"If you look at unconscious bias and what gives rise to this, it really is our backgrounds and where we were brought up and how we were raised," says Nina Boone (photo), managing director of M & A and transaction solutions at Aon, and a speaker at the upcoming Women in Insurance Miami. "Those types of muscles, if you want, take over and we make assumptions", by referring to the & # 39; rolodex & # 39; that we have in our minds about life experiences.
Unconscious bias often comes into play during the recruitment process. If a group of interviewers resemble each other in gender and gender, work in the same business unit and live in the same region, there will probably also be a lot of overlap in their life experiences and in the environments in which they work. , which in turn means that they could have the same implicit bias about the interviewees who are in front of them.
"What Aon wants to do is create a diverse panel of interviewers who add different rolodexes to the conversation, so not only do we get a different, varying set of unconscious prejudices, but when you do that, what happens then we consciously make decisions", explains Boone. "Suddenly we talk very openly about our thoughts and we think about that candidate."
The result is that even if a company brings in women or various candidates for job interviews, but a homogeneous group of interviewers is approached, whatever that looks like, that company may not end up with a diverse team, Boone explains.
Addressing unconscious bias is also important when individuals are looking for a higher career. For example, a leader may have an unconscious bias about a female team member who they assume does not want to travel, if she has been promoted to a position where that would be a requirement because she has small children.
"We must always assume that if a person has put forward their CV to do the job, they understand the work and have to do the work," Boone said, adding that verbalizing these prejudices is important because they can then be addressed.
The insurance sector is making progress to promote diversity and inclusion by engaging in combating concepts such as unconscious prejudices that can prevent initiatives, but there is still room for improvement.
"Industry as a whole is struggling to find candidates that they will consider consciously or unconsciously for positions, I think we're still getting used to seeing women sitting in rooms they were not in earlier in. I think we're making faster progress books with women than with our minority and ethnically diverse candidates and that women with a color are part, "said Boone, although she adds:" The industry as a whole is taking deliberate steps to make it better. "I think we are competing with the financial sector and other industries that are also very deliberate [looking at] acquiring these candidates. It is currently a difficult market, but I think we are absolutely committed. "
Take a deeper dive in this issue at Women in Insurance Miami.