This seminar is part of the 2016 Gowling WLG Risk to Reward series, designed to address the most important legal, regulatory and corporate risks facing your organization.
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About this seminar
From the boardroom to the shop floor, effective organizations recognize the value of having a diverse workplace. This presentation will explore effective strategies to promote diversity, defeat bias and encourage a broader community outlook.
This program counts for up to 3 hours of professionalism credits towards the mandatory CPD requirements of the LSUC.
Rick: Good morning everybody. I’m Rick Dearden. I’m a partner here at Gowling WLG as we are now known. I welcome you all to this “Promoting Diversity in Your Organization” seminar. There will be a break in the 2½ hours of this seminar. Lisa’s going to make that call. Although we are scheduled to finish at 11:00am it’s more likely to be 10:45am. There will be food available. There is food available now but there will also be lunch food available right after the seminar is finished so feel free to eat it here, take it with you, just don’t drive distractedly if you are taking food with you. That’s the lawyer in us. We have to warn you.
Audience: Don’t eat and drive.
Rick: Don’t eat and drive. Nope. Not supposed to. It’s my pleasure to introduce Lisa Mattam, who is the founder and managing principal of the Mattam Group. That organization specializes in talent management in diversity. Lisa has advised clients throughout the world, Canada, US, in Europe, Latin America and is a longtime advocate for the advancement of women at work and all aspects of our life. She’s been interviewed by mainstream media, print and broadcast, in Canada and quoted broadly. The Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce named Lisa “Female Entrepreneur of the Year”. “Profit Magazine” ranked Lisa on the “Ones to Watch” list identifying Lisa as one of the top ten women emerging entrepreneurs in our country. Educational background, you’re quite bright, Valedictorian and Graduate of Honour at McMaster where she obtained her MBA, so that works for me. Diploma in European Business from ESC Rouen in France and an instructor today with Schulich School of Business Executive Education Centre. Gowling WLG and Lisa know each other quite well. I’ve been trained by Lisa on unconscious bias as a member of our firm Diversity Council. Anna van Holst is sitting there in the audience, and myself as members of the Diversity Council, and all other members of the firm were trained on unconscious bias and believe me, you’re going to learn some things that you didn’t know before this seminar started, but we’ve also had Lisa train our management throughout all the offices in Canada and we’re rolling out this training to staff and associates throughout the firm. It takes time but we’re doing it and that’s the start, right? So, you will enjoy this seminar and you’re going to learn a few things about what Lisa has to tell you so please, let’s welcome Lisa Mattam.
Lisa: Thank you so much. It’s my pleasure to be here. Can everybody hear me? Yeah, yeah. I feel like it’s school and nobody wants to come to the front of the classroom. I apologize. I’m kind of sitting back here. They’re videotaping the session as well so they’ve given me a very specific box that I can stand in so I’ll be moving around just within those parameters. It’s my pleasure to be here. I’m really grateful to Gowlings for having invited me to spend a morning with you. This is kind of a funny topic because I always laugh when it comes to topics like diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias. The people who are really far along the spectrum are so excited to hear more. But it’s also conversation that sometimes people are trepidatious to have. They’re not sure what it’s going to involve. They’re not sure what we’re going to talk about and so my goal through the morning is that if you, through the course of our conversation or the conversation with your colleagues around the room, if you are able to advance some of your thoughts, if you’re able to challenge some things that you may have thought before, even if you don’t agree with me which is absolutely fine, but you walk away with a firm understanding why it is that you feel that way, it will have actually made a really big difference. Because the funny thing about these conversations is that it’s not like a leadership course where you get a skill set, you put it in your pocket and you walk away and it’s there for you to use. What it’s more like is we’re on this sort of crazy continuum, and the more we have these conversations the farther along we become, or we evolve. And so that’s really my goal for today.
I want to start by telling you a bit of a personal story and I’ve had shared this story actually with the Gowling management team when we started to do our work together. It really, for me, highlighted why this work is so important and why we need to spend more time having these conversations. I’m going to take you back in time, this is roughly 7 years ago, and I was doing this work, working with great clients and I had an opportunity to be on a board for the first time. If you’re following the work around this was a corporate program for a basically very large governmental organization and I was really excited to take on the opportunity. I fought hard in the interview. I really wanted the role. I thought this was a neat opportunity for me to really further advance my game. To sort of say, “Okay, here I am in the corporate world.” I was excited when I found out I got it. Unfortunately I missed the first board meeting because I was doing some client work and so the first meeting I went to was a committee meeting. It was a sub-committee. All the lawyers in the room, I feel like, you know my first board opportunity was to really see things in place, for all the lawyers who were on the board, they were like, “Oh this is like easy peasy.” I come to my first board meeting. I’m not a morning person so this morning was even a bit hard for me but I walked in, our meeting was at 7:30, I was there at 7:15, introduced myself to the committee chair and I said, “Hi. Good morning. I’m Lisa Mattam. I’m here for the board meeting.” She gave a great big, “Great!” She hands me a pad of paper and a pen and she says, “You’ll be taking notes today.” I was kind of like, “Oh. Okay. Sure. This is the government. We will roll up our sleeves. This makes sense to me.” So, I’m sitting there with my pad of paper and a pen and as you can imagine she opens the session with, “Our new board member hasn’t arrived. We’re going to get started without her.” I remember that moment very well. I remember sitting there and for a moment in time I replayed the whole thing back in my head. I was like, “Should I introduce myself? I’m sure I said I was the new board member.” and then I turned to her and I said, “I’m the new board member. I’m Lisa Mattam.” But I was sitting right beside her and then she took back the pad of paper and the pen and she said, “Our new admin hasn’t arrived. We’ll get started in a bit.” And there was no other conversation after that. It was a funny moment for me because, as I mentioned this was 7 years ago, and I think I looked younger than I like to believe I look now. To sort of paint the full picture I was probably 6 or 7 months pregnant at that time. I was the third woman on this 16 person board. I was the first one to use the word “racialize” as a visible minority. I was the first visible minority on that board. As you can tell I’m about 2 feet tall. I had it all going in. There was nothing about me that could have made me more different. I was probably 15 years younger than the next youngest board member on the board. Who knows? Was it one of those things? Was it the combination of all of those things? I don’t know what it was that led the board chair to believe, “Hey this is our admin and not our board member” and even though, I promise I was wearing a kick ass suit, and so I was thinking to myself, what I clearly took away from that was when she saw me that’s what she saw. She didn’t hear what I said. Even though we went through the whole exchange of shaking hands and having that sort of early morning Hello, what she took away from that was that I was the admin. I remember what happened after that because for the next hour, I actually didn’t pay any attention. I was replaying the whole thing in my head, “Did that actually happen? Did I make that up in my head? Why did that happen? Did I not dress…” The whole thing went through my head and then finally I was able to reengage. But I remember going back to the parking lot when the meeting was over and calling my husband, not telling him the story, but saying, “Maybe this isn’t the right time for me. Maybe I shouldn’t be on the board because I’m 7 months pregnant, I run this consulting practice, we have a lot going one. Maybe this isn’t the right time.” And I work in… This is what I do. And so, the fact that it took, this set me sort of spiraling for a little while, and I’ve faced sort of little bits of unprejudiced bias befor,e but this one really had an impact on me. It was very significant. What I hadn’t thought about was how many times have I maybe done that to someone. Had I walked into a room and really casually shaken a hand or said hello or made an assumption and not really thought about the implication of somebody else. I could tell you a few more stories like that and unfortunately for you, over the course of the morning you are going to hear some, but the point of my story is to say what happened in that situation didn’t come from a place from malintent. It didn’t come from a conscious place of this person is young, or pregnant, or a woman, or visible minority or whatever it is, and therefore. It just came from an instantaneous reaction. So that is what we’re going to explore this morning, is those unconscious biases. This is a time where we’re not going through this thought process in making a decision, were we just sort of act, and what those actions can look like. Does that make sense? Okay.
I’m going to keep this going. Here’s what I think you should do because the neat thing about this program is that you’re all coming in from different places and you don’t know each other. I want to make sure this morning we also build in some time for you to chat with your colleagues around the room. I’m going to break you up into groups. Hypothetically I’m going to say the folks in these first 2 rows are going to be, actually the first 3 rows, are going to be one group. The last 2 rows will be one group. Here, we’ll do the same thing. The first 3 rows will be one group and everybody else will be the next group. And it’s going to be super easy. If somebody in your group happens have to a piece of paper and a pen we are going to make them scribe. Here’s what you’re going to do. You are going to say when it comes to money, when I say money I mean your money, when it comes to your money, where do you place value? If I was in your group, I have a good value on this side and poor value on this side. If I was in your group and it was my turn to talk I would say, “I place good value in a great pair of shoes.” Don’t judge me about my shoes though, today. I actually, last night when I got in, thought, “Can I walk to Nordstrom’s tonight and get some fresh air?” I place value in a good pair of shoes. Doesn’t mean I’m buying 4 or 500 dollar pairs of shoes. It just means that I like shoes. It’s winter time and when the fall started I realize I pulled out 4 pairs of black boots. My husband was like, “This is where our money goes.” That’s where I would be. I place poor value, personally, in a really beautiful, expensive nice dinner. Because for me every time I get the bill I’m like, “I could’ve got a new pair of shoes.” I want you to do the same thing in your groups. You’ll probably have to take a couple of minutes to introduce yourselves to each other and then do the same thing. What do you place good value in and what do you place poor value in and we’ll go from there. I’ll give you 5 minutes to chat and then we’ll keep going.
So, I’ll get you there to round up your conversations. I’ll get you to spin your chairs around back this way. It would be great to hear a couple of examples from some of the groups of what you thought was good value and poor value. Is there any group that wants to share their answers?
Audience: Yeah, sure.
Lisa: Yeah. Yeah.
Audience: With good value we had, for example, good food, trips, education, quality versus over quantity type of thing, functionality, and making people happy. In terms of poor value we had furniture, parking and cars.
Lisa: Thank you. Maybe one more group. Do you want to share some answers?
Audience: For our group, for good value, it would be books, experience in terms of travel, also good food, nutritious food and we had another traveler as well.
Lisa: Awesome. And bad quality or value?
Audience: And poor value, that would be poor food choices, overspending, expensive makeup.
Lisa: There was a long conversation here about makeup.
Lisa: I’m with you. Okay. Awesome. Was that hard to do? No? Kind of fun? What you start to realize is even with the most relying question like, “What would you spend your money on?” you have an instant reaction, right? You’re kind of like, “This is worth it to me. This isn’t worth it to me. It’s worth it to me to spend money on good food, on travel, that makes sense to me . But it’s not good money for me to spend on parking, cars and makeup.” Things where someone else might actually have very good value. I have a girlfriend that I was really surprised to go to her house and she has an entire closet stocked full of makeup. My instant reaction was that’s thousands and thousands of dollars of makeup. Which I could never do. I own one lipstick and I had to find it in my purse for 10 minutes this morning. What you start to realize is that it’s all very personal, right? And you can’t predict who is going to say what. A car is a really neat one because you’ll meet people who say, “To me a car has very little value. As long as it drives and it gets there and it can do what it needs to do, I’m happy.” I met this gentleman one day through some client work and he rolled up in a car and I didn’t even know what it was called. It was like the most expensive car I’d ever seen in my life. I remember my head being struck by just how neat this car was. The person beside me and turned to me and was like, “That douchebag.” But then he later told us the story about how when he was young he and his two siblings lived in one room and his parents lived in another room in an apartment. He said to himself, “If I study and I do great things.” He had a poster of this yellow convertible on his wall and he was like, “I’m going to buy this car.” And he did. And he became a plastic surgeon and he bought himself a car and all of sudden you hear this story and you’re like, “Oh my gosh. I’m so bad that I laughed.” What you realize is that everything is deeply personal. I can’t know what is deeply personal for you and you can’t know what is deeply personal for me, and it’s as a result of our upbringing, what our parents told us. Maybe our socioeconomic status. Where we went to school. What our experiences are. All of those things shape something that’s so small like this. When you think about what unconscious bias is it isn’t just about the way you act and interact with people. It’s just the idea that over time our brain has become wired based on certain value system. Just what make certain calls. If you could spend all day thinking through all of those calls you would never get here this morning. What we do then all the time and we don’t think twice about it. That’s kind of what we want to explore, is what’s that mechanism in place that kind of wires those things together, and how do we step back so that we’re able to kind of question ourselves when we find ourselves in a situation where someone’s views might be different from ours. In terms of what we’re going to do we’re obviously going to talk a lot about unconscious bias. Where it comes from, how it was created. We’re going to talk a little bit about the impacts of bias and then we’re going to talk about some opportunities that we can have to minimize bias. The challenges I mentioned at the beginning of the day is we won’t walk away with if we do this then this is over. Or if we do this we won’t run into these situations. Hopefully what we walk away with is sort of an enhanced mindset. There’s some things we might want to do or put in place.
We know that there is all sorts of conscious biases out there. We know that there’s discrimination and stereotypes and all these things. Things that are ripe in policy and cultural and organizations. We were working last year with an organization in Houston where they still have a hunting lodge. If you become a high, or potentially make it to senior levels, you’re invited to go spend a weekend in the hunting lodge, and by the way you have to be a man, to be invited to go to a hunting lodge. I actually had to sit down and explain to them why that was not okay. We know that some of those things are still ripe in certain cultures. But that’s not what we’re going to talk about, those sort of things that are known. What we want to do is dig a little bit behind the surface. This is a very diversity definition of unconscious bias. If you were to Google it you would get many, many definitions but this one sticks specifically. It says, “Unconscious biases are attitudinal biases about gender, race, etc. that we are unaware we have and unaware we act upon them.” If you think back to my story from this morning that is an unconscious bias. When someone gets into a room and they make a quick decision, completely unaware that they are making their decision based on a series of biases, and even unaware that it happened. That’s what we want to spend our time talking about.
The other way that I like to think about bias, and if you think about it really easy, is that it’s a short cut to making what is the right or the wrong decision. That’s really important to take away from this morning is biases, are brains are wired to create these biases. They’re good for us. They keep us safe. They keep us efficient. They keep us acting. My goal would never be to make you bias free nor would that even be possible if I wanted to. What the challenge is is…has anyone ever read the book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell? Yeah. He talks a lot about recognition. He gives some really concrete examples of how there are times that you want bias to be in place. If you walk into an ER right now, you want the ER position to be 5 steps ahead, and taking all the information they have and instinctively starting the process of being able to treat you. The challenge is that he also references other examples. If you have ever seen Malcolm Gladwell he tells a story about when he grows his hair out. How just the act of having this big crazy hair changed who he was, how he was constantly being pulled over by police. Just that simple thing created all these biases for him. That’s kind of what we want to do is understand that bias exist. Understand that it’s something that gets created. But how do we start to think about when we go down to that negative path? How do we start to carry ourselves from that?
Here’s something from Jesse Jackson and he says, “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved....” If you think, that’s Jesse Jackson, right? We think of who he is as a human rights activist. We think of everything. He has all of the knowledge and capability where they are available to him but he still has that feeling. It’s important that we acknowledge that we have those feelings so that we can understand and navigate around them.
Here’s what I’m going to get you to do. We’re going to do another little exercise. Does everybody have a pen? Yeah? Okay. I’m going to get you to take one of these and pass it around. What you’re getting is a sheet that says, let me just find one here, it describes your new coworker at work. What it says here is in the box below is a list of characteristics that describes a particular person with whom we all have to work closely with in the near future. You never met this person before but the following characteristics are valid. You are going to read the characteristics and then you’re going to fill out the area on the part two. I’ll give you just 3 or 4 minutes to fill that out and then we’ll keep going from there.
What’s interesting about that is that only one word changed, right? The person is still intelligent, they’re still skillful, they’re still practical, they’re still cautious but when we start to look at how we feel about them, are they generous versus stingy? Are they happy versus unhappy? Are they irritable? The word cold really connotes something, right? It starts to put in us this whole sense and the word warm does the same thing. We hear somebody’s warm I already want to spend time with this person because they want to spend their money on things that make people happy. When you hear the word warm all of a sudden you are like okay, that’s someone I can spend time with. When you hear the word cold, you’re like, here are all the negative things I have associated with the word cold. It’s just on one word. All the other words came the same. As you start to realize, you can put your pages to the side or use these papers if you want, but you start to realize just the implication of that one word and what our brain takes it to be and how it listens and how subjective that word will be.
I’ll tell you kind of a funny story. You will know me really well after this. I have two children and when my second one was born, my husband was doing a lot of travel, and I would have these nights where I just wanted to pull my hair out. My husband came home and I was like, “He’s moving to his own room. The baby’s moving to his own room.” Because my daughter was moved into her own room and she was only 7. I grew up, my parents are from India, and in my Indian culture your kids never move to their own room. My husband thinks that I slept with my parents until I went to university which was not true. Needless to say I was there for a while. My parents have very, very strong feelings about moving a baby to their own room. We did this all without ever telling my parents, who are very involved in my life, that the baby had moved to his own room. Even when they’d be over for dinner and it was time for him to go to sleep my mom would say, “Oh do you want me to come upstairs to put him down?” I was like, “No, no, no, it’s fine.” They had no idea for a while that he was in his own room until eventually she found out because my daughter ratted me out and said, “He sleeps in his own room.” My mom was horrified. Absolutely horrified that I would take this baby, who was helpless, and put him in this cold dark room. She struggled with it. She told all of my relatives. I became known as this very cold person in my family. Everyone would talk about how I was so cold, how could I do that? One day when Joshua was 8 months older and everybody was over at our house and he was eating in his highchair, he threw some food on the floor in anger and my mom turned to my aunt and she’s like, “He sleeps in his own room.” That still stays with me. It’s an ongoing thing. He’s 3 years old and I have cousins now who are having babies and they’re like, in secret, they’re laughing about what it was like to have a baby who slept in his own room. But just on something so small I refuse really cold person and it’s a very cultural view of what coldness looks like, right? I had other friends who would, this issue was one, was probably like absolutely nuts. It’s all subjective but we take so much from it. It’s important as we start to talk about people in the work environment, as we start moving into succession planning, performance management and recruitment and all these things, and when certain words come up for us to do a bit of a decent job of unpacking them. Of asking why do we think that way? Where would that come from? How do we know that to be the case? If you were to meet my parents they would tell you that I’m a cold snake. But if you were to ask them why they would tell you this exact same story. It’s important that we know the background behind it. To me, being in a legal environment because it’s really easy for me to be like, “Find the evidence”, and because that becomes the important way we find out if it’s true. When we start to think about where all these things come from and how it’s built, the person who’s popularized as thinking a lot is a man by the name of Daniel Kahneman. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of him. He’s a written a book called “Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow”. It’s a really great book. I highly encourage you to read it. He’s the winner of a Nobel Prize in economics. He didn’t go after this to change the diversity world. He went after this to really look at decision making and how we make decisions and how our brains operate to help us make these decisions. What’s neat about a lot of the work that’s done around bias and decision making and strategy, not just from him but from others, is you realize that it all comes from the same place. He really helps us. He gives us a language to be able to describe some of these biases. I’m just going to ask you a random question. You can just throw out the answer. What’s 2 + 2?
Lisa: Awesome. What’s 17 x 26? Everybody’s like where’s my iPhone. So what you start to realize really quickly is, you know what, ask me what 2 + 2 is and the answer is 4. There is no way around that. If I told you the answer was 5 you would disapprove me. If you’ve ever seen, if you have children or grandchildren or nieces or nephews and you’ve seen when they first learn to add, it’s a pretty big question, what’s 2 + 2, right? They have to get 2 fingers and 2 fingers and count how many fingers there are. Once that becomes second nature for us we never question it. We know that it’s right. But there was a time when it wasn’t second nature for us. That’s kind of the same that Daniel Kahneman poses to one’s thinking. Let me just tell you a little bit more about system one. This is our 2 + 2 thinking. It’s all conscious. You didn’t even have to think through the 2 + 2. It’s automatic. It’s quick. It uses intuition. It generates impressions, feelings and inclinations. It neglects ambiguity and it suppresses doubt. It’s bias to believe in confirms. System one wants you to believe that you’re right. System one emphasizes it. It’s the reason that you can make all these answers really quickly. You think back to my story from this morning with board of chair, she was operating on system one. I see what’s going one. I have a lot of things that are happening right now. This is who this person is that I’m going to keep going through my day. If you think about what that is is system one wants you to believe that it’s right, it’s quick, it helps you with that efficiency side but there is a whole other different set of thinking which is our system two. This is when I asked you about 17 x 26 because you have to think it through. So system two…maybe what we’ll do, so I’ll take you through system two and we’ll hopefully get our slides back.
So about our system one, which is our unconscious, it’s our easy thing. It’s the thing that’s going to make decisions. The opposite is our system two. System two is slower thinking. What it is is it takes time. It takes effort. It takes energy. It tires easily. When you think of system two, system two, our brains don’t want us to be in system two all the time because it would be too exhausting. We’d have to think through everything. We have to come in and debate everything. If I can make sort of a different scenario outside of diversity here would be the way I would describe system one versus system two thinking. Let’s say you are coming into a meeting and you have 10 things on the agenda and you have an hour for the meeting. I’m sure many of you have been in this scenario before. Everybody comes in and it takes you 20, let’s say 40 minutes, to finish the first 3 things on the agenda. All of sudden you look and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, we have 20 minutes to go and 7 things” and all of a sudden in the next 20 minutes you whip through the 7 things no problem. You get it all done. What we often think in these scenarios is, “Oh my gosh. We’re rock stars. We actually didn’t need that one hour for the meeting. We could’ve done the whole thing super quick.” But what thing in common, I’m going to argue, is you’d walk into the meeting in system two. Your mind was fresh. You’re ready to engage. In those first 3 things that you tackled you likely got a different answer then you did maybe if you had tackled those things last year. You were willing to hear debate. You were willing to just sort of engage in thinking. When happens when you get to the end is you’ve got the pressure of time and your body is tired from you. What happens is you’ve got the pressure of time and you say, “Okay, this is what we’re going to do.” and in those 20 minutes what typically happens is the loudest voice is the one that gets heard. Or the person who’ve you always relied upon is the one, that one who we go to to answer all those questions. We don’t engage in those decisions and if you look back we’ve made the same decisions that we’ve always. The challenge for us is how do we know when we should spend some time with system one thinking and how do we know when we need to pause so that we are putting in some processes to force us to use system two. Does that make sense?
Before I keep this going, I’m going to see if we can get…
Unknown: They’re on their way.
Lisa: They’re on their way. Maybe what I’ll suggest for right now is why don’t we take a 10 minute break. It’ll give everybody time if you need to grab a coffee or grab some snacks. I’ve got 8:50 on my phone. Please check back here at 9:00. Does that work for everybody? Okay.
Lisa: Okay. So I’ll get us started again. Okay. So technology is back and working for us. It allowed us for a really neat break. I’m going to get us started again and feel free, even though I’m doing lots of talking, if you have questions, thoughts, things that you want us to talk about, by all means please interrupt me at any time.
In terms of where we left off we were talking about the difference between system one and system two thinking. We talked about system one sort of in that instantaneous thinking and system two in that slow pause thinking. I was giving you the example of a meeting where you start in system two and then revert to system one. It was interesting, so sorry I don’t know your name, I was interested in hearing from one of the gentleman that he actually plans agendas. So at the beginning of the meeting you are talking about things that are of ripe importance that you know people will engage on and then you put the things at the end of the meeting that you know people are zipping out on. It is an important thing for us to consider because even though we’re doing this from very much diversity context, in organizations where you’re struggling with innovate, where you’re struggling with change, where you’re struggling with just like, “Are we making the right decisions for our business?” it’s important that we look at this in terms of our decision making. Because it is the way that we do things. It is the way that our brains are wired. It’s important for us to put in some processes, whether its redesigning an agenda, to see how it goes from there. I’m going to do a little riddle for you and I encourage you to just throw out the answer. Here it goes. A bat and a ball together cost a $1.10. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
Audience: Ten cents.
Lisa: Ten cents. Anything else? Who says ten cents? Who says ten cents but I think there’s something wrong with that? Okay. The ball costs five cents. If you think about, bat and a ball together cost $1.10. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. So the bat has to be a dollar five and then the ball is five cents. That’s how the bat costs exactly a dollar more than the ball, giving us our total of the $1.10. If you think about that how many people said, “Ten cents!”? Who said, “Ten cents and something’s wrong with that?” Yeah? So that’s kind of your system one versus system two thinking. System one is like, “Ten cents! I got it.” Basically what’s happening is your brain looks and it sees a dollar ten and its sees a dollar and it says, “Ten cents.” What’s there to think about, right? Whoever said, “Ten cents but there’s something wrong with that.” what’s happening in that scenario is that system two is actually saying, “Hey, hey. Stop it. Slow down. You need to think this through.” right? So system one is operating when you get to the ten cents but if you got to slow down its system two saying, “Hey. Stop. Pause. You need to think this through.” Oftentimes there’s many people who say, “Ten cents but I think there’s something wrong with it.” but they actually can’t get to what’s wrong with it because system one is so powerful. Remember it’s bias to believe in confirm. It wants you to know that you’re right. It’s not going to help you unravel that. What it’s going to say is, “No, no, no, don’t worry. You’re right. You’re right.” and that’s sort of the interplay between system one and system two. It becomes really hard once we’ve made a decision like ten cents to come back from that. When you start to see system one and system two it operates kind of interestingly that way.
We’re going to try something else. You have your pieces of paper from the co-worker exercise or if you brought a pad of paper and a pen, whichever one is more comfortable, I’m going to give you 30 seconds, I’m going to flash a picture up and I want you to tell me what you think is going on in this photo. No talking to anybody else. Just jot down some notes. What do you think is happening here?
Okay. I’ll get you to stop there. We’ll do this nice and easy. The same groups that we had before. First 3 rows will be one group on each side and then back of the room will be another group. Really quickly, just in your groups, what did you think was happening? What did you think was going on in this scenario, in this picture? Sorry, I’m forcing you to turn chairs.
I’ll stop you there. You can stay there if it’s easier. What did you think was happening? What do you think is going on in this story? Anybody can just…yeah, please.
Audience: There are people either listening to a speaker or at a concert or something.
Lisa: What else did you think? Any other options?
Audience: They might be in motion. They might be a group going on a walk. It might just be rush hour.
Lisa: Yeah. So they might be just all moving in a certain direction. Absolutely. Any other ideas?
Audience: Could be an event going on. Maybe even say like September 11. Could have their eyes glued on the screen. Unhappy faces.
Audience: Could be New York.
Lisa: Could be New York. Yeah, yeah.
Audience: They’re always unhappy.
Lisa: They’re always unhappy. Yeah, yeah. What else? Any other observations? Anything that you notice within the picture that you want to point out?
Audience: Maybe it’s a sort of serious thing like Remembrance Day or something. There’s a lot of cameras. Something that people are wanting to take a picture of something, maybe a celebrity or something.
Lisa: Yeah. A lot of cameras. Your point is no iPhones. Did anybody notice that?
Lisa: Yeah, yeah. So there is no iPhones so this is an older picture. When you see it there’s a lot of cameras, potentially sort of that cool dude in the right hand, maybe he has an iPhone but everybody else has got cameras so it dates the photo for you, because you don’t see iPhone’s or Androids or Samsung’s or anything like that. So the comment is it can’t be too serious because she’s eating. It’s quite diverse. The comment was made in this group that’s it not yesterday in Ottawa because they’re not dressed up enough. You realize that it’s quite a diverse group of very casually dressed so to the point about it this might just be a street corner. How many women are in the group?
Lisa: Potentially two, assuming the person in front. Did everybody notice that? Yeah? No? Anything else you noticed about the group? Yes, it’s a very diverse group. Any clue of where we are?
Audience: Big city.
Lisa: Big city, yeah. There is, I don’t know if you can see it, there’s a little Canadian Flag right there.
Audience: I would have said a North American city.
Lisa: A North American city, yeah. The bad news is I have no idea what this is a picture of. What you start to realize, again, if we start to think about ourselves in system one and system two. System one helps us to make some quick decisions, right? If you instantaneously saw it as rush hour or if you instantaneously saw it as they’re watching something or if you know, this woman for example, became your focal point, then she becomes the one that dictates how you feel about it. Well, she’s eating so it can’t be too bad but nobody here looks really happy. We take different pieces of information and even just having eavesdropped on some of your conversations, as you start to talk together you reveal different things to each other. Look, there’s no iPhones. Did you have that experience?
Audience: I said protest and that’s because I have an aversion to crowds. Anytime I see a whole bunch of people together it’s something not so great.
Audience: Then I started listing…nobody’s got signs, no one is yelling, how bad can it be?
Lisa: But that’s actually a really neat example. The fact that you saw a protest, because it also shows you that it’s a bit impacted again by our own lens, the way that we see the world. If you look at it, and someone made the comment about New Yorker’s not being happy, however, it is that you see the world impacts the way we look at a photo. Right? We’re not just like a photo. A video camera, or a camera in and of itself, we don’t take the information and give it all the same weight and just take in information as it comes, we add the colour to it. We add the lens to it. We start to see it and it becomes what we want it to be. To your point I put this picture up in the US and typically, more often than not, people say 9/11. Which is interesting to me because that’s not how I would picture New York City on 9/11 but I think for Americans they hold that very close. It’s interesting because I put this picture up, and we were just talking about the elections, and who knows next time I go back to the States and I put this up, how they’ll see it differently. Right? It could look like protest post-election. It could look like…right? It’s all a matter of how we see the world, what’s going on in our current world, and that colours the way that we look at things. It’s important that we start to see that. What Daniel Kahneman says is that when information becomes scarce system one operates as a machine for jumping to conclusions. If you think about that practically, when you’re in a situation and if we take it back to the work environment where you’re making decisions, whether it be on people or strategy, you don’t have a lot of information and time has to be there, system one will do what our $1.10 and our dollar did. It’ll say, “Here’s the answer.” and it will serve it back up to you because it needs it to. It’ll operate as that machine for giving you the answer. What we have to, again, continue to ask ourselves is, “How do we put these pauses in place?” We’re going to do this after.
What I’m going to do right now is I just want to show you a little bit about, if you want to reassemble yourselves so it’s comfortable for you to look this way, by all means, if you want to go back to chairs or... What I want to show you is just how much this sort of biases around us and how much it’s everywhere. Last night when I was looking through my slides I hesitated to put this slide up because I was just sharing, you’ll obviously know my political bent very quickly, but the day after the election it was like I’d lost my family. I was walking in a fog all day because for me, so I’m just speaking for myself, it felt like human rights went back a hundred years and that is what I held very closely to me. It’s interesting because I do have to go to the US in a few weeks and I’m not even sure how to approach this conversation. I’m going to avoid it and show you this slide instead. This is obviously an older slide. This is 2008. Look how young President Obama looks. But that was when then Senator Obama was going against then Senator Clinton for head of the Democratic party. There’s been a lot of research done on this particular election as there will be on this one that’s coming up, or sorry, that just passed. But what’s interesting is when you look at the data from this election, so if you look at the data from this thing is what they said is that he was more often than not referred to as “Senator Obama”. She was more often than not referred to as “Mrs. Clinton”. When you think about the implications of that, right? Taking an honourific away from someone. Regardless of who that person is, when someone is a Senator and somebody’s not, all of a sudden they don’t become the same person. If you’re whoever you are, going through your busy day and your listening to CNN while you’re making dinner, we do take in those pieces of information and we do them and we put those in different areas. He was more often than not talked about by his platform and she was more often than not talked about by the way she looked. We know this from most recent news, what’s one word that’s often used to describe Hilary Clinton?
Lisa: What? Did someone say perfect? Pant suit?
Lisa: (coughing) I promise I’m on the tail end of a cold so I won’t be getting you all sick.
Lisa: One of the words that’s often used to describe her is cold. Right? When you think about our activity from earlier, the word cold connotes so much, right? Do we want to work with someone who’s cold or don’t we? When you think about that in context, just that one word, what it does to differentiate people. You can make the argument of whether or not she is cold, I’m all for that, but what it does tell is the moment we start placing these things on people, the moment two people aren’t at the same platform. Let’s think about in another way. This is beauty. We’re getting kind of generic here but if you think about empirical beauty, here’s what we know. We know that students get more attention and higher marks from teachers if they’re seen to be empirically better looking. We know that patients get more personalized care from doctors and I can actually verify that. I sat on a hospital board for some time and we would have mystery shoppers go through, not like the ER but acute settings, and what we found is that people who were dressed better actually got better care. And people who looked better got better care. Criminals get lighter sentences if they appear to be better looking. Which is interesting for all of you who are lawyers in the room. Get your clients to suit up. You think about the implication of that and it becomes very significant in terms of the way that we take cues. I always joke, I told you I have little kids. My daughter is in this space where she doesn’t want to brush her hair. My husband doesn’t care and I’m like, “No! She’ll get bad marks. She needs to brush her hair.” When we start to think about these things they set a tone and they set the stage for how we view people.
Here’s another one and this can be very subtle. Who knows the “Dove Real Beauty” campaign? It’s an amazing campaign. You can be who you are, short, tall, big, small, any colour of the rainbow, and you’re beautiful. In this campaign, this was 2 years ago now, Dove put out this “Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion”, if you can read it, I blurred it out, and it’s for normal to dark skin. Normal to dark skin. The most awful part is when I first got this, because I get all these Google alerts when somebody has done something bad, I looked at and I was like, “What’s wrong with this? Is the Dove the wrong colour?” It took me a few minutes to see the “normal to dark skin” because I’ve read that on so much packaging. We read that all the time. You were talking about makeup earlier. If you look, you have sort of the nude palette, and the neutral palette, and the normal palette, all of those things are words that we use. What’s interesting for me is I come from a pharmaceutical background and I worked for J&J. I know how many people would touch a package before it actually went on shelves. If you think about that for an example, “Dove Real Beauty” campaign, you would have had a marketer, an agency who took the photo. You would have the regulatory people who would have had to proof that it made sense. You would have had QA who had to go through and check to see how much was on it. You would have had translation. You would have had all these different people touch the bottle and not one person noticed that it said “normal to dark skin”. Right? That’s what’s significant because that’s still very heavy. That means that that kind of language is very heavy in our minds, right? It becomes important that we start to see that when we come in with this sort of “normal to dark skin” it does impact the way that we look at the world. And not just for the people who are viewed by this as “normal” but in other people how they view normal. Whether or not they think they’re normal. It’s important that we look at this stuff.
Let’s think about the work place for a second. How does some of this stuff start to play out and what does it look like? This is a Canadian study so you can Google the study and find the results. This study’s been duplicated many times in the US but this is one of the only Canadian ones I know of. It’s called “Why do some employers prefer to interview Matthew but not Samir?” 8,000 resumes submitted across Canada and you’ll see the spectrum. They had an Anglophone name with an experience of an undergrad degree obtained in Canada. They had what they called a foreign name. Somebody with Canadian experience and Canadian undergrad as well, a foreign name with an international degree and Canadian experience and a foreign name with international credentials. They sort of did this whole continuum. There’s a lot of results from the study but there’s only one that I really want to show you. In terms of what happened this is one of the things that netted out. They said that English names, so these Anglophone names, they’re 47% more likely to get a call back in Toronto. They have a 39% advantage in Montreal and a 20% advantage in Vancouver. If you start to think about the implication of that, and it’s interesting, because it’s not a surprise to me. There’s a bank that we did work with years ago, and we actually didn’t do this specific piece of work, but if you apply now to a lot of the big banks, particularly if you put your resume in online, it comes out without a name on the other side. Because this bank could already establish that they recognize that because of the names they were leaving a lot of people out. This is, as I mentioned, a study that’s been duplicated in the US many, many times for what is considered to be an African American name or what’s considered to be an Hispanic or Latino sounding name. The data continues to be reinforced. That even, as we start to move forward, and even though you see a lot of progression in terms of people and were they’re evolving with their career, we still see this hold true. It’s in something simple as a name. When I think it through, what I often say to myself is, “I don’t think that a hiring manager, an HR manager, somebody’s looking at a resume and saying, ‘Oh, this name sounds foreign. I’m going to throw it away.’” What they likely do is just go through kind of what we did with the story, or kind of what we did with all of these things is, maybe they saw a name and just thought, “ Oh this is going to be too complicated. I can’t go through this process. I don’t know how to pronounce this. Let me see what’s next.” Whatever it is there’s a series of things that happens that counts one person in and counts another person out. When I talk about system one and system two, someone operating in system one is likely going to get us more to a place of this, and the system two is the opportunity where you blind names. Or where you say, “Hey, we’re going to get more a diverse panel to look at the resumes. Or we’re going to do a double check and we’re going to look at who’s in the no pile and who’s in the yes pile. Once we’re done this process and see where we need to do so me re-digging.” It’s those processes that put us in system two that force us to reevaluate some of our decisions.
Here’s another one. This is an interesting one. It’s called “Getting a Job: The Motherhood Penalty”. It’s a bit of an older study in Cornell. This has been duplicated twice. What they did is they sent out resumes to employers but they had one differentiator in the resume. Parent/Teacher Association Coordinator on the hobby section. They did this for women and they did this for men. They sent out female resumes with this as a hobby and they sent out male resumes with the same hobby. Here’s what they found. Mom’s versus their childless counterparts are half as likely to get called in for an interview. The only differentiator is the Parent/Teacher Coordinator. And when they do get a job they’re offered $11,000.00 less than their childless counterparts. Interestingly for dad’s they’re slightly more likely to get a call back. That wasn’t statistically significant but this was. When dad’s, people who had that Parent/Teacher Coordinator got a job, they were offered $6,000.00 more. It’s interesting to explore some of the archetypes we have around working women and working men. I was speaking at a conference, actually sorry, at a town hall meeting and the president of the organization was a man and there was a number of things happening in the town hall. He went up at the beginning and he talked about the organization. He was very inspirational. He talked about the organization and where it was going, but he led with the story about his son, and how he coached his son’s baseball team and all this kind of stuff. It was interesting for me to have it play out because the woman beside me, who was a vice president, said, “You know what’s interesting? I start at 7:00 most mornings and I finish at 3:30 so I can pick up my kids and then I get back online.” She’s like, “I’m not allowed to tell anybody in the company that.” She said they interviewed her for the company magazine and she wasn’t allowed to talk about it because they didn’t want more people to find out about it. But when they prepared the president to do this talk he talked about how he coached his son’s baseball team. It was an interesting, if I think about this, I think we have the archetype that is a man who is really involved with his kids is awesome, right? It’s great and it’s awesome and we want to support that, and we love to hear those stories, but there’s a concern with women that if they’re doing the same that maybe they won’t be able to work as hard. Maybe they’re doing enough work. It’s interesting because we’ve done a number of internal surveys that organizations where we’re looking at advancement of women and how things are going and I’ve heard that before. We worked with an organization in Toronto where we interviewed their executive team and the CEO actually said to me, “I’m very supportive of women. I want to see women rise to the top. I have all this stuff. The only thing I’m concerned about is when they have children.” And he said, “Because they have all these doctor’s appointments and soccer games and all these things that they have to go and how could they fully really engage with work because of all the doctor’s appointments?” I remember my job in that whole thing was to listen. It was just listening interview sessions, or whatever. I remember thinking, “How many doctor’s appointments are there?” That was his honest belief. It came from a good place because he started with, “I’m very supportive of women”. I hope that one day that he says that out loud in front of somebody else who isn’t just part of a listening session so that they can challenge him on that. That’s the unfortunate thing. Those are the things that we have to ask ourselves. I’ve given sessions like this where people will come up to me over the break and say things like, “I’m so glad you said that.”
This is a bit different but I had a guy come up to me and said, “I live with my parents and when I was negotiating my salary, the HR manager said to me, ‘Come on, everybody knows you live with your parents. Like, how much money do you need?’” When we think about that we never challenge people in those scenarios because we don’t realize all the inherent bias that goes into those comments.
The other bias that I want to talk about that I think is very predominant is something that I’m going to call the “Be like me” bias. Which is we often think about bias as bias against. Somebody who’s different from me. Somebody who’s not as attractive. Somebody who’s this. Somebody who’s that. What we don’t spend a lot of time talking about is this affinity bias, is you’re like me. You look like me. You feel like me. You went to the same university as me. Whatever. You played hockey like me. Therefore you feel like me and I’m going to want to bring you in my circle. To somebody else you just don’t feel the same. Often we use the word “fit” as a way to help us with this. Right? It’s interesting because many organizations where we do work they’ll ask us, “Where does fit play in? We want to make sure we have somebody who fits into the culture.” Fit is important and corporate culture is important. The question I always ask people is, “If somebody fits or doesn’t fit, what do they look like? What does a good fit look like?” Really, when you start to think about the funnel, fit shouldn’t be the thing at the top of the funnel. Right? We should be assessing for behaviours, and skills and competencies and are these the right people. Then, is there something that we need to think about with respect to whether or not they’ll fit in but I really challenge people about what fit in means. We worked with a company that is an oil and gas company. It was like the people who would come check your meters in your homes. They outwardly said we don’t hire immigrants. I said, “Okay. Questionable but tell me why.” They said, “Because they don’t fit.” I said, “What is fit look like.” and they said, “This is like, we’re all in the field, we’re all outside. Every Thursday we meet for drinks, we do this, we do that together and every time we’ve hired an immigrant they don’t want to do that kind of stuff with us. It really kind of ruins things for all of us and so we don’t really want to ruin what we’ve created.” The question becomes does ruining what we’ve created really become the foundation by which we exclude people? We had to do a lot of work with them to get us of that mentality but it’s an important thing for us to assess because sometimes we’re in system one and we just say to someone, “Sorry, that person didn’t fit.” Nobody else questions it and says, “Okay. That person didn’t fit.” and we move on. It’s important for us to think of who are we letting in as much as who are we leaving out. If you think about your friends, I think about my friends, they might not look like me but a lot of them sort of think like me and they act like me. Or of a certain background or whatever it is. Likely, if you’re educated, most of your friends are educated. Those types of things. It really behooves us to do some thinking about who are we bringing in and why do we think that they fit.
Here’s the last one. We start to think about leadership. It’s a very sort of simple one but it’s an important one to consider. When we look at Americans as an example only about 15% of the population is over 6’ tall. Look at CEO’s, right? Over 60% of CEO’s are that height. If you start to get even taller, so 4% of Americans are over 6’2”, we’re going to have that play out again for CEO’s. The pattern holds true for generals, admirals, presidents, it’s hold true here typically, in government as well. The very rare occasion we get a Premier, or somebody who’s not that tall, we actually call out in the news, media and in the paper and all that kind of stuff because it’s so odd. Unfortunately I do get some of my news from Facebook, but this morning I was scrolling through Facebook when I woke up, and I saw this Huffington Post thing on Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama. They’re huge. They’re tall men. You know what I mean? If I was hanging out with them it would be very difficult. When you start to think about it I think the important thing is maybe there was a historic reason. Maybe back in the day we needed our tallest, strongest man, if you will, to be the leaders. But in an era where we spend most of our times behind computers and on our phones, we really have to question that. That’s when bias comes in. Sometimes we can’t put our feeling around why we think somebody has the potential to be a leader. It might be that unconscious wiring of he’s tall, she looks like what we’ve had before, whatever it is, but we really do have to challenge that. Does that make sense? Okay. I’m just going to check on time.
Here’s what we’re going to do from here on. I’m going to have to scroll back a few slides to do this. I’m going to get you to go back in groups and maybe we’ll make the groups a little bit even because I think the group at the back, I apologize, I think the group at the back was a little bit big. Maybe what we’ll do is we’ll do this. I think these two groups are fine. This group maybe we’ll say, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and then maybe 6, 7 that will become one group. And the last two rows will become another group. Here’s what I’m going to get you to do and you’ll have to switch your chairs around. I want you to think of a time where you experienced or witnessed bias. If possible I’d love for you to stick in terms of the work context. So whether it’s your current role, previous role, all of those things. If you’re really struggling then, absolutely you could go to a personal experience but I’d really, as much as possible, like to stick it to work. What happened and what was the implication? I want you think through what was going on? What did you see? What did you feel? What did you hear? As I mentioned at the beginning, part of us developing a language around this, is knowing what to look for and knowing what it sounds like. So, I would encourage you to make sure everybody in your group has a chance to answer. For some people this is going to be a lot easier than others. For some people you’re going to be like, “I have 7. Which one do you want to hear.” and for other people they’re going to say, “I’ve never experienced this.” What I’m going to challenge you is you probably have it’s just not as close to the surface. Maybe as you start to hear some of the others it’ll get a bit closer to there. Don’t just think about it in terms of gender or race or age or orientation. It could be beyond that. It could be your role. It could be what you do. It could be where you work. It could be socioeconomic status. It could be where you’re from. Feel free to push that lens of what we’re considering. I’ll give you about 10 minutes in your groups to just go around and share and we’ll go from there.
Lisa: Okay, so I’m going to get you to stop there. If you’re not done already and I’ll get you to actually stay where you are because you are going to stay in your groups. We’re going to do another exercise. We’ll take quick break after that then we’ll do our closing piece. Here’s what I want you to do in your groups. Is we are going to go on the other side. You have the chance to talk about a time where you experienced or witnessed bias. I want you to dig a little bit deeper on this one. I know this one is going to be a little bit more awkward because, one, you don’t all know each other and two, it’s a little bit more personal. I, one, want us to make the oath of confidentiality that what happens in this room stays in this room and you don’t go back and say, “You know who I met from where and this is what they said.” But I want you to think of a time where you think that you might have displayed bias. If you look back in time now, you think of an attraction that you had, and do the same thing. What happened and what was the implication? Can you look back in your career or in your most recent work environment and think, “Huh, if I look back at the way I did that or the way that I thought or the things that I saw.” So, again, if you thinking about bias it’s like when you made a judgment call or where you took an action that felt right. Right? It’s system one. It felt right. But if you start to look at sort of the evidence that supports some of that the evidence might not quite be there in the same way for this is the right person or this isn’t or he or she should be on this, whatever. I’ll give you about 10 minutes and then we’ll see if you need more time. Going back into your groups, doing the same thing going around and we’ll go from there.
Lisa: Take one more minute to finish up your conversations.
Lisa: I’m going to stop you there but what I’m going to ask the groups is if you can think of one story from the first activity, where you had to think of a time where you experienced or witnessed bias, that you want to share with the larger room, and then a story from your group from the second activity, where you showed bias, that you’d be willing to share with the group. Take 30 seconds to decide what stories you want to share from both the first and the second activity. We’ll do a bit of a share out with the group.
Lisa: Okay. I’m going to stop you there and we’ll get started. Is there any group that wants to go first?
Audience: We’ll go first.
Lisa: You’ll go first? Okay. This group’s going to go. First story, a story where you witnessed or experienced bias.
Audience: I was generously nominated by my group. What came to mind for me was at a previous position in the public sector as security where I spent most of my career … but during that time period is when we had our kids. During that time period I took parental leave and at the time, about 10 years ago, nothing specific but conversations that I was involved in both personally and professionally in terms of logistics, how was the organization, you know, meets its function of the present was quite different from female colleagues … so for me that was a time that I experienced it. One that came to mind …
Lisa: That’s an awesome example. One that even though we’ve sort of come a long way in terms of men taking parental leave, we’re not quite there yet. There is still sort of whether it’s a bias or a stigma or something. I’ve work in organizations where I’ve had senior leaders say, “Men who take parental leaves, they’re probably all just going on vacation with their kids.” It’s still some place that we have to go so I appreciate you sharing that. How about from the second scenario?
Audience: I shared with the group my personal story which is really about my child, my oldest kid, who was engaged with a project and one day needed to go to team members who were part of the project. We picked her up and we were sitting in the car, we were asking, “How did it go, etc.?” and then you ask him, “Well, how many children are there?” … Really, just general questions that was not your own, that she was a friend … in this … but she was engaged in that project and she was telling me, “There was … in the house.” Okay, so she knows what … then mommy and daddy, right? No, it’s mommy and mommy. It’s amazing how it’s a reflection, oh really? Then I stepped back right away, “Yes. What’s wrong with that? You know, nothing’s wrong with that.” That was my reaction but then … with my husband. He called and then she went to do her own … I was just reflecting and sharing with my husband. It’s funny how sometimes it’s your … stigma, whatever it is, or bias that just gets out there. Sometimes you don’t even have control over it. Then you’re like, “Oh no, that’s okay…”
Lisa: Thank you. Thank you. It’s important to share and we start to think of system one and system two. Right? Sometimes things come out in system one and then you start to pull back. That’s also why these conversations are important because it advances our ability to pause and to think and to really think thoroughly. I appreciate that. How about the back group there? Did you have 2 stories that you wanted to share?
Audience: I am sharing this story of a friend of mine. I had a friend I met in law school, you know, she did her hair every day and … and I remember thinking, “How can she possibly” … and she ended up being on the Dean’s list. That was crazy … she’s pretty and smart.
Lisa: Awesome. Thank you. And do you have one for the second side? Where you experienced?
Audience: I have … so I’m just trying to decide what to pick. I worked previously at … Australia … different there. It was a law firm … in a professional context every time I would … chatting with people … professional level it never came up that I had children … and the next question he was asking was how many days do you work? …
Lisa: Thank you. Thank you very much. How about the back group?
Audience: I was telling everyone about a time that I experienced bias and I was 23 years old and … justice in Quebec. I was sent to Northern Quebec to prosecute … insurance fraud. I was standing there with my gown on waiting for the Judge to come in. Judge comes in. He looks down and he says in French, “Where’s the lawyer for the Crown?” I felt really humiliated and completely undermined in my credibility. The entire room started laughing and I felt challenged to kind of get myself together very quickly and keep my face the same … It just reminded me to kind of be aware of these things and not …
Lisa: Thank you. You have those moments there that it completely undermines you then you have sort of the ones that you described which I always consider they slowly eat away at you. It’s like one time somebody asked you a question, or even into your story, somebody makes a question about parental leave or somebody makes a comment about working part time. The more you get it, the more it eats away at you. They have the same significance, right? Because whether or not it happens in one fell swoop, or over time, it undermines your capability and sometimes undermines your own confidence in your capability and decision making. Thank you. Do you have another one you wanted to share from that group?
Audience: Yeah, I think one in terms of demonstrating bias … Last year in dealing with an employee with severe mental problems. She was … and got institutionalized and on disability but all this person would … the HR director had to deal with it. It was incredibly challenging where you would almost get to a point where you were just drawing assumptions around how a person is thinking, how they’re reasoning … We made a decision, you almost sort of say, “Well that’s just feelings speaking…” you kind of ride with it departmentalize and then you sort of draw back and think about it. A lot of times these issues would come up … and then you’re also dealing with other employees who are also dealing with this, this tremendous amount of bias across the board. Tremendous amounts that … just dealing with mental health is a huge challenge.
Lisa: That’s a very significant one that we haven’t really touched on today. When we start to think of diversity and we’re now in a better position now in organizations to have conversations in mental health but we’re also not quite there. We think about sort of visible, or what I’m going to call invisible diversity, mental health often falls in that place of invisible diversity. You meet someone and we don’t know where they fall or how they self-sort of identify, is a good way to say it, because there are people who suffer from depression who would never self-identify that way, don’t want it coming up in the work place but there’s others, for example, who do and think it’s a very important conversation we need to have in the work place. It’s a delicate conversation because there is lots of biases that are ripe in that and people often feel very nervous or scared to share some of their challenges because they’re worried that there will be bias against them as a result.
Audience: And then the behaviour is inconsistent.
Audience: You could have one situation where there’s a response … and an almost identical situation later where there’s a very different response. You want certain … You want the ground to be stable in terms of making decisions. …
Lisa: And it isn’t. No. Very much so. Thank you. How about our group up front?
Audience: My name is Gina ... When I moved here to Ottawa a few years back and I started working I was advised to change my name to Jen … North American and I did. I was young enough. Up until lately I was called Jen and I was working in my organization for 9 years and everything … lately I decided to go back to my name. I asked everybody to call me Gina. … pronounced my name, changed my image so that was my story.
Lisa: Thank you for sharing that. That’s awesome. You meet a lot of people who’ve had a very similar experience. Either someone told them to or they personally, yeah, who’ve changed their names. And good for you this many years in of telling everybody this is my name and I’m going to change everything to support that. That’s awesome. Did you have one?
Audience: Before I tell you about this story, I have to tell you this story. It is so telling about how far we’ve come. Bear with me. My dad is 74 and he spent his professional life as a Vice Principal at variety of schools. As far as I can tell you it involved the first school that interviewed him so this would be probably 50 some years ago. It was a phone interview because of where the school was and where he was. They asked him 3 questions in order to get the job. The first question was whether he was Catholic or Protestant. Because they had a lot of Catholics and they were looking for some diversity. Luckily he answered that question correctly, he was Protestant. He got to move onto question number 2. Question number 2 was how tall he was. They didn’t quite ask it like that. Whether he was more than 5’8” and he said yes, he was. No, more than 5’10”. He was like 5’10” and a smidge. He said yes, I’m more than 5’10”. They said, “Good because we have a lot of shorter men on staff”. They wanted someone taller. The third, which is the classic, is whether he could curl or not. Because they had a curling time and they needed more people on the curling team and that was it. He answered all 3 questions correctly, got the job and went on with his life. That was diversity back 50 some years ago.
My personal code of silence tale is when I was general counsel at a technology firm in Ottawa. This is about 20 years ago or so. I had a …, people come to me, and Krista happened to be one so we actually had a little tete a tete this morning about the situation, and sometimes it’s not about having the opportunity to approve or disapprove of a work from home request. I historically disapproved. I would always say, “No. You need to come to the office. You need to be present.” Whether or not that was real or not, that was my previous position, that I wanted to manage people on site, not remotely. Because in my mind, and I said to the group, people that work from home were doing their laundry, baking cookies and watching TV. So, this is something that I think I’ve learned about bias, is until I’ve actually experienced it and lived it and realized it, because now I do work from home quite a bit and I know that I’m doing a lot more with a lot less and I’m not just baking cookies, watching TV, whatever. I think that there’s an opportunity for people to kind of check in with whether the decisions that they’re making are fact based or not. Mine certainly wasn’t. This was shared during the conversation. She actually never asked me about any sort of work from home opportunity because she already knew the answer. I’m much more accepting now.
Lisa: Awesome. Now everybody can work from home. But that’s actually a neat one because that’s like a policy. It’s interesting because often times we work with organizations that have very progressive policies, but until the leaders buy into those policies, they’re only worth the paper they’re written on. It does becoming challenging. There are many organizations that have work from home as part of their policy, but in and of itself, the leaders don’t believe in it. They think it’s like baking cookies and doing laundry and you’re not really engage and what if I can’t find junior actually working out or getting a massage or something like that. You start to go down the pathway, and I’m willing to continue this because I was listening to your conversation from here, but it’s also typically who often asks to work from home, now it tends to be more of a diverse crowd but before work from home was sort of meant for flexible work arrangements that you could do all the things, you know, so you could drop off and pick up, and it tended to be new moms who originally, If you looked historically at the date it was sort of the new moms who really pioneered this whole work from home movement. So, often in not being allowed to work from home, a lot of new moms had to either find alternate arrangements or had to find work environments that allowed it. It’s an interesting thing for us to start to think about. As most of you are leaders in organizations, as you start to think of the policies that you’re putting in place, is how do you put in a policy that makes sense for the organization but also your leaders can get on board so it actually works. I’ve worked with some of the big audit firms. They have these beautiful flexibility policies. So nice. But I’ve often said to them unless you’re willing to live them I would actually recommend you don’t put them out there. Because then you’re kind of selling people like this false career. Come work here, yes, we’re a consulting firm but yes you can work from home. It becomes a very problematic thing when you’re supposed to be client basing and client based. The reality is your traveling all the time but you’re selling people this work from home thing. As you start to think about policies that you yourself are putting in place how can you demonstrate the business case for them? How can you get leaders on board so that they actually fit what the person needs and what the organization needs and if it doesn’t fit with the organization needs, that’s okay. It’s important for people to know what’s out there as well.
I really appreciate you sharing the different examples because you also started to hear how different they are and the different ways they can touch people. That’s kind of a challenge towards some of those bias conversations is it’s not cut and dry, right? I gave my beauty examples and then you gave your law school example. As you were saying it I was like “Oh yeah.” I could see it. I could absolutely see it. The challenge is we’re never always going to be perfect. We’re never always going to not have these thoughts. It’s how do we challenge ourselves when we have these thoughts. How do we create some extra policies or procedures to put in place to challenge us in organizations but how do we also do a little bit of self-check. Does that make sense.
Just as a time check for the group, it’s almost 10:30 and we have one last thing to do. Would you be okay if we run straight through and we might finish a few minutes early? Is that okay.
Okay, I want us to start thinking a little bit more about what this could like when you go back to the office today. Because you’re going to get some good examples like the ones that you got, I’m just going to get you to grab one of these. There’s tons in this pile. Get you to grab one and pass it along. Because the reality is they might come in these ways like the stories that we heard. Or they come in different ways through your organization and so, we’re passing a long a case study and I’ll get you to go back into your groups and work on the case study together. One is a law firm kind of example so here’s something that could happen in a law firm. The other one is more organizational based. I think it says OPTrust there but it doesn’t matter the organization. Just think of it in terms of this could be happening at your company, what would you do to manage it? As we start to come out of here hopefully you’ve gotten some good information but you can start thinking about what would you do, what would you say? How would you navigate? I’m going to ask you to go back into your groups. Work through the case study. I’ll give you about 7 minutes to work through the case study and then we’ll take those case studies up. Okay?
Lisa: Okay. I’ll get you to finish up your conversations and we’ll start to go through these case studies. I’ll get everybody to focus up at the front. What we’ll do is there are two different case studies that we are working on. What I will ask for this side of the room that didn’t participate on this case study, if you could just take a minute to quickly read it through. I can even read it. If you can see it, it says, “Ruby is a second year associate with the firm and she has just returned from maternity leave. Many of her files were transitioned to others while she was away but she was pleased to find out that Fred, a senior partner, has asked her to work on a file with a new client. Fred has never worked with Ruby before and as they walk in to the first meeting with the client he says, “I know you’re out of practice. I will do the talking today and you can leave the lawyering to me.” Ruby is unsure of what to do and is quiet for the entire meeting. The next day they are going through their notes. Fred seems surprised by Ruby’s strong insights and then he suggests that given the last nights required to get this work done that they call in a first year associate to join the team. Someone who has more flexibility.”
I know the two groups here started to work on this case. Can you run us through some of your answers? Maybe we’ll start with the group at the back. What did you think was going on and what would you do?
Audience: Fred’s not actually asking Ruby what she wants to do. She wants to transition back into her practice. That’s assuming that he knows how she’s feeling, if she’s ready to jump right back in or if she wants more time at the end of the day. The bias is that all mothers are alike and he’s saying can’t work normal associate hours. I think the problem with this scenario, for me anyway, having worked that hard, it’s impossible to separate firm politics from what the right thing to do is. Ruby is … her associate. She … a senior partner. She’s never going to be able to call him out. She can sort of reassure him that she’s ready to do the work. She … can work the late nights because she has a supporting partner, whatever, but it’s not possible for her to really … as in people. … The same thing as the observer. Depends on who the observer is. If it’s another senior partner they can have … directly call Fred on it. If it’s the first year associate … probably not.
Lisa: Yeah. Awesome. How about the group up here? Did you have anything you wanted to add before we start talking it through?
Audience: Yeah. For us we agreed with that assuming that Fred’s words and actions are truly … by biases. Another way to look at this scenario is that they’ve never worked together before so they’re both unsure of each other’s perceptions and backgrounds. It’s certainly a situation where conversation needs to happen immediately because if Fred was genuinely … by bias that situation needs to addressed. There are other plausible possible scenarios to explore … not … possibly by biases to having that conversation immediately is important.
Lisa: What else could be at play if it wasn’t a bias? What types of scenarios, just for the folks who haven’t worked in a firm environment.
Audience: Well, again, it could be Fred is just understanding of it’s her first file back. Not sure if you’re ready to drive the bus. Let you ease in. Or a poor planner. Just that they showed up and he’s like, “Just let me talk.” Again, these are possible but obviously it’s explicitly my first day, appears to be motivated inappropriate bias. But again, trying to hopefully resolve the situation … conversation if that hasn’t taken place between them … haven’t worked together before because, again, … relationship somebody says, “I know you’re out practice I’ll do the talking today.” someone could say, “If it’s alright with you I’m prepared for the meeting …” versus not saying so. But again the dynamic is so important as well for the firm and the second year associate and a senior partner. That led us to the second one. Depending on who you are … in the situation it allows you to approach the situation differently. … partner you see you’re … see what’s happening with Fred.
Lisa: Awesome. Did you have something you wanted to add at the back?
Lisa: That he’s just a jerk? Yeah. So there is a possibility that Fred is just a big jerk. A couple sort of pieces. One, this is actually a real scenario. I was doing some work in a law firm and someone shared this. I asked her if it was okay if, I obviously changed the names, but used it as part of the case study because sometimes you see a case study like that and you think, “Oh that can’t possibly happen”, and those were the exact words, “You leave the lawyering for me.”
Audience: Was Fred the jerk?
Lisa: Was Fred the jerk? In that scenario he was a bit of a jerk.
Audience: … I came back from 2 mat leaves and each situation took me sort of 6 months to feel like I really do know what I’m talking about. … from baby brain and so I think as a second year associate with a partner you’re like, “Okay, I know I’m supposed to know how to do this but I’ve been on a mat leave. I’ve been out of the work force, so maybe I want you to do that … So that’s where the dynamic is a little bit coloured. Yes, it sounds like Fred is a jerk but on the other hand when I came back, I was not confident in my skills because I had been out of the work force for a year … 10 months. So, it’s a very difficult dynamic without … mat leave situation.
It’s a matter of asking what they mean, right? Rather than assuming what they mean. … situation and asking … assumptions about anything …
Lisa: And I think to your story it’s interesting because you have other people who will present the opposite story. I came back to work and I was ready to go on the first day and I didn’t feel like I needed some time so I think to the basis is Fred and Ruby don’t really know each other but it would have been helpful in the context and so let’s put aside that Fred’s not a jerk and he wants to have this conversation that they start with a planning conversation. What do you need? I know you’ve just come back from mat leave. How can I best support you? How do you want to participate? I think that becomes a very helpful scenario. It’s interesting because we’ve done this similar type case study, very similar to this, at law firms where I’ve had partners say, “I actually tell that to all second year women, men, mothers, not, don’t talk.” When you start with a scenario where you’re telling people not to talk it that in of itself could generate a lot of conversation but you start to realize is one, you need to set the foundation. How can I support you? What do you need? How can I help you? In that scenario, let’s say Fred is like, “Yeah, she’s gone on mat leave. I don’t think she can hack it. This is why I’ve set it up the way that I have.” What can be done? How do you address Fred? What happens? Let’s assume Fred is a jerk.
Audience: As group or as somebody else?
Lisa: Either, either or.
Audience: Addressing Fred. That’s what … suggesting?
Lisa: Well, I guess what I would go back to is to the comment back there, you start to realize, and it’s not just in a law firm situation. A law firm hierarchy though is very plain to see, if I can put it that way. It’s structure, it’s part of the way a law firm progresses. It’s very hard for Ruby as a second year associate to go address a senior partner unless she actually knows him and could say, “Hey, you’re a big jerk to me.” The data would demonstrate that in that scenario Ruby’s not going to tell, if she has a mentor in the firm, she might not tell her mentor. She might not tell another partner she gets on with. Who she is probably going to tell is her other second year associates and they’re going to be like, “Oh yeah, Fred is a big jerk. That’s what it’s like here.” That’s kind of a scenario that’s not ideal because you want to actually know those things when you’re in a firm situation. You want to know what’s going on. You want to be able to get a pulse. You want to be able to address people like Fred, assuming that Fred did this with pure intent to just be like, “You just had a mat leave. I don’t think you know what’s going on.” If you’re an observer, and I’m making some assumptions of who’s in the room, but likely for example, if this happening and you’re in the firm you’re in leadership roles. That’s where some voices are louder and have more capability than others. Right? If you’re an observer and you are a partner, or you’re senior partner, or you have an ability to speak with Fred or speak with someone who works with Fred and say, “Hey, this is what I saw. This is what I think is going on.” it doesn’t mean that you pull Fred aside and yell at him. It means you pull Fred aside and say, “Hey, this is what we saw happening. What was going on?” Fred might say, “I thought I was helping her. She just came back from mat leave and I thought, you know what I’ll give her some time to gear up.” or he might say, “You know what? She’s had a child. I fear she doesn’t have the capability.” Whatever. But it gives you an opportunity to address Fred. I think the thing we have to be conscientious of is if it never gets address then Ruby walks away and she either feels not as valued, she’s not sure how to navigate her situation. Because she’s a second year associate she might not want to stir up anything because she might be saying to herself, “I still want to be here. I still want to be successful.” There’s a lot of dynamics going on. The thing I would challenge you all, and I know you’re not all in law firm scenarios but in leadership scenarios you have a voice that somebody else doesn’t have. How can you speak up with that voice? How can you use that voice to carry on a conversation that in this scenario Ruby wouldn’t have. Therein lies the challenge. Any other thoughts?
Audience: I would look at it from the client’s point of view and Ruby is being undermined in a sense and she would have a very hard time establishing her credibility at times if the … doing all the talking. … even if she does take the …
Lisa: Yes. The way that I came into Gowlings was we were doing this program across all the management teams at Gowlings. That was an important part of our conversation because there are people in the room who I think kind of had a little bit of a light bulb of I do this sometimes. To your point, the moment you set that precedent, it’s hard for people to come into a new role. It’s almost like you’re sorry about being in Quebec and presenting in front of the Judge. The moment that someone puts you in a certain role it’s hard to come up from that. It’s very important that we understand the dynamics of that.
Audience: It seems to me that one, he began to see that she had strong insights for the file. He also found another reason to not work with her because the job requires flexibility in terms of late nights to get the work done. Being a young mother would not be suitable for this second year associate.
Lisa: Absolutely. That’s also, again, the second part is as you look at this he suggests a first year without her having had said, “I think we’re going to need some support on the file.” or, “I think I’m going to need some support.” There’s a lot of assumptions at play and maybe, again, she may welcome it and say, “Oh my gosh. Bring on the first year. I would love to balance this out.” But based on the way it’s written that isn’t what’s set up. To your point, when you think of having a scenario, I know I was eavesdropping on your conversation this morning about bringing women back from mat leave, it’s important that these conversations happen so that everybody’s on the same page in terms of what they needs are. Some women might say, and I’m using women but some parents might say, “I need this much time.” or, “ I need this much support.” Others might say, “I’m back in.” I have a girlfriend who is a partner at a law firm and there is no change, it’s like she didn’t skip a beat from when she had the kids. Everybody is going to choose that path a little bit differently and it’s important that you have the conversation at the beginning. Then when stuff likes this is going down, is making sure that if you are in the observer role and you have the capability to speak up, is doing that. Because that’s what’s going to become critically important for someone like Ruby as she decides how to navigate herself in here.
Any other thoughts? Let’s do the second one. I know were getting towards the end of our time so we’ll move through this at pace. I’ll read it to you. It says OPTrust but it can be any organization.
You’re part of an interview panel that is looking internally for a manager. As per the interview process you interview Gang, who has been an analyst for the last 5 years with OPTrust, or your organization. He is succeeding in his role and based on the discussion has the capability to take on increased accountability. The panel seems impressed Gang. The challenge, however, is that Gang is very quiet and you’ve observed this in meetings. In meetings he tends to defer to his leader and you notice that during your interview he didn’t seem comfortable making eye contact with you. You wonder whether or not he can lead a team. Will he be able to command the respect he needs from people, from the executive? Someone else on the team expresses the same concern and you think that your instincts might be right. What kind of issues and biases are at play and what approaches could be taken?
Why don’t we start with the back group. How did you approach this? Anyone.
Audience: First of all … is there a cultural bias? Is there sort of a leadership scenario kind of bias, right? Just because someone is quiet, doesn’t make eye contact … leadership doesn’t necessarily make him potentially a poor leader. Part of it is I think finding and understanding what the organization is looking for in terms of that leadership quality. The person who, look through their eyes, really hasn’t had a lot of contact with Gang. Observed him at ... as an interview. So again, drawing out a conclusion based on what seems to be very little contact.
Lisa: So what could you do? Yes, please.
Audience: They’re sitting there and you think … somewhere else …
Lisa: Awesome. How about the front group? How did you talk through the scenario?
Audience: We did have a little bit of a distinction between leadership qualities and management qualities. Here, supposed to be hiring a manager. Maybe they don’t need to have some of those characteristics that we tend to equate with inspiration or leaders.
… the value that we place on introversion versus extroversion and it concludes based on … that he’s said. Introversion and the qualities that we associate with introverted behaviour are actually quite beneficial to certain situations and certain requirements for an organizational perspectives. There’s a lot of colour with words like “making eye contact” and “deference” and it could be cultural. He could come from a place of culture where eye contact and that type of deferential behaviour is actually required and in his current role but if he were to be given an opportunity to manage, you might see a very different Gang, might be more typically, more typical leadership qualities might come to shine to other areas.
Lisa: So there’s a number of things at play. We don’t know but there is a possibility, to your point if his name was bob, again, we don’t know. There could be cultural things at play. Making the assumption that Gang is Asian we know from cultural competencies that there is deference to hierarchy and that plays very significantly in the Asian community. It could be that but we don’t know for sure. There could be a cultural bias as you put it against him because it might be like a you’re just not like me, like there’s a like for like piece missing there in terms of how we’re doing it. It says that he’s succeeding at his role and that he’s quiet and you’ve seen him defer. Who knows? He could have been Ruby 5 years ago when someone told him to be quiet at a meeting. Right? Now 5 years ago this is what it looks like. That he always defers. It could be cultural but it could be situational. We don’t know. The other thing I would put in there is also I would suggest that how’d they get to this point where we considered Gang to be, you know, he’s succeeding, he has the capacity to take on increased accountability but yet in performance management no one said to him, “Hey, we noticed you don’t seem to be taking the leadership role. You seem to be quieter than we would have expected.” so that it shouldn’t be coming out of nowhere. I think to your point about introversion versus extroversion you make a good point because we have this view that leaders have to be these great extroverts. That they inspire. But there are very many leaders who are introverted. We also have to look at introversion and extroversion very specifically for what they are. If we think of introversion, introversion is like a rechargeable battery. An introvert can go out and do a great job showing these extroverted characteristics but when they’re done, they’re done. Do you know what I mean? They’ve given all the energy that they have and when they go home they want to close the door and not talk to anybody else. Recharge so that they’re able to do that again. But there still able to do it. An extrovert is like a solar panel. It’s like they open up. Where do they get their energy from? They get it from people. It’s like the sun. They open up when they’re around people and then they suck the energy out of the room, in some ways usually from the introverts, and they take everything they have but the moment that stimulus is gone they close. Right? It’s a very different way. If you talk to an extrovert, you’ll sometimes meet extroverted people who are like, “No, no, no. When I’m done at the end of the day I also don’t want to be around people.” Then you ask them, “What do you do?” They’re like, “Well, I go home. I blast the music.” You’re still getting that stimulus. “I go and I work out and I do a spin class where I can’t even hear it’s so loud.” They’re still getting that. The important take away is that they can both show those characteristics but be in leadership roles. It’s important that we challenge our view of what leader could like whether, to be honest it’s manager or leader, we have to be able to challenge ourselves a little bit. I think the thing that needs to be taken to the comment at the back is search for the evidence. When you’re in these scenarios, whether you’re Ruby or whether you’re Gang, when you’re in these situations where someone says something, “He doesn’t fit. She doesn’t fit. I’m not sure they’re right. Maybe we should hire somebody else. Whatever it is, search for the evidence that we can actually validate what’s going on. Often what happens is we live very much up here where somebody says, “Oh, he’s not going to be a great leader.” and we also go, “Okay. That makes sense. He’s not going to be a great leader.” We live in the system one where we like, “That makes sense and I’m able to move on.” We don’t challenge the thinking. What we really want to start doing is look to validate. Give them an opportunity to show that he has leadership potential and really challenge us around the table. When have we seen him be quiet and when haven’t we? What can we do to figure this out. Does that make sense?
I’m conscious of your time so I am going to close off for the day. In terms of what you can do, we actually covered quite a bit, because we started the day really understanding where bias comes from. The system one system two, how prevalent it is. We talked about what it could look like and feel like and then we ended with this here’s what it might look like in your organization.
In terms of what you can do there are a number of things. The first thing is obviously spend some time questioning yourself. My goal is if you leave here and today or tomorrow you find yourself saying something and you stop yourself, we’ll have already been successful. It’s in those moments of pause that you can figure things out.
The other thing I would say, I know you don’t have a lot of spare time, but if you get a chance and you Google, it’s called the “Harvard Implicit Association Test” or you can Google “Harvard IAT” or anything like that. Harvard has a series of tests and they’re free to do and you can pick race, or gender, or ability or a number of different things. It’s very hard to outsmart the test but it can actually reveal some of your biases to you. It’s in doing these tests, and its completely confidential, but it’s in doing these tests that you learn a lot about yourself. For me I spent a lot of time on this work and it’s interesting for me to do the test because I’m definitely not bias free but one of the things that came out that makes me uncomfortable, and I’m always conscious of, is when I did gender and leadership is I have preference to male leaders versus female leaders. I’m a feminist female leader. But it’s also part of what we’re nurtured to gravitate towards. It’s important that I know that about myself so that I check myself in every scenario so that I’m countering that bias. It’s important that we do that. As I say it I even still feel uncomfortable but it’s in that discomfort that we kind of learn and grow.
The next one is question others. You’re going to go back to your organizations or where you work and I encourage you, it doesn’t necessarily mean finding the Fred in the office and yelling at him, but it’s where can you look for opportunities where you see these things at play to just pause and say to people, “Hey, how do we know that’s true? Do we think that’s the right approach? Should we pause here? What do we need to do to get the evidence?” Those are the easy things we can do.
Lastly, and this isn’t the easiest, but it’s how can you create systems that put you back into system two. And in the way that it works for your organization. Not everybody is going to blind a resume, whether it’s making diverse panels, whether it’s setting up your agendas specifically to navigate around what you think system one system two, all of those things, when can you do those things so that you’re effectively putting tools in place that force you into system two when the time is right.
I’m going to stop you there because of time. I know that there’s lunch being served in the back and I believe there is networking after this if you want to stay. I’ll leave you to close us off.
Anna: I just wanted to say on behalf of the Gowling WLG Diversity Committee, thank you very much to Lisa for coming here today and sharing her insights with us. I don’t know if you were lured here on the premise that all would continue to have ... Really grateful that you did come today despite the snowfall yesterday so thank you very much. Thank you to you all for coming and I hope you all gathered some information and some tools to go back and work within your organizations. And yes, there is lunch here. Feel free to stay. Thank you very much.