Employers Guide: Sexual Harassment and Unconscious Bias
March is Women’s History Month, which makes for a perfect time to commemorate the contributions and achievements of extraordinary women in the workplace and to focus attention on ensuring your company is a place that fosters inclusivity and gender diversity. Prioritizing gender equality does not mean you need a complete overhaul of your organization. By bringing Bridge Safety Consultants’ Unconscious Bias training and Sexual Harassment workshops to your employees, you are taking a pivotal step towards gender inclusivity, which is great for business.
Gender Inclusion: Good for Business
Women control over $20 trillion USD of total consumer spending globally and make or influence 80% of buying decisions globally.[i] Research shows that gender inclusion in organizations is overall good for business. Operationalizing gender inclusion makes a difference because internal policies and practices have a positive impact on sales and allow the business to tap into new markets. Bringing a gender inclusion focus into the culture of an organization will facilitate the breakdown of unconscious bias. Using words or adhering to policies that exclude or alienate people often happens accidentally, but that doesn’t make the result any less traumatic.
Ensuring your business uses language that is inclusive of all genders is increasingly important as Millennials and Gen Z accumulate increasing spending power. According to a Pew Research Center finding, which surveyed 10,682 U.S. adults ages 18 and older and 920 teens ages 13 to 17, 35% of Gen Z and 25% of Millennials know someone who prefers gender-neutral pronouns. Keeping up with the zeitgeist when it comes to inclusivity is critical to ensuring your company doesn’t fall behind the times. A brand that embraces inclusive language and makes diversity a priority can connect with a wider range of consumers on a more meaningful level. Some steps are quite simple; A report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that avoiding masculine pronouns actually helped reduce people’s biases among those who heard the language, boosting positive feelings toward other genders.[ii]
Bias is a survival tactic; our brains are hardwired to categorize things we encounter in order to make sense of the complicated world around us. Unfortunately, biases can lead to prejudices, which allows for egregious inequalities to form between different demographics. Gender bias is the tendency to prefer one gender over another, and it is a form of unconscious bias or implicit bias. At Bridge Safety Consultants we offer unconscious bias training that covers not just gender bias, but other forms of implicit bias that may affect your workplace as well. The success of our training is in a large part due to our ability to engage attendees in a guilt-free space that uses real-life examples to analyze, realize, and discuss without judgment. This makes our training not only more enjoyable but more memorable as well.
Sexual Harassment Training
Despite great strides that have been taken towards increased prosecution of sexual harassment in the workplace, at least a quarter of women experience sexual harassment in the workplace, and a study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that, in some reports, that number is as high as 85 percent. By bringing Bridge Safety Consultants’ sexual harassment training program into your workplace, you not only foster safety within your business for all genders but help mitigate the economic cost of a sexual harassment lawsuit. As with our unconscious bias training, our approach is to inform rather than warn, demonstrate rather than lecture, and engage the attendees by asking and answering questions. Our trainings are humor-based, which helps us connect with your employees on an emotional level. We also recognize that not all workplaces are the same and will tailor our training to suit your needs. To find out more about our training programs and how we can help you support your employees, please contact us here.