Unpacking our baggage: Are we making business and employment decisions on our inherent biases?

As our society becomes more diverse, businesses may not realize that their customers and employees also have become more diverse. More often than not, leadership ranks of these business remain less diverse, no longer mirroring their workforce or customer base. As people, we often view the world and people around us through our own experiences. If a company has a lack of diversity in its workforce, then its employees' experiences can lead to decisions based on unconscious biases adverse to diverse groups. Such decision have the potential to cause a loss of valuable employees and/or customers.

Diversity and inclusion is a business imperative. Employees who experience bias are less engaged and turnover at higher rates. Customers who experience bias at the hands of employees may not be return customers, and in today's social media climate, such could lead to national exposure, a reduction in revenue and a deterioration of company brand.

It is well documented that a diverse workforce outperforms non-diverse teams. If your company is unconsciously closing the door on diverse groups, it is limiting its talent depth and skill pool. There are training tools that can be utilized to acknowledge and correct decisions that are being made by employees based upon unconscious bias and policies that can be implemented that brand your company and its goals to align with its market and foster its competitiveness.

You will learn:

  • Learn best practices on handling tricky situations arising from implicit biases;
  • Develop tools to avoid public relations and legal problems;
  • Assist with creating a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming/ equitable environment for employees and customers.

About the Speakers:

Mark A. Baugh
Shareholder, Baker Donelson

Mr. Baugh has advised and successfully represented educational institutions, national and regional retailers, health care providers, service providers, trucking companies and technology service providers in the defense of claims of discrimination (including claims based on race, religion, gender, age and disability), claims of harassment (including claims based on age, race and gender), wrongful termination, breach of contract and retaliation (under wage and discrimination laws and under state workers' compensation laws), at the federal, state and administrative levels. He also has extensive experience representing insurance companies in coverage disputes and workers' compensation insurance regulatory matters.

Nancy A. Vincent
Of Counsel, Baker Donelson

Ms. Vincent has advised and successfully defended educational institutions, government entities, utilities, and retailers, among others, in state and federal employment and commercial claims (including involving telecommunications), and in public policy matters. She also has provided extensive counsel regarding local, state and federal procurement law and regulations, including in connection with competitive selections and contracts for the design and construction services, the acquisition of goods and the acquisition of general professional services.

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