Unconscious Bias Training at Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc.
We knew that to continue to excel, our leaders and employees needed to better understand – and then work to eliminate – the unconscious bias that influences our daily interactions and key business decisions.
We partnered with the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI) to deliver a program called DECIDE: The Neuroscience of Breaking Bias.
The focus was on taking bias out of our decision-making process by introducing a clear framework that includes three simple steps: 1) Accept that we are biased, 2) Label the type of bias likely to occur (using the SEEDS Model®), and 3) Mitigate the bias using the appropriate strategy.
Our approach was designed to reach every individual in our organization. Senior leaders, portfolio managers and investment analysts participated in an onsite workshop. Mid-level and front-line leaders completed an online campaign consisting of videos, research summaries and practice tools. Individual contributors were exposed to the concepts through a video and activity guide. To continue this momentum, we’re planning booster sessions and additional activities in 2019 to reinforce the concepts.
In a post-training survey, a majority of leaders indicated they were either extremely prepared or very prepared to label bias – and now we’re clearly beginning to see this understanding translate to action through several examples across the organization.
At Waddell & Reed, we strongly believe in having a values-based culture and a purpose-driven Company. Having an organization of diverse thoughts, perspectives, backgrounds and experiences is absolutely essential for us moving forward. We know that embracing our differences and creating a culture where everyone feels their uniqueness is valued and respected will only make us stronger. I am proud to make this pledge and partner with other firms to continually make advancements in the future.