Google Teaches Employees About Unconscious Bias

In talks and videos, Google is teaching its employees about unconscious bias. Puzzled by its lack of employee diversity, the company has identified bias as a possible contributor. SVP of People Operations Laszlo Bock is leading the effort based on research from Yale University, which found that, "science professors at American universities widely regard female undergraduates as less competent than male students with the same accomplishments and skills." 

An employee video asks, "What would the world like like if everybody were aware of the stereotypes that they have and the biases that they have?"

The initiative, further explained on Google's blog, encourages people to take four steps to reduce bias: 

  • Gather facts.
  • Create a structure for making decisions. 
  • Be mindful of subtle cues.
  • Foster awareness. Hold yourself - and your colleagues - accountable. 

Discussion Starters:

  • Watch the video. What messages do you find useful, and which are not? What could improve the video for employees?
  • What's your view of Google's approach? Will it help the company reach its objectives, in part, to increase the number of women in leadership positions?