Evonik

Breaking Down Prejudices and Making Better Decisions

Challenge

One of the five mission statements of the Evonik Industries Diversity Council reads as follows: “We are aware that our prejudices are a roadblock to diversity, and so we are consistently working on methods and strategies for overcoming them.” For this reason, Diversity Council (Group-wide steering committee for diversity activities) launched a worldwide series of workshops to heighten our awareness of our own biases.

Actions

The aim of the workshops was to understand how the brain processes information. Socialization, cultural differences, background, and education play an important role here and can distort our decision-making. The following are some of the questions addressed: How can I prevent emerging prejudices in stressful situations? How can I better control my own image of values ​​towards colleagues? How can we integrate differences more easily and use diversity through conscious action?

At the moment, the Diversity Council is working on a concept of how to further develop trainings within the organization. In order to minimize the risk of the "stereotypical trap" in the future, it is also being investigated which processes are particularly susceptible to unconscious bias. Besides the workshop, Evonik also offers online content for its employees on addressing unconscious bias. This online guided learning journey presents, among other things, the five dimensions of diversity on which Evonik particularly focuses on. Employees learn how to overcome unconscious biases. In addition to the theoretical aspects, they gain an insight into the various initiatives Evonik has already taken to increase diversity. The employees can also get an impression of what they themselves can contribute to this topic. Participants can expect learning content in blended learning format, videos, interactive sequences and detailed information on Evonik's current initiatives.

Outcomes

In a more conscious effort to address unconscious biases, over 200 managers and talents took part in a worldwide workshop series on dealing with prejudices. Diversity and unconscious bias online training module is freely available to all employees which is accessed by over 730 users. The topic has also been integrated in other leadership development programs across various levels. 

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