The truth of the matter is that everyone has unconscious bias whether they recognize it or not. Throughout our lives there are three major groups that heavily influence us; family, friends, and the media. They influence our thoughts and often pass on dangerous stereotypes and ideas that become ingrained. Be aware of your ingrained bias of another person. Keeping an open mind can make all the difference in how they are viewed in the future.
There are also negative connotations when diversity is discussed. Many people view diversity as a sensitive and explosive subject that companies only discuss to keep from getting into legal trouble. This is not true. Diversity is a very complicated subject to talk about.
People are passionate about their differences and take pride in their backgrounds. It often becomes difficult to encompass the right amount of information without offending someone. Too many times the subject is skimmed over or given a very general description leaving the trainee with a feeling of being talked down to.
The greatest way to mitigate these fears and all of the misconceptions that surround diversity, is to truly meet people who are unlike you. Give yourself an opportunity to gain some insight on what makes them different from you. You might just find that you have more in common than you originally thought. The more you learn, the greater your understanding of others will be and with greater understanding, your fear of diversity should be overcome or at least greatly reduced.
Interested in learning more?
Get more information about the Diversity in the Workplace course here.