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Striving to Achieve Gender Equity in the Workplace | Kori Reed

​In theory, business leaders—as skilled problem-solvers—collect data to make decisions and act on facts. But in truth, decisions are made that way only sometimes. Take the case for gender equity. Data overwhelmingly supports the idea that diversity of all types enhances workplace innovation and profitability. If the business case is so compelling, a question lingers like a glaring, unattended item on a meeting agenda: Why haven’t we made more progress on gender equity? 

More specifically, as a step to gain momentum, why haven’t we engaged more men, who hold the majority of leadership positions in companies today, in gender equity discussions at the office? 

Perhaps we need to add a touch of behavioral neuroscience to SHRM’s Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge to better understand what is happening and how to address it. It’s not that HR professionals need to be neuroscientists, biologists or psychologists, but they can understand the relationship between the brain, beliefs and behaviors. This is especially true when the data is strong, yet humans act counter to what the “facts” reveal. 

Tali Sharot is a neuroscientist and professor at the University College in London who explained the issue this way when speaking at the 2017 World Economic Forum: “As a scientist, I used to think that the answer was data. Get data, coupled with logical thinking, that’s bound to change minds, right? So, I went out to try and get said data. My colleagues and I conducted dozens of…

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