Our people reflect on biases for Blackout Friday

For most people, Black Friday is a day for perusing online sales and getting started on festive shopping.

But at Colt, we’re looking at Black Friday differently. This year, we’re switching off corporate messaging to talk about an issue affecting inclusion in many environments – unconscious bias, renaming the day “Blackout Friday”.

Our recent diversity day focused on learning about unconscious bias, highlighting how we can all thrive and achieve more together if we are able to recognise and correct our biases.

Below, our people share how they are going to focus on making sure our business is as inclusive as possible:

Richard Anderson, Manager – Voice trading            

I have set myself the goal to have an alliance with every Colt diversity group possible. There are not many places where we can gain free expert advice on so many beautifully diverse cultures and subjects. Education always wins over ignorance.

Ramona Botha, VP, Projects & Process Transformation

We have the knowledge, so now let’s walk the walk.  Let’s recognise, acknowledge, challenge and change bias so we take the first steps towards a more inclusive workplace. I am going to constantly double check my own first thoughts so I see things as they are, not as I am.

Ann Cain, Global Mobility and Recognition Manager        

Thanks to Diversity Day I learnt about biases I didn’t realise I had, in particular affinity bias. Biases are much more than just bias towards gender and race, so moving forward I will be much more aware of my biases when spending time with others in social situations or when with others in a work capacity.

Simona Del Principe, Business Analyst        

I’m going to connect with the people who I have a perceived bias about and learn more about them.

Roxana Dobrota, Personnel Security Specialist       

After the training last week, I had conversations with friends and with my children, discussing our biases and how we can be more aware of them in order to overcome them. The book recommendation ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ is one of my favorites, which I revisit any time I can as it challenges my perspectives and the biases I was not aware of.

Kunal Garg, Manager, Incident and Problem Management

I’m going to be more cautious and structured in decision-making, which will help me to level the playing field. This way I can train my ‘hard-wired self’ to be more aware of unconscious bias and stereotyping.

Myra Geater, FP&A Manager

We all have unconscious bias, it’s programmed into our brains. What’s important is to take action to prevent it and ultimately help Colt build a more diverse and inclusive workplace.  I’m going to use the Harvard IAT to identify my unconscious biases.

Patrick Godden, Global Alliances Manager

Diversity Day has reminded me of the value of seeking out and including new and different people when working on a problem and not relying on the same familiar faces.

I’m going to bring people from more diverse backgrounds into my projects and actively seek the opinions of outsiders.

Tanya Goldhaber, Global Strategy Manager

I’m going to pay more attention to who speaks in meetings and actively request input from those whose voices aren’t heard as often.

Werner Kladnick, Bid Manager, Network Services

I will put in more conscious thinking when it comes to selecting/requesting specific members for my bid teams. I will avoid traps and will give other people the chance to provide their expertise.

Rachel Meadows, Head of Customer Communications

I’m going to think of my direct team and network like a quiz team made up of different expertise, backgrounds, knowledge, opinions and points of view that can all bring something else to the table to “win the prize”.

Ram Narasimhan, Director, Product & Technology

It’s easy to dismiss unconscious bias as hindsight, but if you consciously reflect on your actions, you can see the slide into a blinkered vision that as leaders, we can ill afford to have.

I’m going to consciously look at my actions to identify patterns of bias and try to be inclusive every single day until it becomes an unconscious behaviour.

Iuliana Neamtu, Teamleader WHS Order Support Team    

As a reflection of Diversity Day, I think that stereotypes remain our biggest enemies – it’s a real challenge to make them disappear. Personally, I think it’s not enough to be aware of their existence and they’re not “healthy” for our personal and professional development. The biggest challenge is to remove them. For that, we need consistency in our ways of thinking, in our ways of making decisions and in the way we interact with other people. We need to invest in understanding people, to see the reason behind all their actions and not to judge them based on stereotypes.

I’m going to take more time to break down the stereotypes.

Art Neilen, 5G & Edge New Business Development Director

I learned some inspiring insights at Diversity Day at Colt. Such as think twice, as the overall impression is not always the intention. Moving forward, this means I am going to be conscious of my biases before forming views of any individual in both my professional and personal life.

Christine Poole, Sales Manager (New Business) – Enterprise

I’m going to be more conscious and actively think about the possible effects of unconscious bias and use this to help me make better decisions. I will take every opportunity to ask myself whether bias played a part in my decisions.

Shweta Sason, Associate Senior Manager, Billing Account & Tariff Management

Unconscious bias occurs automatically when our brain is making a quick judgment based on past experiences and the first step to tackle it is being aware of different types of biases. Therefore,  I’m going to talk more about unconscious bias, so that people are aware of what it is and how it can impact others.

Peter Veenman, Vice President, Global Country Management

I’m going to maintain this momentum in the I&D journey across all the countries, seeking different perspectives, with our diverse Global Country Management network.

Mika Yano, VP, Commercial Legal, Asia       

I’m going to keep in mind that everyone is unique.

Mimmo Zappi, Segment Sales Director Enterprise Europe & US & Country Manager Italy   

I am going to pay more attention to the skills, experiences and unique qualities that would contribute to my team as a “culture add” rather than a “culture fit”.

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