Inclusion should be at the core of everything we do – whether it’s in the workplace, a sporting team, school or even at home.
Growing up, I was taught to always treat people how I would want to be treated. Throughout my 20 year career and life in general , I have always practised this value to ensure every encounter I have is respectful.
Recently I undertook an inclusion training course recommended by Conversation Co which covered a range of topics including age, gender, culture, LGBTQI and appropriate workplace behaviour. To be honest, I went into the course thinking I was already very mindful of how to be inclusive and act appropriately. However, there is always room for improvement and one area that really stood out for me was unconscious bias.
In simple terms, unconscious bias is a learned assumption, belief or attitude that exists in the subconscious.
It could be assuming someone tall will be good at sport. It could be overlooking a person for a job based on their age. Perhaps it’s thinking people of a certain ethnicity are stronger performers in particular areas. It’s even simply judging someone by how they dress.
Our own upbringing, family and friends no doubt influence our own thoughts on many things. In a way, it’s understandable for people to have preconceived views about certain things because that is what they are taught and are familiar with.
In my opinion, unconscious bias is one area that every individual needs to work on. The greatest strength is being able to recognise your own unconscious bias and change it. It’s only then, barriers will break down and there will be greater acceptance and respect for everyone and their choices.
Thankfully the future is already looking much brighter with workplaces and organisations making a conscious effort to create more inclusive environments.
This is the inclusion and diversity program Conversation Co is working towards completing as an organisation:
About Yvette Gray
Yvette is our communications specialist who has almost 20 years of experience in the media industry. She is an award winning journalist, working as a reporter, presenter and producer for TV, radio, print and online. Yvette is also experienced in public relations, having worked as a senior media adviser and manager at Life Saving Victoria.