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073: The Impact of Unconscious Bias on Your Company and Your Career

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2020

073: The Impact of Unconscious Bias on Your Company and Your Career


Do you find yourself staying silent when you know you should speak up?  Do you understand unconscious bias and the role it has in the workplace?  On today’s episode of the Digital Enterprise Society Podcast Thom Singer interviews attorney, speaker, consultant and author Kelly Charles-Collins about unconscious bias and doing what it takes to keep your company on the right side of the next #hashtag movement. They discuss the differences between racism and unconscious bias, steps you can take to minimize unconscious biases in your company and your career, and the importance of never being a bystander when action needs to happen.  


On today’s podcast, you will learn:

Understand unconscious bias

  • The stereotypes you make about people have an effect on your daily decisions in the workplace. 

  • Unconscious bias has the ability to protect us, but more often it betrays us when we make decisions based on incorrect information. 

  • Racism and unconscious bias are not the same thing — one uses power structures to intentionally marginalize groups of people while the other is based on cognitive instinct — but the impact is still the same. 

Discover and minimize unconscious biases in the workplace

  • Understanding these biases will help monitor patterns of behavior that may not best serve your company or your career.

  • Subjective “good fit” is the enemy of diversity and inclusion in the workplace while objective “good fit” considers individual contributions to the efforts of the workplace.

  • You can minimize biases through training and self-reflection on the decisions that you’ve made in the past.

  • The Harvard Implicit Association Test can help reveal and address your biases.

  • Slow down in your actions to give your brain an opportunity to consciously consider your decisions.

Next steps in overcoming unconscious biases

  • It’s one thing to be aware of a bias, it’s an entirely different endeavor to overcome it. 

  • If you can’t immediately eliminate a bias you can start by disrupting it and course correcting from where you are.

  • Identify the filters you’ve used in your life that have supported your unconscious biases.

  • Have intentional conversations with people you haven’t talked to before. 

  • Support a workplace culture shift from silence to accountability.

The message of The Bystander Effect TED Talk

  • Individual accountability is at the core of everything that we do. 

  • Be willing to speak up when the small things happen to reduce the possibility of big explosions happening.

  • Find ways every day to interrupt patterns of inappropriate behavior. 

  • Be aware of when you are acting as a bystander and find ways to speak out.

  • Take action when action needs to be taken. 

Do you have an example of extraordinary efforts or innovation during these unprecedented times? We would love to hear your story and possibly interview you for an upcoming episode. Please reach out to us at



The Bystander Effect: Why Some People Act and Others Don't | Kelly Charles-Collins | TEDxOcala

ACE Your Workplace Investigations: A Step-by-Step Guide for Avoiding Friction, Covering Your Assets, and Earning Employee Trust


Kelly Charles-Collins is an American employment law attorney, award-winning TEDx speaker, and the CEO of HR Legally Speaking, LLC, a boutique consulting firm. An Unconscious Bias, Bystander Intervention, and Workplace Investigations expert, Kelly empowers leaders to stay on the right side of the next #hashtag movement. Kelly is the founder of Ladies Who Leverage, a global online community and summit that empowers women to leverage their expertise, resources and relationships.


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