Simply hearing “we’re all biased” or “bias is all around us in the workplace” doesn’t do much to inspire people to think and act to reduce bias. What does? Personal stories of how real people you know have been affected, either by being a target or witness. Just about everyone has a story — if you ask.
When starting conversations about bias with your friends, team, or colleagues, make it clear that your goal is to understand and root out bias.
“What workplace stereotypes and prejudices have you encountered? I think it’s important to talk about — for one thing, it helps me avoid making some of the same mistakes.”
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by such stories. If that happens, remind yourself: You can’t singlehandedly erase all forms of bias, but you can at least do your part. Let these stories be a call to action, not a reason to give up or grow cynical.