2018 Mobility Conference – Melbourne

Why recruitment bias is bad for business

When you’re ready to next hire a new team member, have a good look around you. At the same time, peer into the mirror. Is your team disturbingly familiar? Is there a ‘same-same, but different’ approach in your hiring practices? If this is the case, you could be missing out on finding someone who can bring more to the job.

Not looking outside your comfortable circle will hamper innovation, development, and customer relationships. “If you constantly hire people who are just like you, your perspective is limited. so when it comes time to challenge the status quo, to look for that new innovative product or service, those questions never get asked,” says Asnicar.

While it’s true that people may enjoy hanging out with like-minded types in their leisure hours, this is not always the case at work. For example, a division of an aircraft engine company experienced 100 per cent turnover within 12 months after people discovered that they didn’t like working with people who were too much like them.

Why bias is bad

“Implicit bias actually affects the small business owner because they hire firstly in their own likeness. Small businesses don’t have the luxury of hiring for perspective. They often have to have multiple characteristics in one person, because they don’t have a big team,” explains Steven Asnicar, CEO of consulting firm Diversity Australia, who notes there are inherent dangers in the like-for-like approach to recruitment.

Then there’s your customer. Australia’s a multicultural country. We’re young, old and in between; male, female and non-gender specific. And it’s wise to understand the differences in your customer base by incorporating a little difference in your team as well. “If you don’t reflect your customer base, and you don’t understand their needs then you can’t service them properly,” says Asnicar.

 

Different shades of bias

The term ‘implicit’ (or unconscious) bias surfaced earlier this century. It usually signified an unconscious lack of racial diversity or discrimination against a person or persons on the grounds of their race. This is still the case but other forms of bias have come to the party. They include an unconscious bias on gender grounds, sexuality and age. This has led many big businesses to train their people to recognise inherent biases, with a view to creating more diverse workforces.

“Age bias is becoming the most discriminative component of unconscious bias,” says Asnicar. “People are staying longer in the workforce, so that is making them more protective [of their roles] so they tend not to want to hire younger people.” This bias also works in reverse with young teams feeling that older people may not make the cut because of cultural fit.

Lots of smaller businesses hire family members. It’s natural to have an affinity with your kinfolk. They represent continuity – and in the case of children – longevity. But there are dangers to having too many family members involved.

“I often feel it’s very difficult for individuals [who are not related] to work within a family business, because they feel they are under siege the whole time,” notes Asnicar. “No matter what they do, they feel they will be at the bottom of the system. Meritocracy is something everybody craves. They like to get the job on their own merits. With family intervention, that often goes out the door, because families look after family first.”

How to battle bias

The best way for smaller business to focus on fairer hiring is to have a well thought-out procedure around their recruitment processes. ”Small businesses should start structuring their recruitment frameworks in a way that best represents their needs in the future,” says Asnicar.

Have a good look at the makeup of your team and determine what’s missing in the group. When it comes to sifting through the pile of CVs, Asnicar advises that you arrange to have names, genders and ages masked if you can, and avoid over-scrutiny. “I think when you have a small business, you tend to look at every part of the CV and your biases sneak in. A checklist helps guide you though the process and lets you know whether you have made assumptions about a person.”

Employers have begun to use social media platforms, such as Facebook, as the great unmasker of what future employees are actually like. But Asnicar recommends that you resist that temptation. “If you judge their potential job performance and work ethic on that, then you are probably doing yourself a disservice, because their profile may not truly represent them. People at work tend to be more conservative and work hard, as opposed to on Facebook, where they tend to let go and do a few wild things, like posting stupid photos.”

When it’s time to interview, Asnicar again suggests that an unvarying format is the best way to keep bias out of the equation. “You should have a very standard framework for making sure you are measuring an apple with an apple. The consistency of interviewing is now really important, given the amount of legal challenges there are now, where bias is cited.”

Try to have at least one other person in the interview with you, so one person can ask the questions and the other can listen to the candidate’s answers. This allows you to focus on the person, not the baggage you may imagine surrounds them. “You need to have everyone involved in the recruitment really engaged in the process. They must understand that there are legal obligations to treat candidates with respect, fairness and equity and attempt remove unconscious biases from the discussion,” notes Asnicar.

 

SOURCE:  https://www.officeworks.com.au/workwise/business-basics/why-recruitment-bias-is-bad-for-business

Diversity as a business advantage

Gender equality core element of Australia’s foreign policy: Envoy

ISLAMABAD – Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan Margaret Adamson Monday said that gender equality and women’s empowerment was a core element of Australia’s foreign policy.

Adamson welcomed Australian gender equality advocate Elizabeth Broderick to Pakistan on a visit to engage business leaders on promoting gender equality in the workplace.

Broderick, a former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner (2007-15), is the Global Co-Chair of UN Global Compact Women’s Empowerment Principles, Special Adviser to Under-Secretary UN Women on Private Sector Engagement, and Founder of the ‘Male Champions of Change’ initiative – working with influential male leaders to become advocates for gender equality.

Welcoming the visit, High Commissioner Adamson said that gender equality and women’s empowerment to play their rightful, equal role in economic development and society as a whole was a core element of Australia’s foreign policy and underpinned the Australian government’s development partnerships – with Pakistan and globally.

“Australia’s aid investments in Pakistan are designed to ensure that women benefit from all our economic growth-related programs. I am hopeful that Broderick’s visit and her engagement with private sector leaders will encourage the development of strategies and policies to maximise the participation of women throughout Pakistan’s economy,” she added.

Broderick will visit Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to share experience and to discuss the business case for gender equality, building on initiatives already gaining traction among the business community in Pakistan, including the UN Women Empowerment Principles.

She will also meet with women members of the national and provincial assemblies, government officials and representatives of UN agencies and the World Bank and lead discussions on accelerating economic growth and innovation in Pakistan by harnessing the talent and potential of its women.

Broderick welcomed the opportunity to meet with Pakistan’s private sector leaders and prominent women representatives.

“Gender equality and women’s economic participation are key social and economic issues for both our nations.  I am excited to be meeting with business leaders and other influential men and women to share innovative strategies, learn from each other and discuss how to accelerate the pace of change,” Broderick said in her message.

The Economist listed Broderick as one of the World’s Top 50 diversity figures in public life in 2015.

SOURCE: http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Aug-2017/gender-equality-core-element-of-australia-s-foreign-policy-envoy

Maybe Google Need to Google the meanings of Diversity, Culture, Equal Opportunity and Unconscious Bias

Google has fired the employee who wrote an internal memo suggesting men are better suited for tech jobs than women, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The employee’s firing followed an email earlier in the day from Google chief executive Sundar Pichai to the company’s employees, saying that the memo writer violated company policy. Google parent Alphabet hasn’t named the employee.

Mr Pichai is the most senior executive to respond to a growing controversy that in recent days has raised difficult questions for one of the world’s largest companies on how it would handle an employee offering opinions that were, to some, unpopular and offensive.

Last week, a Google engineer published an internal memo that criticised Google’s efforts to increase diversity at the company, arguing the program discriminated against some employees.

The employee also said that men were generally better at engineering jobs than women and that a liberal bias among executives and many employees makes it difficult to discuss the issue at Google.

“We strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it,” Mr Pichai said in his email to staff.

“However, portions of the memo violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” he said.

He added that the company’s code of conduct requires “each Googler to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination.”

The memo went viral inside the company and was publicly criticised online by Google employees. Google’s diversity chief also criticised the memo in a note to employees on Saturday night.

The employee’s firing could spark a larger debate inside and outside Google about free speech. Mr Pichai said he scheduled an employee town hall to discuss the issue on Thursday.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/google-fires-employee-who-criticised-diversity-moves/news-story/ff2ad04bc65abdd70844da4d5ccb7d0a

Viral Google email: ‘Men better suited to the job

Google’s new diversity chief criticised the contents of an employee’s memo that went viral inside the company for suggesting Google has fewer female engineers because men are better suited for the job.

Danielle Brown, Google’s vice president for diversity and inclusion, sent a letter to employees Saturday saying the employee’s memo “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender” and is “not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages,” according to a copy of the statement published by Motherboard, which earlier reported on the employee’s memo.

The Google employee argued company initiatives to increase diversity discriminate against some employees, and that a liberal bias among executives and many employees makes it difficult to discuss the issue at Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., according to a copy of the memo published by Gizmodo.

Some Google employees denounced the memo on Twitter, and Motherboard reported it was being shared widely among staff. That backlash drew a response from Ms. Brown, who joined Google in late June.

“Given the heated debate we’ve seen over the past few days, I feel compelled to say a few words,” she said in the statement. “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture.”

When reached for comment, a Google spokesman referred to Ms. Brown’s statement and an additional statement posted online by Google engineering executive Ari Balogh, one of the managers of the employee who wrote the memo. Mr. Balogh wrote the memo “troubled me deeply” because it suggested “most women, or men, feel or act a certain way. That is stereotyping, and it is harmful.”

The controversy over the memo comes as the tech industry struggles with gender and diversity issues. Many tech companies have admitted a majority of their employees are white or Asian men, particularly in technical and leadership roles. Some tech companies and investors have faced a string of sexual-harassment scandals over the past year.

For its part, Google is pushing back against a Labor Department investigation into its pay practices that spilled into court recently.

The Labor Department in January sued Google for more compensation data as part of a routine audit into the company’s pay practices, a probe that is possible because Google provides advertising and cloud services to the federal government. Last month a judge ruled Google had to turn over a narrower set of data than what the department sought, saying that the request was too broad and invaded Google employees’ privacy.

During the case, a Labor Department official testified investigators found evidence that Google systematically pays women less than men.

Google has denied the accusations, saying its internal analyses have shown no pay gap among Alphabet’s nearly 76,000 employees. The Labor Department hasn’t formally charged Google with any wrongdoing.

Google said in its annual diversity report in June that 31 per cent of its employees are women, unchanged from a year prior. The percentage of black employees also was unchanged at 2 per cent, and the number of Hispanic workers increased by 1 percentage point, to 4 per cent. Most Google workers remain white and Asian men.

President Obama’s Senior Advisor and Elizabeth Broderick Join Women World Changers

Early Bird Ends Friday 28th July – SAVE $200

Diversity Australia is proud to partner with The Growth Faculty in presenting Women World Changers, the premier, all-inclusive, one-day leadership summit designed to drive critical dialogue on the impact and economics of women, diversity and culture on business growth.

Attended by Australia’s top business executives, government and community leaders, both male and female, Women World Changers brings a proven lineup of experts to present the most critical leadership requirements for success in leading and managing Australia’s workforce of the future.

This year our outstanding speaker lineup is headlined by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and Elizabeth Broderick, Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner (2007 – 2015).

Don’t miss crucial learnings…

  • Adaptability, innovation and agility: How diversity is driving modern business innovation.
  • The implication of the current political and economic landscape and what this means for your business and investments.
  • The economic imperative for closing the gender gap – “Women are half the world’s working-age population but generate only 37% of GDP.” McKinsey
  • Insights into behavioural science; the differences and similarities between men and women and the importance of gender balance in leadership.
  • How to drive cultural change and workplace equality through courageous leadership and engaging middle management.
  • Challenges and opportunities for women’s full engagement in the workplace.
  • Millennial ambition: What drives this hyper-connected, tech savvy generation that will make up 75% of the workforce by 2030? How can leaders harness their contribution?
  • Removing barriers that impede economic development, technology, innovation and business growth.
  • Building a resilient organisation: What are the global trends shaping the Australian economy and how can we invest in employee skills to increase relevance and resilience.

SEE THE AGENDA

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS

MELBOURNE & SYDNEY | 9TH & 11TH OCTOBER

BOOK NOW

Non Member Rate: $995 | Diversity Australia Rate: $795 |

Ten Or More Gender Balanced Groups: $650
Early Bird Ends Friday 4th August – Save $200

Platinum Tickets: $1595

*Platinum tickets include reserved front of house seating, an intimate VIP lunch with WWC speakers, full conference material, access to VIP lounge area and cocktail reception
 

How Australians Are Playing Video Games In 2017

The Digital Australia study, an annual look at the way Australians are playing video games, was released today. It features all the statistics that you might expect from such a survey. Yep, pretty much everyone in Australia is playing video games. Yep, video games aren’t just for kids. Yep, people play video games to stay sharp, healthy and happy.

Every statistic one needs to arm themselves with when dealing with the powers that be is there.

But there are also a few interesting nuggets of information in there for those of us who are already on board with the video games.

For example, did you know that 92% of people play games with other human beings? I mean I suspected that number would be high. I didn’t know it would be that high.

Did you know that 66% of people want more gender diversity in video game characters.

That 65% of people want more age diversity in video game characters.

Did you know that 28% of gamers have shared videos of themselves playing. That’s insane to me, but absolutely a sign of the times.

3135 people from 1234 households were surveyed for the Digital Australia 2018 study.

God bless Jeff Brand and the good folks at Bond University. Their work has been instrumental in providing the numbers that allow the IGEA to represent the games industry at the government level. What’s interesting to me is how these numbers have settled. In 2007 only 79% of households had gaming devices. Now that number is 93% and has been since 2013 — almost as if games have arrived at that point of ubiquity and isn’t going anywhere. Supporting that — the average age of gamers has been steadily increasing ever since this research began. Almost as if we’re all getting older together — with video games.

Read more at https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/07/how-australians-are-playing-video-games-in-2017/#oJGHYxOoZZPrtPCg.99

Why the ABC is at odds with Diversity Practices

If the ABC were audited for diversity, the report might read something like as follows: “Evidence suggests that the ABC’s organisational culture ­reflects structural discrimination. The staff profile is unrepresentative and produces marginalisation of outsiders or ‘others’. This marginalisation persists due to ­apparent discrimination in recruit­ment and promotion practices. As a consequence, the ABC’s program content reflects bias that reinforces the privilege of insiders while stereotyping and demonising those excluded from the existing power structure. ­Cultural change is required to transform the ABC from an unrepresentative public institution to an organisation that puts the public good ahead of in-group power and privilege.”

From my early years in the ­university sector, I worked for various equal opportunity and anti-­discrimination units. As a part of that work, I conducted ­organisational audits of equity and diversity. After several years, I saw that the movement for equity was ­destroying diversity of the kind that matters in education: ­intellectual diversity. Universities ­replaced the West’s civilisational wellspring of freedom of thought and speech, mastered by learning the art of public reason, with the comparatively superficial culture of skin ­diversity.

In the 21st century culture of public education and media, ­diversity is often measured by skin colour or gender. Diversity of thought is devalued, especially in the arts and humanities.

Despite the spread of discrimination and affirmative action policies across the public sector, little attention is paid to intellectual and political diversity. Rather, the ­equity and diversity agenda has come to resemble what former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau considered the Maoist approach. In the book Two Innocents in Red China, he praised Mao Zedong’s approach to racial minority groups because it did “not try to assimilate them but … make them understand the ­blessings of Marxism”. Trudeau pioneered a nationwide policy of ­multi­culturalism. The multi­cultural ideal was a diversity of races united in ideological conformity to ­Marxism.

“The ABC’s political bias seems most apparent in stories related to border security, immigration, iden­tity politics and Islam.”

The diversity agenda sometimes reflects the founding ideal of multicultural policy: a culture where race or gender diversity is encouraged as long as members conform to PC ideology. Islamic activist Linda Sarsour is celebrated as a leader of the US women’s march despite appearing to wish for violence against women who disagree with her. On Twitter, Sarsour wrote of two dissidents: “I wish I could take their vaginas away — they don’t ­deserve to be women.” One of her would-be victims was ­author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who ­suffered ­female genital mutilation as a child. Apparently that wasn’t enough.

The ABC has not admitted to a lack of political diversity in its staff profile or systemic political bias in its programming. Yet the largest survey in 20 years of political attitudes among journalists found that 73.6 per cent of ABC journalists support Labor or the Greens. The Sunshine Coast University ­research also found that 41.2 per cent of ABC staff surveyed voted for the Greens. As Chris Kenny wrote in The Weekend Australian, the “federal vote ceiling” for the Greens is just over 10 per cent. On those figures, the ABC’s staff ­profile is highly unrepresentative of the Australian general public.

The ABC’s political bias seems most apparent in stories related to border security, immigration, iden­tity politics and Islam. Many believe that the ABC pushes the PC party line backing porous borders, minority politics and the ­censorship of dissenters under dis­crimination law while demonising border integrity, conservatism, ­Judeo-Christianity and Western civilisation. In 2014, the broadcaster admitted that its reports that the navy had burned refugees were wrong. A previous audit found bias in ABC reporting on Tamil asylum-seekers.

Last week’s 7.30 was criticised for bias against Christians after presenters inferred that evangelical or conservative Christianity could lead to domestic violence. ABC presenter Leigh Sales said: “We talk about women in Islam but statistically it is evangelical Christian men who attend church sporadically who are the most ­likely to assault their wives.” To my knowledge, there is no cross-country research comparing male violence against women in Islamic and Christian communities. The relevant study cited was by American researcher Steven Tracy.

A series of lies by omission ­resulted in the perception that conservative or evangelical Christianity can lead to domestic violence. For instance, the ABC omitted Tracy’s related finding that: “Conservative Protestant men who attend church regularly are … the least likely group to ­engage in domestic violence. The ABC also omitted interviews that conflicted with the presenters’ line of commentary.

Ean Higgins ­reported that Sydney’s Anglican Archdeacon for Women Kara Hartley was interviewed for over an hour by Julia Baird. Hartley spoke at length about the church’s positive work in combating domestic violence. Her comments were excluded from the program.

Brisbane’s Catholic Archbishop Mark Coleridge responded to an ABC ­request for comments about a ­related essay by Baird and Hayley Gleeson. The ABC reported falsely that he had not responded.

It should go without saying that domestic violence is an abhorrent form of abuse to be condemned without reservation. Research on causation should be funded where preliminary research finds specific attributes correlated with higher rates of abuse. The public often funds such research and should be informed also when certain ­attributes are correlated with lower rates of abuse. The ABC ­neglected its public duty when it omitted the positive work of ­Christian churches in preventing domestic violence and the ­research finding that: “Conservative Protestant men who attend church regularly are … the least likely group to engage in domestic violence.”

In the coming 7.30 on violence against women in Islam, we might expect the ABC to consider the status of women under sharia. It might look at the prevalence of ­female genital mutilation and child marriage in Islamic countries and communities. It might consider why Islamic states enter the most reservations to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and justify it by appeal to sharia. Alas, we’re more likely to hear yet another version of: “We talk about women in Islam but … ” and find the blame shifted to the standard victims of politically ­correct thought.

SOURCE: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/jennifer-oriel/diversity-of-thought-practically-whitewashed-by-pc-ideology/news-story/9d16179ec45fe24f6b05072f64540ec7