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Erasing Institutional Bias: Structural Change, Starting with You

Tiffany Jana, Ashley Diaz Mejias

November 14, 2018

"Many organizational leaders long to talk about diversity and inclusion, and want to make diverse hires and bring more people into the room. But institutionalized biases have put true equity—the breaking up of the dominance of one culture and the creation of space for those who have been underrepresented—out of reach for those who are working towards creating more just workspaces. In our work with organizations, we have found that erasing institutional bias is a difficult task. When bias is operating at a systems level, it can seem impossible to change. But with humility, patience, and some tools, change is possible. Working against institutional bias, as we will explain, involves more than just increasing simple numbers. It includes the hard and often vulnerable work of making room at the table, on the board, and in the c-suite for those who have not historically been represented. It requires undoing our cultural assumptions about what bias is and how it works, and then giving ourselves over to the introspective and collective work of erasing institutional bias. It's about doing this all in our everyday workspaces."

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