Inclusion Challenge

December 13, 2016 | Culture & Community, Diversity & Inclusion, Overcoming Bias

I love winter. But I know it can be the happiest of seasons for some and the toughest of seasons for others. It’s a time when many of us indulge, while others cope with the bitterest hardships.

The economic chasm that divides us throughout the year and over generations is reinforced by unequal access to housing, education, health, and employment.

And only by knocking down these stubborn barriers can we create a world where access to opportunity doesn’t discriminate.

With this in mind, I’m very excited to embark upon a mission in the coming year.

TMI is thrilled join other members of the B Corp community to meet the B Impact Inclusion Challenge, a call to action urging businesses to take steps toward a more inclusive economy.

In the coming year, TMI will encourage its team to dedicate more time to volunteer service that addresses the needs of our neighbors in underserved communities.

We will also work to increase awareness of the conditions that keep so many of our neighbors in need.

There are many practices organizations can adopt to help promote economic inclusion.

But as individuals, we can also work toward positive change by treating the people we encounter every day with equal dignity and respect. Ask yourself if you ever assume that a person’s net worth is somehow reflective of their human worth.

In a letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune, a health care worker points out that implicit biases, based on perceptions of socioeconomic backgrounds, can easily influence critical treatment decisions.

These unconscious judgments can also taint hiring choices, lending practices, and our casual interactions with the world around us.

In our book Overcoming Bias: Building Authentic Relationships Across Differences, Matthew Freeman and I broadly define bias, providing examples ranging from seemingly harmless personal preferences to prejudices with potential to harm ourselves and others.

Over this holiday season, and in the years to come, let’s be mindful of how we view the less fortunate and how a little more thoughtfulness can positively impact their lives.