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“Threshold have worked with us to bring about a new leadership culture and have literally changed the lives of countless individuals across Aviva."

 

Group Organizational Development Director, Aviva Plc

services

What We Do

Diversity and inclusion

We draw attention to unconscious bias without finger wagging

We recognize that many of our reactions to others are rooted in our unconscious biases. There is no sense of blame in drawing attention to these biases but we all benefit from an increased awareness of the hidden prejudices that can guide our interactions with colleagues. Threshold uses a number of exercises to explain the idea of unconscious bias – these exercises are fun and are in no way accusatory. We talk about System One and System Two thinking and the snap judgments we often make if we don’t check ourselves. Our introduction to Unconscious Bias usually finishes by touching upon micro-inequities. Micro-inequities are the small and subtle ways in which minorities (including women) are often treated differently.

Discrimination still exists in the small messages we send each other

Professor Mary Rowe first used the term in her research, which concluded that modern organisations are less likely to discriminate against minorities in overt or obvious ways, yet discrimination still exists. It exists in the small messages that we send to each other – research indicates that minorities (including women) are more likely to be ignored, interrupted and are subject to almost imperceptible ‘cues’, which are non-inclusive.

It’s not just awareness but motivation to change

Research shows that simply making people aware of unconscious bias can prove counter-productive. Normalizing a behaviour can reduce the motivation to change:

“So everyone does it… it’s just human nature… why change…”

For this reason we need to target not just awareness but motivation to change. This means being prepared to show the impact in a way that chimes more deeply with people, while keeping the overall tone engaging. It also means showing people how they can get better at neutralizing their own unconscious bias.

Change requires practical tools

We believe that people change best when equipped with practical tools to do so. It is our aim to give participants a tangible set of skills, which they can practice in the workshop and apply immediately in the workplace. We take our participants through a ‘flight simulator’ process asking them, in a confidential and supportive environment, to experiment with the tools and techniques, which we introduce.