s already illegal to request passwords in six states, and 21 additional states are considering similar legislation. Asking for passwords may also damage your company’s reputation (if candidates start spreading the word) and employment brand, making it harder for you to engage and hire top talent.
  3. Do consider FCRA implications.The FTC has been calling out web services for acting as consumer reporting agencies when supplying employers with aggregated social media data for employment. This means that employers who use such sites have to follow Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) procedures and obtain prior written consent from job candidates to conduct a search and also supply them with advance adverse action notices.
  4. Don’t believe everything you read and see online. Verifying the accuracy of information you find online can be extremely difficult, especially in a world of user-generated content, photo-altering software and open networks.
  5. Do beware of TMI (too much information). In fact, be prepared to find more information than you want, need or can use legally. A simple Facebook search could turn up information that, if used against a candidate, could result ina Title VII discrimination claim. Remember, information readily available on a public page (religion or race, for example, gleaned by glancing at a profile picture) is protected class information. And once your hiring manager sees it, you cannot “un-ring the bell.”
  6. Don’t use social media inconsistently. One danger of using social media lies in applying it inconsistently — in other words, conducting an exhaustive social search on one job candidate but doing only a cursory investigation on another. If your internal search practices are scrutinized, inconsistency could lead to legal problems.
  7. Do create a written policy for using social media in the background screening process. Make sure that applicants are not taken by surprise and are made aware of the policy in advance. Work with your attorney to make sure that the policy defines your search parameters, who reviews the results, privacy considerations and what information you are and are not looking for.

About the Author: Nick Fishman co-founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and serves as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President. He will be a guest on the December 10th #TChat Show.

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Age Bias At Work: Bad Business #TChat Recap

“Discrimination due to age is one of the great tragedies of modern life. The desire to work and be useful is what makes life worth living, and to be told your efforts are not needed because you are the wrong age is a crime.” Johnny Ball

Who wouldn’t agree with that statement, in theory? But in fact, age discrimination persists. Why? And what should talent-minded professionals do about it? These were the core issues we tackled at this week’s #TChat Twitter forum.

To help us take a collective look at the impact of age discrimination on today’s workforce, two of the HR community’s sharpest thought leaders joined our moderator, Cyndy Trivella:

Steve Levy, a prominent workforce sourcing expert and popular recruiting blogger.

Heather Bussing, an employment law attorney who is also a founding editorial advisory board member and contributor at HR Examiner.

Here are some top takeaways, followed by resource links and the #TChat highlights slideshow:

Ageism “Sniff Test”

TChatTwitter_logo_020813Age discrimination is often not as overt as other forms of bias. When interviewing for a position, older candidates may be told that they’re not the right “fit” for an organization, or they’re “overqualified” for a job. Younger job seekers may be told to pursue unpaid internships to “gain more experience.” Either scenario may be appropriate — but when a pattern emerges, it’s most likely a systemic problem. Similarly, if employees “of a certain age” are consistently left out of communication loops, meetings and business decisions, discrimination is a likely culprit.

Ageism can be a factor at any stage in our lives — and tension seems to be mounting at both ends of today’s workforce, as the economic slowdown continues and more employees are retiring later in life.

What’s The Source?

Discrimination based on age (or other arbitrary criteria) stems from our need to categorize the abundance of information that surrounds us each day. Classifying information helps us process the world more efficiently — but not always effectively.

Fear seems to be a common factor in age discrimination. We tend to feel more comfortable with things that are familiar, and we fear things that we don’t know or understand. An older worker may fear that a younger counterpart is more energetic, or offers more creative ideas. While a younger worker may fear that an older employee contributes more depth of knowledge in a particular area, or resists fresh ideas. These feelings may not be rational, but the fear can be very real. Yet, ironically, no one likes to be stereotyped.

Keeping Age Discrimination Out Of The Office

To move past age discrimination, we need to embrace diversity, in all of its forms. A culture of  inclusion starts with leaders who leave age at the door. Smart leaders know that a diverse workforce contributes to innovation, and adds to a company’s value in the marketplace. It creates a “virtuous cycle” effect that encourages more collaboration among teams and employees. On the other hand, a one-dimensional workforce can breed “group think” that weakens a company’s competitive position.

How Can Leaders Foster Workplace Diversity?

Start with the hiring process. Hire the best candidate for the job. Use performance based hiring to avoid age discrimination. Consciously strive for a fair, inclusive, transparent recruitment process.

Create a cross-mentoring program. This makes sense for employers in the face of today’s talent shortage. It encourages knowledge sharing and helps support succession planning. It can also boost employee engagement.

What Can Each Of Us Do?

Consider listening and inquiry your personal weapons in the war against age discrimination. Never stop learning — no matter what your age. Embrace technology and use it as a tool to network with others and learn from them. Look for opportunities to grow personally and professionally, and share ideas with others at social forums, like #TChat Twitter — where diverse thinking is always welcome!

For more inspiration, see resource links and #TChat event highlights in the Storify slideshow below. If this post inspires you, be sure to add a comment below or jump into the #TChat stream any time. In our world of work, everyone is welcome, at any age!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Age Discrimination Perception + Reality

SUN 10/6:

SteveandTim

Watch the #TChat Preview video now

#TChat Preview: TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald set the stage for this week’s event in a preview post that featured a fun G+ hangout video with guest Steve Levy. Check it out: “Old Dogs + New Tricks: Will HR Learn?”

TUE 10/8:

Related Post: This week’s other special guest, Heather Bussing, offered a very human perspective on discrimination in a post at HR Examiner. Read: “Why Age Discrimination Should Matter to You.”

WED 10/9:

Related Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro outlined 5 steps that business leaders should take in overcoming workplace age stereotypes. Read: “How To Break The Age Bias Habit.”

#TChat Twitter: This week, we by-passed #TChat Radio. Instead the entire community set the #TChat Twitter hashtag on fire, as our guests joined moderator Cyndy Trivella in a lively discussion about 6 key age discrimination issues. The hour flew by, as thousands of ideas and opinions hit the stream. For highlights, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Highlights: Age Discrimination Perception + Reality

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GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Steve Levy and Heather Bussing for shining a light on workplace age discrimination. We welcome your enthusiasm and perspectives anytime!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about age in the workplace? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week we focus on next-generation workplace leadership with our special guest, YouTern CEO, Mark Babbitt! Watch for more details in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues! So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your thoughts are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Tim Tyrell-Smith at flickr

How To Break The Age Bias Habit

Want to know a deep, dark secret? OK then. Just between us — there’s some truth in all those stereotypes that swirl around about Baby Boomers, Millennials and other generations. That’s actually why they became stereotypes in the first place.

But wait. There’s another truth that no one in the workplace can afford to ignore. Discrimination is a career killer. Age bias may be as old as the hills, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable or even legal to let it poison your company culture. And in today’s transparent world of work, that kind of behavior is bound to be exposed, sooner or later. So let’s step back and re-frame this issue.

Smart Leaders Know Age Is Not A Factor

Today’s global economy is highly competitive. Successful organizations need all the creative, useful ideas they can get. It doesn’t matter if the source is old, young or in between. As French playwright Moliere said, “I take my good where I find it.”

Yet the labels persist. You’ve heard it before: Gen Yers are lazy, entitled, and preoccupied with digital connections. Gen Xers are cynical, alouf, and make lousy team players. Baby Boomers are stodgy, inflexible, and can’t relate to younger people. Can you find individuals who perfectly fit these descriptions? Sure you can. But can you find many other people who smash these cliches to pieces? I certainly hope so! I’m one of them.

Removing Age From The Workforce Equation

If you’re serious about your success — as well as your organization’s success — you’ll reach to the best and brightest no matter how old or young they are. But how can you avoid the trap of generational stereotypes? Here are 5 steps to consider:

1) Be aware and be vigilant. Take a quick personal inventory. Do you see some signals that shouldn’t be there? You’re not alone. All of us let age stereotypes creep into our thought patterns and behavior. It happens more than most of us want to admit. Come on. Own up. Face it by formalizing it. List the age-related assumptions you make about people. Become mindful. You can’t stop stereotyping until you’re willing to recognize how you do it.

2) Disprove the stereotype. Now that you have your list, find people who make a mockery of it. The Gen Xer who has worked 80 hours a week at the same company since college; the Gen Yer who created a cohesive, winning team; the Boomer who invented a wildly exciting new technology product.

3) Retrain your brain. Now that you know who and how you stereotype, and you know how false and limiting your “reality” is, train yourself to stop believing the lie. Be prepared to practice. Making snap judgments about people based on obvious attributes is deeply ingrained in us all. Unlearning this behavior takes time, but every step is a move in the right direction. When you meet someone, pay attention to your internal response — both intellectual and emotional. If you stereotype them, consciously tell yourself to look past it, and instead look at other characteristics that are more relevant.

4) Be open to “see” the person “in 3D.” There’s a word for someone who doesn’t measure individuals by their unique strengths and talents. That word is “fool.” You’re working to build a successful career, project, or enterprise. Why in the world would you limit yourself by refusing help from willing and able contributors? Embrace the talent that is available to you. Judge people by their past performance and potential to add value in the future. Age is irrelevant in that context. You need everyone to deliver their best effort. Stay open to possibilities and reach out.

5 ) Make it a habit. The goal is to build a network that transcends stereotyping. Make a conscious effort, at least once a week, to spend time with someone whom you would have stereotyped in the past. If you’re a Gen Yer, take a Boomer out to lunch. Listen to their story and soak up lessons from their experience. If you’re a Boomer, seek out a Gen Yer to mentor. Ask what’s on their mind and how you can help. Then listen closely to how they respond. No matter what age you are, be willing to discuss personal limitations and ask for input and feedback. Too often we assume it’s a sign of weakness if we admit our concerns and shortcomings. But actually it’s a strength. As Moliere suggested, take your good where you find it. I’m not sure how old he was when he penned that advice, but honestly, it doesn’t matter!

Bottom line: In the workplace and in every other aspect of life, stereotyping is self-destructive. It denies our basic humanity, and the ability we all have to transcend superficial categorization. Smash stereotypes, celebrate individuality, and you will learn, grow, and build stronger relationships. You’ll also be a business leader that others will want to follow.

(Editor’s Note: Join the TalentCulture community tonight, Oct 9 from 7-8pm ET, at #TChat Twitter,  where we’re discussing age-based discrimination in the workplace. Everyone is welcome! Learn more in the preview post…)

(Editor’s Note: Meghan M. Biro is an active contributor to Forbes.com. This article is adapted from her Forbes blog, with permission.)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Best-of-All-Ages Workplace #TChat Recap

Meeting of the Minds — Leaving Age at the Door

It can be done. Really. I’ve experienced it first-hand. I imagine you have, too. Many different people of all generations, gender, race, shapes and sizes can come together to create a unique, powerful and separate “whole.”

Think of industry conferences. Birds of a feather — flying in from near and far — converging in tiny groups — gathering around tables in a gigantic ballroom. We arrive brimming with energy and ideas to share. We offer attention and interest to others. We flock together — eager to exchange, to learn, to expand our perspective, to imagine possibilities.

Together We ARE Better

We’re united by our passion for world-of-work topics. Topics that touch us all, everyday — in the main office, the home office and the office-like locales in between. This is the beauty of social learning environments. But, of course, like all things social, this is not a homogeneous pack, and our behavior reflects that reality.

Some cluster with peers from their current work groups. Others gravitate to colleagues from long ago in their careers — reconnecting and catching up. Still others seem slightly disconnected, as they focus intently on real-time smart phone connections. On occasion, we hear a witty quip that hints at generational differences, like, “What if I’m really not Pinterested in that social site?”

Some managers and subordinates sit side-by-side, joking with one another about why they’re so afraid to tweet on behalf of their company, even after receiving formal permission. And there are thought leaders and panelists of all generations, discussing the value of trading isolated metrics for integrated analysis that can elevate business by driving growth, engagement and the bottom line.

No, we don’t all work together in the same mother ship. But then again, we kinda do. After all, with all of its many variations, there really is only one world of work.

A Collaborative Conference Snapshot

SourcingRecruiting_Summit2013_Logo-700pixelsThis model came to life for me this week at the Recruiting Trends Social Sourcing and Recruitment Summit in Washington, DC. An eclectic room, for sure, although many participants work for government agencies, or government contractors — not the first thing that springs to mind when we think of organizations at the forefront of open, transparent, social business models. However, Meghan M. Biro and I moderated a discussion with some very smart folk about social business and social HR trends and issues. And the end of the day, we all agreed that a sound social recruiting strategy comes from understanding how different social sites complement one another, not how they compete.

In many ways, it echoes what we learned from this week’s #TChat conversations about age bias in the workplace. Organizations are comprised of many people who span multiple generations. Through workplace collaboration, we can dispel harmful stereotypes, while simultaneously gaining business value by leveraging the complementary strengths of team members.

#TChat Week-in-Review: Guests

It truly takes a “village” to run a professional community — and this week proved the point, as we took on “The No Labels Workforce.” Experts from across all generations helped us examine myths and truths that perpetuate workplace stereotypes, and helped us consider how to move beyond those perceptions.

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Watch videos with Ashley Lauren Perez & John Wilson

The common thread throughout this week was Ashley Lauren Perez, a WilsonHCG Sourcing Specialist, who is also a valued #TChat Ambassador and a highly regarded HR blogger in her own right. Thank you Ashley, for your contributions to the TalentCulture community – not just this week, but on an ongoing basis! And thanks to everyone else who participated!

#TChat Week-in-Review: Resources

SAT 4/6  Google+ Hangout “sneak peek” videos:  Our community manager Tim McDonald, briefly framed the week’s issues with two human resources management experts from WilsonHCG John Wilson, Founder and CEO, and Ashley Lauren Perez.

SUN 4/7  Forbes.com column: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, tackled generational bias head-on in her poast, 5 Ways to Smash Generational Stereotypes.

MON 4/8  We outlined the week’s theme and key questions in the #TChat Preview: Age at Work: Just a Number?

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Listen to the #TChat Radio show recording now

TUE 4/9  #TChat Radio: Host Meghan Biro examined workplace age bias with three talent management experts — WilsonHCG Recruiting Director Cynthia Cancio and Sourcing Specialist Ashley Lauren Perez; along with Recruiting Trends’ Sr. Director, Anna Brekka,

Ashley also contributed a thoughtful blog post about this topic: Age at Work: Moving Beyond Birthdays

WED 4/10  #TChat Twitter The whole community came together on the Twitter stream to talk about age in the workplace — similarities and differences, strengths and weaknesses, myths and realities. As you can imagine, there was no shortage of personal opinions, professional perspectives and ideas for how we can let go of stereotypes and leverage talent, across generations. In

#TChat Twitter Highlights Slideshow: “Age at Work: Just a Number?”

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

SPECIAL THANKS: Again, thanks to Ashley Lauren Perez, John WilsonAnna Brekka, and Cynthia Cancio for contributing your time and expertise to help us dig deeper into generational biases in the workplace. Your insights and expertise brought depth and dimension to the discussion.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about “humans as a service” or related issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we’ll take a look at the trends and technologies that are defining today’s world of work, with our special guest, Elliot Clark, CEO & Chairman of SharedXpertise, the publishers of HRO Today.

Until then, we’ll continue the World of Work conversation each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned blog/community website. The lights are always on at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image credit: Pixabay

Age at Work: Just a Number? #TChat Preview

(Editorial Note: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? See The Best-of-All-Ages Workplace #TChat Recap)

What’s the truth about the interplay of generations in today’s workplace? Are we moving forward, or do “generation gaps” still hold us to the past?

Is this topic old news? I feel like it might be. Not sure if it’s just me. Perhaps I’m just wishfully thinking we should have moved on by now. But it’s important. And it deserves another look.

Age Stereotypes: A Reality Check

So, just between us, let me ask: Do you still catch yourself making snap judgments about people based solely on their age? Boomers, Gen Y, Gen X…whatever.  We fret over how to recruit Millennials. We wonder how to manage them versus others. Does all this conscious attention to generational differences help or hinder progress?

Age-based stereotyping is deeply ingrained in our history, our culture and our collective social psyche. Now, in the 21st century world of work, it holds back individual advancement, business performance and innovation. But how do we move past reactions that seem almost second-nature? That’s the topic we’re tackling this week, in the TalentCulture community.

Getting Over Generational Bias: Growing Pains

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Watch the #TChat “Sneak Peek” videos now…

To begin the conversation, I suggested ways to smash age-based stereotypes in my Forbes.com column yesterday.

Rethinking stereotypes requires some deep internal soul searching. Gaining self awareness is the first step — and it’s not necessarily easy.

Facing your biases is an emotional exercise, as well as an intellectual one. But the process can be highly rewarding for professionals and the companies they serve. Fortunately, now there’s strength in numbers, as our #TChat forums take on generational stereotypes as a collaborative effort.

#TChat Weekly Topic: The “No Labels” Workforce

Leading us through this week’s conversation are two human resources management experts from WilsonHCG John Wilson, Founder and CEO, and Ashley Lauren Perez, Sourcing Specialist. Both John and Ashley helped us set the stage for this week’s topic in brief Google+ Hangout “sneak peek” videos. Check them out now!

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Tune into #TChat Radio live on Tuesday or on-demand after

I hope you’ll plan to join us at #TChat events this week, where we’ll take a closer look at labels in the workplace, and how to build cultures that value diversity in all of its forms:

As always, throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter stream and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us and share your thoughts, concerns, opinions and ideas.

#TChat Weekly Questions

Why not start now? Take a moment to consider this week’s discussion guide and tell us what you think. Your comments are welcome, early and often:

Q1:  In the world of work, how are the generations the same? Why?
Q2:  With Millennials, we have myriad misconceptions. But for all generations, what are the most pervasive?
Q3:  What is the role of leaders in helping to smash stereotypes about generations in the workforce?
Q4:  Does tech facilitate cross-generational interaction? Why/not? How can we forge more connections?
Q5:  Innovation and free-thinking go hand-in-hand. But does innovation ever encourage age stereotyping? Why?

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Flickr – Mark Turnauckas

 

"No Labels" Workforce: Sneak Peek Videos

(Editorial Note: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? See The Best-of-All-Ages Workplace #TChat Recap)

Age discrimination. Sometimes it’s very subtle. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious. Either way, it still can play a role in workplace culture. How can organizations move beyond the labels that hold back individuals, teams and corporate performance?

That’s our focus this week in the TalentCulture community. Our guests sat down for several minutes in Google+ Hangouts with me to discuss several key issues. Check it out:

One of our very own #TChat Ambassadors, Ashley Lauren Perez, defines key terms and offers advice for professionals who are considered part of “Generation Y”…

Next, Ashley’s boss, John Wilson, Founder and CEO WilsonHCG.com briefly explains why labels don’t make sense in the world of work…

It promises to be a fascinating week! The more voices who join the conversation, the better.

So join us at #TChat events this week, where we’ll take a closer look at labels in the workplace, and how to build cultures that value diversity in all of its forms:

NOTE: If you don’t see the G+ Hangout videos above in this post, you can watch them on YouTube:

“No Labels” Workforce: Sneak Peek Videos

(Editorial Note: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? See The Best-of-All-Ages Workplace #TChat Recap)

Age discrimination. Sometimes it’s very subtle. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious. Either way, it still can play a role in workplace culture. How can organizations move beyond the labels that hold back individuals, teams and corporate performance?

That’s our focus this week in the TalentCulture community. Our guests sat down for several minutes in Google+ Hangouts with me to discuss several key issues. Check it out:

One of our very own #TChat Ambassadors, Ashley Lauren Perez, defines key terms and offers advice for professionals who are considered part of “Generation Y”…

Next, Ashley’s boss, John Wilson, Founder and CEO WilsonHCG.com briefly explains why labels don’t make sense in the world of work…

It promises to be a fascinating week! The more voices who join the conversation, the better.

So join us at #TChat events this week, where we’ll take a closer look at labels in the workplace, and how to build cultures that value diversity in all of its forms:

NOTE: If you don’t see the G+ Hangout videos above in this post, you can watch them on YouTube:

Beauty is Pain: An Overlooked Discrimination

As it is National Disability Awareness month; I recently presented on bias-free interviewing at my Company’s Operations Conference. In addition to going over the legal aspects of discrimination; we talked extensively about how to interview and how to avoid natural biases. It got me thinking about another kind of discrimination that’s common in the workplace; though one would hardly call it a ‘disability:’  the beauty bias.

I had always assumed that there were hiring managers that would tend to hire people who are more attractive, since we all hear statistics that back up that assertion; such as how taller men and women make more money than their shorter counter-parts (over $750/inch over 5’6”!).  Or who can forget the famous Kelly Girls of times past?  ‘Beautiful’ was unabashedly encouraged to apply; not only did it help them catch a job…. But a husband, too!  Needless to say, in my role as Head of Corporate HR; I strive to ensure we have an inclusive workplace; as free from prejudice as possible.

That said, when it comes to the “beauty bias?” I do think attractive men are much more likely to get hired by other men and women; but attractive women are likely to struggle when the hiring manager is a woman or when the position is considered “masculine” in nature.

“Masculine” Jobs

A study by Ken Podratz, of Rice University, found that while average-looking and attractive men were picked more often for jobs such as switchboard operator or tow-truck driver; beautiful women lost these same positions to less attractive females. In some jobs, an employer’s gender was a factor: Men were eager to place female beauties in jobs that emphasize appearance or interpersonal contact; like receptionists, secretaries, or public relations professionals.  However, female employers were less willing to do so.  When it came to “male-oriented” jobs or jobs in which appearance wasn’t considered important; both men and women opted for the less attractive women.

The reason? “Physical attractiveness is correlated with perceived femininity in women,” says Podratz. “If a highly attractive female applies for a hypermasculine job such as truck driver or security guard; she is likely to be seen as less capable of meeting the physical demands of the job.” These results “open up a can of worms,” says Podratz, who, in this study, asked 66 subjects to consider 204 headshots, all rated for attractiveness, as candidates for jobs.   Looks like there’s a whole new reason for women to say, “Don’t hate [on] me because I’m beautiful.”

Doubly so if she happens to be working for a Queen Bee.

Queen Bee Syndrome

Question:  How many women were in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet?
Answer: One (and she was no looker!).

The Queen Bee” syndrome was first defined by G.L. Staines, T.E. Jayaratne, and C. Tavris in 1973. It describes a woman in a position of authority who views or treats subordinates more critically if they are female.  Women who are considered beautiful by the Queen Bee may suffer even more from her aggression.  They often see other, usually younger, women as competitors and will refuse to help them advance within a company; preferring to mentor a male over a female employee. Some “queen bees” may even actively take steps to hinder another woman’s advancement as they are seen as direct competitors.  And goodness help the beauty that the Queen Bee sees as competition not only in the workplace; but as someone who might detract from her self image.

When it Comes to Beauty; Proof is in the Pudding

Newsweek polled hiring managers about a woman’s level of attractiveness in the work place. Not surprisingly, women in the workplace are often faced with a double bind: they are expected to be sexy but can be punished for being too attractive. Sixty-one percent of the hiring managers that were  surveyed—60 percent of whom were men—said they believe a woman would benefit from wearing clothing that shows off her figure at work. Meanwhile, 47 percent of those same managers said they believe some women are penalized for being too good-looking in the office.  As a whole, women are perceived to benefit more from their looks: 39 percent of managers believe that being “very good-looking” is more of an advantage for women than men, while only 16 percent believe the opposite—that it’s more beneficial to men than to women.

Early into my HR career I ran into this lady in the restroom in the building where we had our Corporate Offices.  She was, by all accounts, gorgeous:  blue, big-eyed, tall, leggy blonde without a trace of discernable body fat.  She was also crying.  When I asked her what was wrong; she explained she had just interviewed for a Sales Management role for her Employer (not my Company, thankfully).  Her sales were higher than the most of her team; and she also had a PhD in Consumer Psychology!  She went on to say that her VP had told her that she’d be better off “without the stress” of management & that she was “made for the Sales floor.”  I did my best to console her; but it got me to thinking:  For her, and probably many others… Beauty Equated to Professional Pain.

Maybe there was a legitimate reason she was denied the promotion she sought that she failed to mention; but I realized being beautiful came with its own set of issues… it wasn’t an automatic pass to Easy Street.  That Sales lady was suffering… even if only in her mind it was because of that long blonde hair, baby blue eyes, and mile long legs.  She was fighting a battle just like the rest of us; and likely still is… except she’s doing it in size 4 Calvin Klein shift dresses and Manolos.  Suddenly my comfortable Nine West heels felt even better than they had moments before.

I came to understand that we, as a society, set up the very situations that create this continued & often overlooked type of discrimination in the workplace.  It’s just as inappropriate to deny a qualified worker employment or advancement opportunities on the basis that they’re “beautiful” as it is to shut out the person in a wheelchair.   And this month, when once again as a Nation we shine a spotlight on discriminatory employment practices; maybe we should all, as Leaders, make a conscious effort to leave the pain that comes with beauty out of the workplace and to the footwear we choose to wear… where it belongs.

Author’s note:  I wrote this piece as part of a collaborative project with Crystal Miller; who was writing an article for MonsterThinking.  The two of us have talked for ages about while there is much said & written about discrimination due to race, religion, disability, and gender in general; the bias for & against beauty is one that’s often overlooked in the world of work.  You can see her article on MonsterThinking.Com, “Beauty at Work:  How Physical Appearance Impacts Job Search & Careers”  here.

Image Credit: GiniMiniGi via stock.xchng

Business, Fairness Need Not Apply: #TChat Recap

The diversity perception is much different in practice. The reality is, we discriminate; we stink at giving folks a fair shake, especially when they’re not familiar.

Many of us in the world of work try to be fair, try not to choose one applicant or an internal candidate over another because of attractiveness, ethnicity, religious affiliation, physical capacity and many other attributes, including innovative like-mindedness, which isn’t the same as diversity of thought.

But we prefer the attractive familiar, however subjective, both physically and mentally.

According to a new study by a team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston University and Proctor & Gamble, makeup makes women appear more attractive and competent.

“The research reveals that when viewers saw a female face for 250 milliseconds, women who wore color cosmetics rated more highly in the categories of attractiveness, competence, likability and trustworthiness. However, when participants were allowed to look at the faces for a longer period of time, while the ratings for competence and attractiveness stayed the same, the ratings for likability and trustworthiness changed based on specific makeup looks.”

Yep, we’re superficial like that. The heroines are pretty and competent and the villains are ugly and incompetent.

Sarah Palin is hot, but Hillary Clinton is not. Right?

Psychological theory suggests that we often rely on the recognition heuristic, choosing the option that we recognize over the one we don’t. If we interview two job applicants, one of which is more similar to us physically and mentally, that applicant will usually get the edge.

Personally, I’ve tried to break through that practice in previous hiring incarnations. I would like to think that I’ve hired based on quality of fit, not familiarity. Maybe I have at times. I hope so. If you and you organization feel that you’ve broken the discrimination barrier, then show us your diverse employed huddled masses on your career sites, not stock photos of airbrushed pretty models wearing makeup.

On the other hand, while I’m all about the best talent working for me, regardless of background, businesses aren’t social programs and shouldn’t be treated as such. In fact, the best business leaders could give a hoot about tolerance and diversity when they want their folks to be the very best they can be — for the themselves and the business.

Encouraging diversity of thought for driving innovation and growth regardless of background should be the best practice, but fairness need not apply. Get the edge by becoming familiar with the unfamiliar, if there’s a quality of hire fit.

We appreciate everyone who tackled a difficult topic with us in 140 characters! We appreciate our talent community. Each of you for you.

1)      Does diversity still matter in the new world of work?  Should it? 

2)      What are some of the benefits of building and maintaining a diverse workforce?

3)      What are some of the biggest misconceptions or myths surrounding diversity & inclusion?

4)      Who should be responsible for driving diversity in an organization?

5)      What does a diverse workforce look like?  How can its business impact be measured?

6)      What’s the future of diversity?  How do you see attitudes or approaches evolving over the next 10 years?

The #TChat Twitter chat and #TChat Radio are created and hosted by @MeghanMBiro @KevinWGrossman and powered by our partners @TalentCulture @Monster_WORKS @MonsterCareers @HRmarketer @Focus and our community.