Starting the Conversation: Telling the Story of Our Common Humanity

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Georgia-Pacific recognizes that the personal lives of employees don’t stop at the doors of their facility. Making changes within the community all starts with a conversation.

Our recent Starting the Conversation series focused on unconscious bias and its impact on our thinking and behavior.

We all have unconscious bias that we bring into the workplace. These deeply subconscious attitudes are developed over time by our backgrounds, experiences, environments, exposures or lack thereof, and they span across race, gender, appearance, age, wealth and much more.

What is ‘Unconscious Bias’ and the power that lies within it?

According to the Kirwan Institute, a research institute at The Ohio State University dedicated to diversity, “It is the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner.”

  • Implicit biases are pervasive. Everyone possesses them, even people with avowed commitments to impartiality such as judges.
  • We generally tend to hold implicit biases that favor our own ingroup, though research has shown that we can still hold implicit biases against our ingroup.

To learn more about your own unconscious biases, here are some steps you can take:

  • Take a free online assessment sponsored by Project Implicit that explores unconscious bias and helps you discover your personal bias around issues such as race, gender, age, weight, appearance, religion, sexual orientation, disability and other topics. implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/
  • Consider the questions below posed by our guest speaker, Fanshen Cox, who advises movie makers on specific steps toward inclusive representation in the entertainment industry.

When you think about our common humanity, such as the experience and feelings we all share, what is one word that comes to mind?

Now that we've heard some of the many things we have in common, specifically what has kept you from establishing meaningful connections with people who are different than you?

Have you ever had a time when you felt challenged or stood up to what you believed was a false narrative about yourself or your identity group(s) based on implicit bias?

For those of us that answered yes, how did that make you feel, or how did it affect others?

Listen to Their Stories!

Watch our employees in the video above tell you their personal experiences with unconscious bias.