From January 21st – January 29th, 2021, Stark & Stark’s staff and attorneys participated in a virtual Unconscious Bias Training Workshop. Throughout the course of the week, seven different sessions were held and hosted by Gloria McDonald, Master of Science in Organizational Development (MSOD), a consultant, facilitator and speaker with a track record of creating transformational approaches to a business and culture of inclusion in the workplace.
The Unconscious Bias presentation took participants on an exploration through the different perspectives of others. Using different exercises and brain games, participants were able to learn many different concepts such as how quickly we, as individuals and a society, make judgements, the difference between equity and equality, and the definitions of “diversity” and “inclusion”. Participants gathered virtually in small groups to discuss what could be improved on within the firm in order to create a continued sense of comfort and acceptance.
“This was the first year that our firm mandated unconscious bias training for all employees, and I could not be more proud of everyone for genuinely showing up and participating,” Managing Shareholder Michael Donahue explained. “While we have always prided ourselves in having a family environment at Stark & Stark, each of us must be committed every day to work together to create a culture in which we not only support each other, but also make all of our team members genuinely feel like they belong here. As a business, it is crucial that we are each aware of our natural implicit biases and continue to foster a culture in which we approach each decision looking through many lenses.”
“It is important to be aware of factors that may be influencing our judgment and decisions in the workplace,” Director of Human Resources Marie-Claire Correa stated. “If unconscious bias isn’t identified, it could potentially create a toxic work environment. Conducting ‘Unconscious Bias Trainings’ is beneficial to all employees because they help create an inclusive and diverse environment welcoming new perspectives, transparency, trust, honesty, and an enriched environment. Moving forward, the firm plans to continue to embrace conversations that may make us uncomfortable. By understanding and being more mindful of unconscious bias, we are rewarded by having a rich and diverse workplace culture.”
As we continue through 2021 and the years ahead, it is important to keep the lessons from this workshop in mind, and to apply our training to not just within the workplace, but also in our day-to-day lives.