The last event focused on connecting ambition with capital and the impact of reduced access to financial and social capital on BAME entrepreneurs. Bias is in the financial services sector is also a factor. The same factors are well-documented barriers to social mobility in employment.
We all suffer from bias. We are programmed by our upbringing, life-experience, education, class, faith, sexuality, sex, the books we read, family political persuasion, even Disney films -a and I could go on. It is critical that we level the playing field and that we connect talent and hard work with employment opportunities, without barriers. Throughout my professional career (lawyer, banker, corporate finance adviser, entrepreneur, non executive director) I have fought against all types of bias. I was very aware of how my education, ethnicity and even accent would be perceived in the City of London (Wall Street). The research (McKinsey) is clear that diverse businesses are better businesses; they are in fact more profitable. It is now the CEO's job to ensure that their business is diverse and inclusive. But, in many cases things are still going backwards - whether in FTSE-100 baordrooms or in middle management.
Bias in the recruitment process needs to be irradiated, but whose responsibility is it? As John Amechi pointed out in this video, it is as much a personal responsibility for actions as it is any employer duty to rectify behaviours. Is 'unonscious bias' just a term that is used to make people feel better about themselves as they act in ways that are unacceptable?
I don't pretend to be an expert on this specific topic, so I am once again pleased to be joined by several people who most certainly are:
A globally recognised expert in talent, diversity and inclusion.
Roland White: Global Director of Diversity & Inclusion - Microsoft
Clubhouse is still in beta and invite only. Join the room here at 6pm on Saturday, 13th February.