Research shows that everyone has bias - a positive or negative preference for things, individuals, or groups shaped by our individual experiences. Some bias can be appropriate (like an assumption that it could be dangerous to jump from a substantial height), but when negative stereotypes are applied to people, everyone loses. To foster an inclusive culture, it’s important for employees to understand unconscious bias, become aware of biases that they may have, and to understand the workplace impact.
In 2016, Franklin Templeton added unconscious bias learning resources to our D&I education tools, accessible by all employees on our D&I intranet site. Content includes awareness that unconscious bias is normal and a part of all of us, tools for identifying personal potential biases, and tips to mitigate unconscious bias (for employees and leaders). In 2017, we began offering facilitated Exploring Unconscious Bias discussion forums for leadership teams. The goal of these forums is for leaders to understand that unconscious bias can’t be completely removed from an individual’s way of thinking, but can be mitigated in their business processes and leadership norms.
Franklin Templeton employees are building their awareness and understanding of unconscious bias. Leadership teams are examining where bias appears in their recruiting and interviewing practices, performance management and decision-making processes, and they are setting goals to apply best practices to minimize the effects of bias.