The Damaging Impact of Bias

Unconscious bias is an important conversation in relation to the survival and success of companies.

Across all sizes of business, unconscious bias is becoming an important conversation as it relates to the survival and success of companies. While both small and large businesses alike must be concerned about sensitivity and bias training, it is arguably small businesses who have the most to lose without an inclusive corporate culture.

On May 29th, Starbucks closed 8,000 stores to offer racial bias training to 175,000 employees. While the Starbucks incident was a big one, with large repercussions for the company, they are also a $100 Billion dollar company with no shortage of business or resources. For smaller companies, the effects of such an incident would almost certainly be more detrimental. Without billions of dollars and a seemingly infinite number of customers to fall back on, any incident could be the last one for a small business.

Today it is more important than ever that small businesses protect their customers, employees and themselves by committing to diversity and inclusion. Small and medium businesses must make concerted efforts to hire inclusively, evaluate unconscious bias and maintain parity in the workplace.

On the other side of the coin, small and medium sized businesses may have the most to gain by committing to inclusivity. According to All Business, diversity contributes to productivity, creativity and new ideas, positive business reputation and profits. “Your company’s bottom line can really benefit from a diverse workforce. Having a diverse workforce can be a contributor to higher profits for a company, as a mixture of different elements such as productivity, creativity, and a positive business reputation, all help contribute to increased sales.”

Small Business Trends reports that, “The McKinsey Global Institute estimates gender parity could add $12 trillion to the global economy, and suggests gender diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to financially out-perform their peers. Similarly, ethnically diverse companies are 35 percent more likely to do the same.”

In today’s world, one incident can have long-lasting, far-reaching impacts on your small business. Small business leaders must be vigilant in protecting their customers, employees, and themselves by committing to inclusivity and diversity. In return, small and medium sized businesses may enjoy increased productivity, creativity, reputation and profits.



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