International Diversity Day event in collaboration with the Federation for Small Businesses, 21st May 2018

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In commemoration of International Diversity Day, GEN teamed up with the UK’s Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) in Manchester, Nottingham and Plymouth to host a webinar across the three locations held at MMU, Nottingham University and the University of Plymouth.  Over sixty FSB members registered for the event and delegates from the three universities also attended. The purpose of this collaboration was threefold; to share leading research on unconscious bias, diversity and leadership, and their impact on women-owned firms, enhance awareness about GEN, and to facilitate inter-regional FSB – GEN networking and collaboration opportunities.

The event consisted of the following three presentations streamed live across our venues in Manchester, Nottingham and Plymouth, where they were followed by local networking and discussions:

  • Unconscious Bias (Dr Sylvia Terbeck, School of Psychology, University of Plymouth)

Whilst equality and diversity training might effect our explicit expressions and behaviour, we also harbour unconscious biases which can affect us. Learning and understanding the scientific bases and the psychology behind them can support more open and nuanced attitudes. This can help business to be more successful in attracting a diverse range of staff and customers. In this presentation Sylvia discussed the social psychology of unconscious bias. She explained the underlying psychological mechanisms, the latest research in this area, and ways to overcome prejudices.

  • Unconscious Bias, a Lack of Diversity and Gender Inequalities in a Traditionally Male Profession: A Case Study (Dr Lorna Treanor, Nottingham University Business School)

This presentation demonstrates how embedded stereotypes influence the career outcomes of individual professional women located within a traditionally masculine STEM profession (veterinary medicine). The profession is now numerically dominated by women but is still led by men. The presentation highlighted the outworkings of unconscious bias within organisations – in terms of recruitment and selection, work allocation and promotion decisions.

  • Generating Routes for Women’s Leadership (Dr Helen Woolnough, Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University)

Research tells us how organisational processes obstruct women’s progression and retention in leadership roles, and pioneering organisations are responding by developing initiatives to create better routes for women’s leadership. But how do businesses access this knowledge and work out which insights and practices can drive innovation in their organisations? This presentation highlighted the Generating Routes for Women’s Leadership (GROWL) project, which uses the methodology of ‘Engaged Scholarship’ to put organisations in dialogue with research evidence and better practice so they can innovate develop and retain female talent in leadership roles.

 

 

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