About the Workshop
Most employers must overcome a variety of factors that can hinder the hiring of diverse candidates, according to Kristin Berglund, Senior Internal Consultant for Organizational Development. WISELI workshop participants learned that search committee chairs sometimes face common misconceptions such as "There are no women/minorities in our field, or no qualified women/minorities" or "I am fully in favor of diversity, but I don't want to sacrifice quality for diversity."
Under the direction of WISELI presenters,10 facilitators from across the Medical Center led table group discussions to address these views, along with other factors that impact diversity in hiring.
Workshop participants focused on the importance of recognizing unconscious biases not related to the quality of employment candidates. Medical Center leaders learned about a study in which participants reviewed resumes with "white-sounding names," while others reviewed identical resumes that had been assigned names normally associated with a minority group. Those with white-sounding names were generally rated as more qualified.
"We all have unconscious biases," Berglund said. "The point is: now that we're aware that they exist, how do we mitigate that?"
Recognizing biases can help reduce their impact on the search and review of candidates, WISELI presenters pointed out. Participants learned practical tips such as being prepared to defend every decision for rejecting or retaining a candidate, and broadening the search pool so that talent selection committees are not drawing only from individuals they know - "people who look and think like you," said Berglund.