12/08/2021 by Carney Sandoe Staff | CS&A News
Announcing Implicit Bias Training: A Year Later
To further our commitment to our Diversity Mission Statement and to an inclusive leadership search and hiring process, last year our Search Group began offering search committees engaged in a head of school or key administrator retained search the option to participate in implicit and cognitive bias training at no additional cost.
Led by members of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Consulting Practice, this training helps us take a practical step in supporting schools and organizations create hiring processes that support a more diverse talent pool. Identifying and interrupting bias is critical to achieving the best possible outcomes in a search process. This work is imperative in building an inclusive hiring process for historically underrepresented candidates and in demonstrating to school communities that the hiring process is fair and equitable. It is also an important next step in Carney Sandoe's efforts to support excellence in the schools and other communities with which we partner.
“Personally, I've been excited to deepen the work of equitable and inclusive decision-making within the recruitment and hiring process,” says Lawrence Alexander, Carney Sandoe search consultant and practice leader. “A diverse team yields optimal results — across industries. In schools, it allows students the opportunity to see a world outside of themselves, within their schools. In other settings it brings the global village into the local community.”
A Look at the Training
The 90-minute training grows a search committee’s understanding of the biases most frequently occurring in hiring processes and leaves them better equipped to identify and interrupt the impact of bias on the search. To do this, consultants provide concrete examples of how biases are voiced and acted upon in searches, leading to rich conversations between members of the search committee.
During the workshops, committee members frequently begin to identify the biases that they carry with them, a critical first step in shedding them. Additionally, committees develop shared commitments to the work, including navigating conversations with fellow committee members when bias appears to be present in the committee’s discussions and decisions. Following the session, participants receive a guide that keeps the material accessible to them throughout the search. Of course, they have the continued support of their search consultants throughout their work with CS&A.
“The training is an opportunity for schools to increase their aperture on who a talented candidate might be,” says senior associate Seliat Dairo, “and they are better able to assess their community’s resources and growth edges to best support an incoming team member.”
Putting Training into Action
In addition to eliminating bias and creating a more inclusive hiring process, the effects of this training can be seen beyond its immediate value.
“The trainings offer value multiplied: first, in the honest conversations held with search committees to help frame their collective decision-making work; secondly, and by extension, to provide some language and tools that can be shared out and built upon in their communities regarding inclusive (best) hiring practices,” comments Martha Neubert, CS&A consultant.
Now more than a year into this work, the DEIB team frequently hears from both committee members and search consultants about how the training made a difference in a particular search. “One outcome of the work that some might not expect is that search committees who have gone through this training simply function better. Why? They develop a greater sense of common purpose, operate cognizant of their collective strengths and blind-spots, and build stronger individual and collective accountability to follow equitable and inclusive practices,” notes Chris Boyle, Carney Sandoe consultant. “This difference is frequently palpable to the candidates in the search and the school community.”
Recently, the DEIB team developed a parallel training for schools’ senior leadership teams and hiring leadership teams. Where the committee training focuses on implicit bias in a specific search, this new training explores bias in the systems and processes schools utilize throughout their work in faculty and staff recruitment and hiring. Carney Sandoe offers this training to Member Schools at a highly discounted rate to encourage participation.
“I believe schools will gain not only a stronger understanding of inclusive hiring processes, but also tools to make their community more inclusive as well,” adds Brandon Jacobs, Carney Sandoe associate.
Lawrence, Chris, Brandon, Seliat, and Martha are also joined by Heather Flewelling and Justine Medina in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Consulting Practice.
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