Incremental steps that improve diversity in your organization can yield large gains. Diverse work groups perform better and are more committed, innovative, and loyal.
It’s time to go beyond just talking about the problem of workplace bias. Bias Interrupters is an evidence-based model that provides solutions. By taking small steps, Bias Interrupters can yield big changes.
We’ve distilled the huge literature on bias into simple steps that help you and your company perform better.
The law firm Ice Miller LLP, employed a data-driven approach to tackling retention issues among their women attorneys. First, they analyzed their attrition and progression data for women overall and women of color to pinpoint at what stage of their employment these groups were falling behind or dropping out altogether.
Then, they created these interview questions to solicit feedback from both current and former women attorneys on their experiences. The task force offered individual one-on-one interviews to all women attorneys as well as those who had left the law firm in the previous three years. Upon completing the interviews, they coded the interview notes to reveal themes regarding areas of improvement and areas of satisfaction.
With this data in-hand, they were able to develop targeted interventions aimed at retaining women attorneys and equalizing their opportunities for advancement.
Your organization can employ a similar approach to solving retention issues. First, use metrics to determine who is leaving and at what stage of their employment:
· Are women, people of color, or other historically excluded groups leaving your organization at higher rates than majority men? Analyze the data by years of employment at the organization and by role/level.
· Are women, people of color, or other historically excluded groups promoted at lower rates than majority men? Analyze the data by role/level.
Once you’ve identified which groups are the greatest flight-risk or are lagging behind when it comes to promotions, use these interview questions to gain more information about where your organization can better support the needs of these employees.
Then, implement Bias Interrupters that address the specific issues revealed through the interview process.
Tools for retention (adapted from Ice Miller LLP’s interview questions)
Center for WorkLife Law. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.