In the workplace, just like society, there is an unconscious bias that favors men. It is not typically the direct fault of leaders today rather it was inherited from those who established corporate America in the past. This is known as ‘second generation bias’—something passed down to us. Because of this phenomenon, hiring quotas alone will never resolve gender inequality in the workplace. Putting a woman in an executive position under these conditions is often just setting her up for failure. The problem is much deeper than simply increasing female representation in senior roles. What needs to change is centuries of brain conditioning—for both men and women.
First of all, let me express how deeply sympathetic I am towards those who are struggling with anxiety and fear in the current global health crisis (especially those hit the hardest). I am working very hard myself to not give in to profound pessimism, but let me try and make an important distinction. While it is appropriate to have a high level of concern, panic can be both harmful and unhelpful. When you are concerned, that means you judge something to be a matter of importance. Panic refers to uncontrollable fear and anxiety, which can be highly destructive. Stress, fear, and panic produce high levels of cortisol, which not only can trigger depression, high blood pressure, a lowered immune system, ulcers, and migraines, but can also impair cognitive performance. That means just when you need your wits about you, your mental capacities are diminished.
No one who is straight, or who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth, knows what it’s like to face misunderstanding, unfairness, and ridicule over their sexual orientation or gender identity – so I don’t pretend to speak for the LGBT community. But I can lend my support by telling how I overcame my own heterosexism and homophobia, in hopes of helping others learn to overcome theirs.
One diversity issue that is particularly challenging and complex is religious diversity. Every single person who enters your workplace has an opinion about religion—sometimes a very strong one. So a lot of workplaces choose to ignore the subject completely to avoid potential controversy. But since being religious, or spiritual, is so important to the vast majority of the American population, do we actually increase the risk of offending coworkers and customers by remaining ignorant?
When customers are asked to rate the service they receive (on a scale of 1 to 5), have you ever wondered what they base their decision on? You may be thinking of factors like cost, quality, variety, timeliness, or other things particular to your products or services. If you do a good job on those fronts, you’ll likely have a satisfied customer (they’ll give you a 4). But what researchers have learned is that customer satisfaction isn’t enough if you want a successful business—because a satisfied customer is not necessarily a loyal customer. Someone who gives you a 4 is six times more likely to go somewhere else, compared to someone who gives you a 5. What does it take to earn a 5?
Did you know that over two-thirds of the American workforce is either unhappy with their job or just doing it for the money? The number of employees that are engaged at any level is less than 32%. So it’s safe to say that the majority of the workforce struggles from time to time with low morale, a lack of enthusiasm, and possibly even burnout.
Everybody loves a comeback story—whether it’s in sports, the movies, or real life—where somebody overcomes adversity, beats the odds and snatches victory from defeat. It usually comes down to a defining moment when everything is on the line, and they quietly tell themselves “I got this”.
the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team just won the World Cup (again). They are unquestionably the most dominant and successful woman’s team in soccer. Despite their achievements they are paid significantly less than players on the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team–who didn’t even qualify for the last World Cup. When they won the game fans weren’t chanting “U-S-A”, they were chanting “Equal Pay”.