Announcements2 min read

New industry report from Hive Learning finds that D&I leaders think unconscious bias training is ineffective at building a more inclusive culture

4 March 2020, London / New York: Hive Learning — the peer learning platform for building culture-critical skills at scale — surveyed D&I leaders from the world’s most influential organizations and found that not one of them thought unconscious bias training could create lasting behavior change.

Over the last 100 years, countless pieces of academic research, most recent of which comes from Harvard University, have indicated that bias training is one of the least effective ways to create a more diverse workforce.

Hive Learning conducted a series of structured discussions with 30 influential leaders on the question ‘If unconscious bias training doesn’t work, what’s the alternative?’.

This came after the peer learning business — who speak to 100s of changemakers each week — observed an increasing number of D&I leaders reporting that they didn’t believe in unconscious bias training, while still deploying it in their organizations — in fact, US companies alone spend a healthy $8 billion a year on it.

The report uncovered that while most D&I leaders agree unconscious bias training can be a powerful tool for opening up a dialogue about bias and creating awareness, 69% of participants felt it only had a positive impact when coupled with other initiatives.

Not one of these D&I leaders felt that unconscious bias training was effective at driving lasting behavior change.

One leader from a 5,000+ person global media agency comments:

“People have to take responsibility for their actions and often bias training gives people a free pass — it doesn’t encourage you to challenge yourself or give you the tools to do something with it.”

Hive Learning’s report unpacks the data and shares six practical ways to give your people the tools to circumvent bias, including by giving people the tools to take tiny actions against bias every day.

Hive Learning Diversity & Inclusion Director, Fiona Young, comments:

“Building a culture of inclusion remains a critical priority for many of the world’s leading organizations – and creating that culture is crucial if we want diverse teams to thrive. It’s surprising that many organizations focus exclusively on unconscious bias training. And while this can absolutely drive awareness, I think the evidence is pretty clear that it fails to drive widespread culture change.

“Instead of focusing training on shifting our personal biases — which is exceptionally difficult to do — the most successful organizations focus on changing everyday behaviors.

“Looking at alternatives to unconscious bias training is critical for organizations that want to move the needle on inclusion. Our digital toolkit – Inclusion Works – helps people embed tiny but powerful habits of inclusion into their daily routine. With one client we saw how when everyone started practising those tiny actions and habits, it created massive ripples of culture change. In fact, it drove 88% of participants to take action against bias in under two months.”

For more information and to read the full report, click here.

– Ends –

Notes to Editors

About Inclusion Works Pulse Reports

Inclusion Works Pulse Reports are a series of pointed, focused and action-orientated pulse reports curated from insights and feedback from the world’s most innovative leaders. The reports aim to uncover the root cause of the challenges experienced by culture leaders and playback the most practical insights that can be applied right away to drive results.

Read the latest Inclusion Works pulse report here.

About Hive Learning

Hive Learning is the peer learning platform for building culture-critical skills at scale. Our unique combination of a mobile-first peer learning platform, action-orientated content programs, and agile learning activation services, help organizations develop the culture critical for growth — specializing in inclusion, leadership, innovation, and wellbeing.

Hive Learning partners with more than 50 leading organizations, including Jaguar Land Rover, Sky, PepsiCo, Deloitte, The Football Association and the International Olympic Committee.

Founded by world-renowned coach Sir Clive Woodward and backed by the UK’s leading Venture Builder, Blenheim Chalcot, Hive Learning has a heritage of high performance and is on a mission to help people get better together every day.

Visit hivelearning.com to learn more.

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