Are you ready for blind promotions?

As the existence of gender, race, and other biases becomes more widely acknowledged, many organisations are “blinding” their talent selection systems. [Via Harvard Business Review]

Why talk about it?  There are many companies who are already “blinding” CVs as part of their recruitment processes.  Removing names, for example, has been proven to increase the selection of candidates from under-represented groups.

Research from HBR has shown that when indications of a candidate’s gender, such as their first name, was removed from applications for a period of time, they chose women at a much higher rate than when their gender was obvious.  There have been several other studies highlighting that anonymising candidate information yields better results if your aim is to increase diverse hiring.  However, therein lies the challenge.

Is your objective around diversity and inclusion to increase the numbers for numbers sake, or is it to ensure that diversity permeates every – and I do mean every – layer of your organisation?  Because if that’s the case, then shouldn’t you take blind CVs a step further and use them as a part of talent calibration processes?

On its own it won’t be enough as you have to carefully and systematically review every part of your talent calibration process.  You have to make sure you have objective performance management processes in place, that your line managers are made aware of their unconscious biases and understand how to objectively measure the performance of their teams, and you need to get the buy-in from everyone involved.  Not an easy feat, but if you’re really serious about increasing representation in your businesses, this could be a good experiment to run.

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