Check Your Blind Spots, Biases

Representing a cross-section of more than 450 CEOs and 12 million employees, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ will launch a nationwide educational tour to help workers recognize and minimize their unconscious bias. The mobile information centers will provide free unconscious bias education for any organization.

CEO Action’s Check Your Blind Spots mobile tour will make 100 stops across the country this fall delivering interactive sessions, educational materials and creating space for participants to reflect on real-world experiences and how unconscious biases can impact business. The tour will also include pop-up events with musical artists, celebrities and business leaders who are personally committed to advancing inclusion. Exploring topics people are grappling with such as race, bias, and harassment through intimate dialogues, the pop-up events hope to fuel social awareness and further motivate action around diversity and inclusion in business and society. The tour will kick off in Chicago and make stops in cities in Georgia, Ohio and Texas.

“We’re seeing unconscious bias education become an increasingly critical tool for diversity and inclusion strategies, but not all companies are equally equipped to roll out the training,” says Tim Ryan, U.S. chairman and senior partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers and chair of the steering committee for the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™.

Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness, and is said to be far more prevalent than conscious prejudice and often incompatible with one’s conscious values. Certain scenarios can activate unconscious attitudes and beliefs.

CEO Action’s tour builds upon one of the coalition’s three initial pledge goals to help individuals begin recognizing, acknowledging, and therefore minimizing unconscious bias. As well, it responds to recent research that 78 percent of Americans want companies to address important social justice issues.

Marking its first year, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ has rallied a record number of CEOs who acknowledge that more can be done to drive diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In addition to achieving a significant number of signatories and sharing nearly 500 actions on the CEOAction.com database, the coalition has focused on helping participants fulfill their commitments within the pledge. Key accomplishments include: hosting leaderships sessions that facilitated hundreds of conversations between signatories in order to share resources as well as creating formal peer networks to help them remain motivated, persistent and focused on driving change within their workforces.

“The more we can cultivate diverse leaders who make a conscious effort to have their actions match their values, the better we will all be,” says Skip Spriggs, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council.

“Greater equality is not only good for society, it’s good for business. A more equal world brings forth economic inclusion and has both short and long-term benefits. But we know getting there is not easy,” explains David Taylor, Procter & Gamble chairman of the Board, president and CEO. “Beyond simply doing the right thing, it requires continued, productive dialogue on tough topics leading to greater understanding and collaboration.”

About $8 billion a year is spent on diversity trainings in the United States alone. CEO Action will also release a free suite of educational materials to help organizations create and maintain a diverse and inclusive culture. The tools will be designed in part by the CEO Action Working Groups, which are comprised of more than 120 experienced diversity and inclusion and human resources leaders, and represent a key part of the coalition’s evolved strategy to truly impact the existing and upcoming workforce and engage more CEOs. Included in the suite of materials will be tools to measure diversity and inclusion within companies, complete self-assessments to gauge progress and toolkits on a range of topics.

“As leaders we are raising a mirror to ourselves and the business community at large to redefine the tools we all use to advance inclusion and diversity,” says Lynn Doughtie, CEO and U.S. chairman of KPMG.

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