12/18/2018 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

CS&A Explores Implicit Bias

Four business professionals of difference races with masks covering part of their faces

At Carney, Sandoe & Associates, we are committed to the importance of increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion – both within our own organization and among the educational communities with whom we partner.

Cognizant of our ability to reach a wide variety of schools, teachers, and educational leaders, it is our goal to provide educators with resources that help foster diverse & inclusive environments. We aim to facilitate continued learning and to encourage valuable networking opportunities.

-CS&A Diversity Mission Statement

CS&A has been hosting its FORUM/Diversity event since 2015. This event serves a twofold purpose: to provide an opportunity for educators to attend workshops focused on themes of equity and inclusion in schools, and to allow job seekers from underrepresented communities the chance to connect with hiring contacts at schools from across the country. As attendance grew and the value of its professional development increased, FORUM/Diversity expanded into a two-day event to allow even more time for learning, networking, and interviewing.

As our Diversity Mission Statement states, we believe in providing schools and educators tools to advance DEI initiatives in their own communities, while also exploring our own work in recruiting and placing teachers and administrators at schools and other educational organizations.

Last week, we were joined in our Boston office by Lawrence Alexander, CS&A Consultant and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at The White Mountain School (NH) for the start of a multi-session implicit bias training. A vast amount of research indicates that the hiring process is biased across all industries – and education is no exception. While hiring managers do not (usually) single out candidates due to their race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, more often a manager's action are the result of implicit bias.

By definition, implicit bias is any unconsciously-held set of associations about a social group. Implicit biases can result in the attribution of particular qualities to all individuals from that group, also known as stereotyping. The problem of implicit bias is complex because the bias is not always evident. Fortunately, Lawrence helped us explore ways to limit bias in each area of our work.

To kick things off, we began by exploring terms related to DEI and bias. As a group, we discussed how to understand them in relation to our work as a recruitment firm, and broke down the larger concepts into ideas connected to our practice. The heart of our time was spent reflecting on what we do or don't do within our processes to address the needs of candidates of color and the schools we partner with. We examined our own methods and practices around recruiting, interviewing, candidate referrals and advocacy, among other areas, and noted areas of improvement. Lawrence helped to push us to generate ideas that can bring tangible changes to the work we do.

This work around implicit bias is crucial to our mission as a company. Says CS&A President Devereaux McClatchey, “The implicit bias training we engaged in with Lawrence Alexander was challenging, important work. A huge piece of it was the acknowledgement that this should and will be an ongoing process for all of us, as opposed to one-off workshops or events. While we acknowledge that both internally here at CS&A, and externally with our schools and job seekers, everyone is on their own individual journey, I’m proud that as an organization we have collectively committed to engaging deeply in this work – consistently and with vulnerability.”

CS&A looks forward to welcoming Lawrence back in the spring for another session.

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