After declaring publicly in June 2020 that racism and prejudice have no place in a society based on equality, Ameritas President and CEO William W. Lester pledged to do more. Our challenge is to provide implicit bias training for Ameritas leaders, a high priority in implementing an expanded inclusion and diversity strategy.
Educate and raise awareness among our leaders about implicit bias, helping them identify their own biases and develop a personal plan for improvement with guidance from an expert in the field. Provide complementary training materials to share with all our associates throughout the organization.
Ameritas started the conversation about implicit bias in October 2020 at a meeting of about 85 senior Ameritas leaders who serve in an advisory capacity to the enterprise. They heard from a leadership, diversity and inclusion scholar who described her personal journey as an immigrant and why inclusion and diversity are so important. She acknowledged people worry about making mistakes as they seek to become more inclusive, noting the way to address that is with humility and by recognizing that no one has all the answers. Implicit bias training, bias assessments and one-on-one counseling sessions with these leaders is ongoing.
This is the right thing to do. Diverse teams with varied backgrounds make stronger, smarter decisions by welcoming and drawing on the value of unique personal experiences and opinions. An intentional effort in this area is important to helping us nurture an inclusive culture and diverse associate community.