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Religious Events in the Workplace

Please refer to our Online Diversity Calendar for a complete listing of religious events affecting the workplace.

In the United States, religion and the workplace are becoming increasingly intertwined. More workers expect their religious beliefs and practices to be accommodated in the workplace, to be given days off to celebrate holidays, and to be allowed time during the workday to practice religious beliefs.

Lack of awareness of these differing religious events can lead to disrespect, discrimination, employee turnover and costly lawsuits.

In most of the world, these accommodations have long been common.  Most countries have populations with a dominant religion. Religious practices are reflected in many aspects of the country’s life, including the workplace, public holidays, and societal values.

To help ensure workplace religious freedom and respect, you must ensure your employees are aware of the key events surrounding various religions. Here are some of the most popular ones.

Popular Religious Events


Christianity is the main religious influence on U.S. businesses. Christianity is the world’s largest and most widespread religion with roughly 2.4 billion followers. It represents about 70% of religious practitioners in the US, and 33% globally.

The two main Christian holidays are:

  • Easter
  • Christmas

These religious events result in the almost complete closings of businesses in the United States, and in predominantly Christian countries or regions.

In non-U.S. regions where Christianity is the dominant religion – such as Western Europe – the days after Easter and Christmas are also celebrated with most businesses closed.


23% of the world’s popular practices Islam. Work schedules can significantly be affected by Islamic religious events and holidays. This can also have profound effects on how and when business is done. This is especially true of:

  • Ramadan
  • Eid al-Fitr
  • Eid al-Adha

Friday prayer is obligatory and is held during the early afternoon. Since the Regular Islamic practices that should be accommodated on a daily basis include time and space for daily prayers and washing before prayer.


It’s the second-largest religion in the United States. For observant Jews, several events require absence from work. These religious events include:

  • The first two days of Passover
  • Rosh Hashanah
  • Yom Kippur
  • first two days of Sukkoth

Some other prohibitions include traveling (except on foot), writing, using electricity or a telephone, and performing transactions of a commercial nature (i.e., buying and selling).


The most popular Indian religion has many holidays, which reflects its extremely diverse culture. Major holidays may require some flexible scheduling for employees to celebrate appropriately. These religious events include:

  • Holi
  • Diwali
  • Vaisakhi
  • Janmashtami


While Asian holidays often fall on weekends, there may be some times that employees request regular work days or hours off.  In China, Vietnam, South Korea, Cambodia, and Thailand, New Year celebrations see many businesses and government offices closing for a few weeks. Some holidays may require you to offer flexible scheduling, including:

  • Bodhi Day
  • Buddha’s Birth

To find out this year’s dates for moveable religious events, try out our  Online Diversity Calendar.

Religious Events FAQs

What are some examples from the workplace of religious expression?
Examples of religious expression in the workplace can include wearing religious attire (e.g., headscarves or turbans), displaying religious symbols, observing prayer rituals, requesting time off for religious holidays, or engaging in discussions about one’s faith during appropriate contexts.

What is an example of a religious conflict in the workplace?
A common example of a religious conflict in the workplace is when scheduling conflicts arise due to employees needing time off for religious observance, leading to tensions with colleagues who may have to cover their duties. These conflicts can also occur if certain workplace policies or practices clash with an employee’s religious beliefs, such as dress codes that restrict religious attire.

What are 5 examples of religious practices?
Five examples of religious practices can encompass daily prayers, dietary restrictions (e.g., kosher or halal diets), fasting during specific times, attending religious services, and participating in religious festivals or rituals.

How does religion impact the workplace?
Religion can significantly impact the workplace by influencing employees’ behaviors, interactions, and needs. It can foster diversity and inclusion when accommodated appropriately but may also lead to conflicts if not managed well. Employers must navigate religious accommodations, address potential biases or discrimination, and create an environment that respects various beliefs to ensure a harmonious and productive workplace.

Ageism in the Workplace: Combating Age Discrimination

Ageism is the tendency to have negative feelings toward someone based entirely on their age. Unfortunately, ageism in the workplace oftentimes makes it is harder for people over the age of 50 to find work. Ageism can also manifest in patronizing older employees and underestimating the abilities of young people.

Companies are buckling down about both diversity and inclusion, and that includes hiring people of all ages. Older employees are perhaps the most experienced and knowledgeable members of the workplace but are often overlooked by younger workers. This blog hopes to shed some light on the issues and how to combat ageism in your workplace.

Understanding Ageism in the Workplace

Ageism refers to when an employee is treated poorly or denied promotions because of their age. The average retirement age keeps rising every year, which means there are more and more older individuals working.

Ageism in the workplace is unfortunately very common. However, it’s important to understand that older workers aren’t the only ones to deal with age bias. Younger workers also face ageism treatment due to assumptions that they lack the proper experience to do their job effectively.

What Are Examples of Ageism in the Workplace?

Let’s explore some examples of age discrimination in the workplace:

  • Restricting learning opportunities, such as continuing education reimbursement or industry conference attendance, to younger employees only.
  • Excluding older workers from promotion considerations.
  • Making derogatory comments about their inability to use technology effectively or slow typing.

These are just some instances of ageism that can occur in the workplace.

Combating Ageism

To combat ageism, it’s essential to take proactive measures. Here are some strategies to consider:

Be More Open to Working With Everyone: Establish relationships with both younger and older workers to encourage collaboration on projects and ensure all voices are heard.

Embrace Learning Together: Help coworkers who may struggle with technology by taking online programs together or just helping them to better understand how to use technology tools.

Participate in Discrimination & Diversity Training: By providing training on age diversity and addressing bias, employees gain a better understanding of the benefits of a multigenerational team.

Implement Discrimination Policies: Define and communicate policies that explicitly state that unfair treatment based on age, or any factor, will not be tolerated and list out the repercussions for such behavior.

Final Thoughts

The best way to combat ageism in the workplace is to cultivate a diverse and inclusive multigenerational workforce. Recognize that all employees regardless of their age can contribute to the success of a business. By creating this welcoming culture, you will not only have a more productive team, but also a happier workplace.

Take the next step towards fostering diversity and inclusion in your organization with our Online Diversity and Inclusion Training Suite. Our comprehensive training programs provide valuable insights and practical strategies for creating an inclusive workplace that values individuals of all ages.

Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

It’s no surprise that the words diversity and inclusion are buzzwords in today’s workplace and society. Although nearly everyone has heard them in their daily lives, it’s important for us to always think critically about what they mean, how that meaning evolves, whether as a business or as a society, and the overall benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

While many large businesses and organizations focus on diversity across various categories, it is important to recognize the value of each aspect and their collective impact.

What is Diversity?

Diversity refers to the variety of characteristics and experiences that shape our identities. It encompasses categories such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion and beliefs
  • Culture
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Physical and cognitive abilities

A truly diverse organization appreciates and values all of these categories, not just one or two.

The Importance of Diversity

Diversity is essential for businesses and society as a whole. Teams with diverse backgrounds and experiences tend to produce better results. This is because diverse teams can draw from different perspectives and values to solve problems collaboratively. This leads to more creative and effective solutions to problems you may face in your business.

Curious about DEI events coming up? Check out our DEI Calendar 2024 highlights.

Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion

When you learn more about each member of your team, you can create an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging and respect. This helps to break down barriers that may initially cause a struggle with teamwork. Diversity training teaches the support and empathy necessary to ensure that all differences are used positively to help boost productivity rather than  lower it.

Because our world has become more interconnected, there has been a rise in global teams at some of the largest world businesses. By strategizing how to best understand and leverage the strengths of your diverse team, your business can continuously grow and flourish as a unified team.

Yes, diversity is here to stay, but the topic is always evolving.

What is Diversity Without Inclusion?

While we do see diversity making great strides, oftentimes diversity exists without inclusion. Yes, you have a diverse staff, but are their voices being heard? It’s important that there is a free range of communication available so that employees can notify higher-ups about potential problems before they become detrimental.

To truly be inclusive, you must listen to and account for the thoughts and opinions of all of your team. As you become more aware of ways to better understand and to utilize your culturally diverse staff, you will be more of a competitive advantage to others in your industry.

Final Thoughts

Embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace has a powerful impact not only on the world, but also your business. Talk about a win-win!  By embracing diversity across all categories, as well as fostering inclusivity, you can create an environment where everyone can thrive. Diversity and inclusion are ongoing journeys, and businesses that actively embrace them will be better positioned to navigate the ever-changing landscape.

One way to promote diversity is to align your company calendar with a Diversity Calendar.

How ‘Disabled But Not Really’ Is Empowering People with Disabilities

After surviving a life-altering shooting that left Wesley Hamilton reliant on wheelchair-bound at 24, he discovered the importance of not only nutrition and fitness, but also mental health. Motivated by his daughter, he embarked on a transformative journey to get healthier. “I adopted a fitness and nutrition routine, lost 100 pounds in a year, and became a role model in the fitness community,” Hamilton said. “Inspired by my own transformation, I founded Disabled Not Really (DBNR) to encourage others with disabilities to pursue their potential.”

Founded in 2015, Disabled But Not Really (DBNR), a 501(c)3 Not For Profit Charity based out of Kansas City, Missouri. The organization aims to help people living with disabilities realize their purpose through adaptive training and lifestyle enhancements as a toolset to excel in life. Although Hamilton’s doctors and caretakers helped him to feel comfortable, they did not equip him with the tools to fully adapt to life’s new challenges.

Daily Impacts on People With Disabilities

After taking ownership of his own health and fitness, Hamilton was convinced he could help others do the same. The word “disabled” carries a lot of societal perceptions that Hamilton aims to shatter. “Not really” signifies breaking the mold of what is considered the norm. Hamilton embodies the spirit of Disabled But Not Really every day and he works with his team to inspire the same mentality in others living with disabilities.

DBNR relies on individual donors to fund its impactful programs and hosts community events to additional fundraising throughout the year.

#HelpMeFit Program

The #HelpMeFit Challenge is a 12-week holistic program aimed at enhancing the well-being of DBNR athletes, especially those affected by conditions such as amputation, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injury, among others. Beyond physical fitness, it offers valuable nutritional and mental health insights.

Its intensive approach improves functionality, muscle development, and posture while also providing mental health benefits such as reduced pain and depression. Tailored to cultivate a long-lasting positive mindset, participants are empowered to sustain momentum even after completing the program.

“Our biggest accomplishment as an organization is the daily impact we make through our programs,” Hamilton said. “These programs empower individuals with disabilities to discover their purpose and forge a new reality for themselves. The success stories of the individuals we serve testify to our achievement.”

What Lies Ahead

Expansion is in the future. As DBNR brings on more staff, they plan to introduce virtual services to help those outside of the Kansas City Metro Area. In the meantime, a mobile gym serves those who don’t live in the local area.

In reflecting on what’s to come, Hamilton shared his vision:  “Over the next five years, we envision expanding into a larger facility and scaling our model to serve multiple communities. Our driving principle is that all individuals with disabilities deserve the chance for a better life, and we are committed to making that vision a reality.”

To learn more about Disabled But Not Really or to donate to their cause, visit their website.

Don’t miss out on recognizing and celebrating diversity all year round. Try out our comprehensive Online Diversity Calendar and become a more inclusive organization today.

How to Talk About Racial Issues Respectfully

Having clear and open dialogue about vital topics like race helps us to understand each other more deeply. These discussions, while often uncomfortable,  help increase awareness  of others’ opinions and beliefs. The goal is to facilitate learning and personal growth, leading to evolved  thoughts or behaviors.

Ultimately, awareness leads to empathy and it’s not uncommon for our minds to change and to grow as we learn more about cultural issues, such as racial injustice. However, learning how to talk effectively with your friends, family, colleagues, or classmates amplifies this powerful experience.

How to Approach Conversations About Race

The first step toward success when talking about serious and emotional subjects is to be clear and open about the purpose of the conversation. In some instances, setting ground rules for respectful engagement can be beneficial. For instance, practice attentive listening by refraining from speaking over others, or consider setting a time limit for each participant’s input.

Choose the approach that you think will result in the most productive experience. This likely will vary depending on the setting you’re speaking in. If you’re speaking with people who are close to you, you may not need to set the same boundaries as colleagues or classmates. That ultimately depends on you, your comfort level, and those around you.

Open-Minded Conversations Prevail

Addressing contentious topics like race demands an open mindset, allowing for differing views. Productive conversations prioritize active listening and acknowledging other people’s experiences before passing judgement. Everyone has a unique perspective shaped by their culture, upbringing, where they grew up, and more, leading to different experiences regarding identity or race.

Note: If things start to get too uncomfortable for the conversation to be constructive, take a break.

Remember that one conversation can’t erase deeply rooted racial issues. The goal is to make a thoughtful and realistic commitment to personal growth and learning from others. This commitment will help break down thoughts about race passed down from generation to generation.

How to Initiate a Conversation

Sometimes, initiating a conversation is as simple as just asking direct questions. For instance, “How do you feel about what’s happening in today’s world? What change do you think needs to be made? What is your racial identity? Do you think you experience privilege?

Speaking About Race Respectfully

To expand your knowledge about the topic and to make your conversations more productive and respectful, learn more about terms like unconscious bias, marginalized, race, racism, privilege, stereotypes, systemic racism, and racial injustice, to start. Not only do these conversations bring awareness, but they allow us as a society to learn and grow from one another.

Elevate the impact of your conversations by exploring our Online Diversity Training and using our Diversity Calendar. These resources empower you to actively contribute to inclusivity and growth.

How the SCOTUS Affirmative Action Ruling Will Impact Employers

The world is undergoing a rapid transformation, with each passing day bringing new dynamics to the forefront. The 2020 United States Census shed light on the remarkable rise of various racial and ethnic groups within America, especially the Latino, Hispanic, Asian American, and multiracial communities. This surge in multiracial population growth has ushered in an era of unparalleled racial and ethnic diversity. Amidst this backdrop of transformation, affirmative action stands as a significant point of discussion. While the concept itself isn’t new, its relevance and implications have taken on new dimensions.

According to the US Census Bureau, the U.S. is 57.8% white, 18.7% Hispanic, 12.4% Black, and 6% Asian. Also, nearly 33.8 million people reported being more than one race, which is nearly three times more than 9 million people reported being multiracial in 2010.

The subject of race remains a highly contentious topic, as shown by the activism of groups like Black Lives Matter. Additionally, the effects that some recent Supreme Court rulings have made on society cannot be understated.  While this emerging diversity is good news, addressing the impact of the recent Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action on minority rights is a crucial concern for many Americans.

Ready to foster inclusive leadership? Explore our Diversity and Inclusion Training and empower your team to thrive in a diverse and equitable workplace.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is a set of policies aimed at promoting work and educational opportunities for minority groups. While there have been more opportunities given to these communities than ever before, they still experience barriers in education and employment. This program helps prevent discrimination based on gender or race.

In June 2023, the Supreme Court made a historic decision with Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v President and Fellows of Harvard College. Their 6-2 decision struck down affirmative action by saying that race-based programs during college admissions violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. This essentially ends the ability of higher institutions to consider race as a factor when deciding if an applicant is qualified to be admitted.

The Importance of Affirmative Action for Minority Rights

Protecting one’s identity helps prevent forced assimilation and the loss of culture. Minority rights, whether race, ethnicity, or gender, ensure that all people are given proper treatment regardless of their identity. Affirmative action ensures that minorities are included and it helps them to succeed in the workplace and educational institutions.

Minorities require these special measures because they deserve to feel a sense of belonging in a society where they are not part of the majority. After all, minority rights are human rights and are in the best interest of our entire society. When a portion of a government dictates or violates the rights of minorities, it’s the responsibility of the corporate business world to pick up the slack.

The Aftermath of This Ruling

While recent diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts have made strides in the workplace, many are worried about what the impact of affirmative action will have on applicants during the hiring process now. Concerns are growing about  future implications on the workforce as the pipeline and the programs designed to admit a wide range of individuals might face limitations moving forward.

What is even more concerning is the possibility that some companies may now begin to question their DEI strategies due to legal uncertainties arising from the recent court decision. This is despite existing legal protections against discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

How This Affirmative Action Decision Changes the Workplace

While this ruling doesn’t have a direct effect on workplace law, it could lead to problems with existing protections against decisions based on factors such as race. The ruling is likely to prompt a transformation in diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. As the legality of race-conscious considerations faces heightened legal scrutiny, employers might adopt more holistic diversity strategies that encompass a broader range of diversity factors beyond race.

It’s important to note that while the prohibition on race discrimination in education falls under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the prohibition on race discrimination in employment is governed by Title VII. Educational institutions have generally enjoyed greater latitude in considering race compared to employers.

Both mandatory and voluntary affirmative action for employers remain intact despite the Supreme Court’s decision. This reinforces the evolving landscape of DE&I efforts in the employment sphere.

Continuing DEI Initiatives in Light of Recent Changes

In light of these rulings, it becomes even more crucial to strengthen DEI programs. However, it’s essential to recognize that voluntary affirmative action programs are bound by limitations that prohibit the implementation of quotas, preferences, and set-asides.

To effectively promote diversity and inclusion, assess your organization demographics to identify underrepresentation among protected groups and then develop strategic plans to address these disparities. Equally important is creating accessible workplaces, including not just physical spaces but also digital ones. The goal is to create an inclusive work environment that resonates with a diverse spectrum of employees.

Ultimately, the pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion is a multifaceted journey that goes beyond compliance—it’s about nurturing a workplace culture that embraces differences and empowers everyone to thrive.

Stay informed with our Online Diversity Calendar and celebrate important religious and cultural events throughout the year.

The Spiritual Journey of Hajj: A Personal Reflection

The Hajj holds a special place in the hearts of Muslims around the world. It is the most significant Islamic pilgrimage, a journey that draws Muslims closer to their faith and their Creator. Every Muslim who is physically and financially able is required to take this journey at least once in their life. It takes place once a year in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. Unlike other holy sites, Mecca is exclusively reserved for Muslims, who come from all corners of the globe to participate in the Hajj.

Origins and Spiritual Significance

The roots of the Hajj pilgrimage trace back to the times of the Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail. They paved the way for this sacred journey, a path that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself would later tread. Muslims believe that Prophet Ibrahim’s faith was truly tested when God commanded him to sacrifice his son Ismail. While he was prepared to submit to this act, Ibrahim’s faith was rewarded, and God spared his son’s life.

The Islamic calendar follows the lunar calendar, which is typically 11 days shorter than the Gregorian one. Due to this, the date of the Hajj changes every year, occurring in Dhul-Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

The choice to perform the Hajj is life-changing and was exactly that for Rendy Syahdan Praditya, a graphic designer at Diversity Resources. His choice to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “This trip requires years of waiting because it is regulated by the state, and I have been waiting for it for approximately 12 years,” Rendy said.

Why Is The Kaaba So Important?

The central point of the Hajj is the Kaaba, the House of Allah, standing in the heart of Mecca. Here, Muslims come to cleanse their souls of worldly sins and to seek closeness to God. This annual practice of solidarity and submission to God is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

The Kaaba, located in the Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque, holds unparalleled significance in Islam. Built by both Ismail and Ibrahim, this symbolic structure serves as a focal point of Muslim prayers worldwide. Muslims from around the world face the Kaaba during their Salah or five daily prayers.

The Hajj Rituals

During this spiritual journey, Rendy engaged in the various rituals that define the Hajj pilgrimage.


The Tawaf involves walking around the Holy Kaaba seven times counterclockwise. During this time, they recite Takbir or other prayers to Allah. This act of worship represents unity among Muslims and submitting to Allah’s will.


The Sa’i ritual involves walking or running seven times between the Safa and Marwa hills near the Holy Kaaba. It symbolizes Hajar’s perseverance as she ran and climbed seven times between these hills looking for water for her son Ismail. The true lesson of this rite is patience and having unwavering faith in Allah’s plan.

Symbolic Stoning of the Pillars

The last three days of the journey involve the symbolic stoning of the three pillars representing the devil. This is a reenactment of when Prophet Ibrahim threw stones at Satan after attempting to dissuade him from following Allah’s orders. This gesture signifies the rejection of malice and a commitment to righteous living.

It is believed that after the Hajj is completed that all past sins are forgiven and there is the promise of Paradise after death.

Rendy’s Hajj Journey

Rendy’s journey wasn’t without challenges. The experience is not only mentally and emotionally taxing, but physically too. Rendy had to prepare physically for months in advance to be able to complete all that was required of him during this journey.

However, when it came to his emotional and spiritual preparation, he shared, “I just left it to God to offer me guidance on the journey.” To begin his pilgrimage, he first traveled to Medina, Saudi Arabia where he dedicated eight days to his Arba’in devotion and paid respects at the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Following those first eight days, he traveled to Mecca to perform the Hajj, which included participating in Umrah at the Grand Mosque, Wukuf, and Jamrah in the city of Mina, all spanning around 32 days in total.

Speaking about his gratitude for the experience, he said he cannot put into words how appreciative he is to be able to participate in this trip. “It’s the ultimate form of prayer for Muslims. And, of course, I gained a lot of knowledge and became more obedient in practicing my religion,” Rendy said.

Learn more about Islamic celebrations and observances on our Islamic Holy Days blog.


Reflections on the Hajj Experience

After this experience, Rendy reflected on the spiritual significance of his pilgrimage and how being amongst other Muslims made him feel. “I felt united with people from various countries, languages, and skin tones that all share the same goal: to perform the Hajj.”

Rendy acknowledged the challenges he faced, especially in maintaining his physical condition and practicing patience throughout the lengthy process. He also highlighted the effort he put into avoiding prohibited actions.

Certain behaviors, such as losing your temper, arguing, trimming nails, cutting hair, swearing, smoking, and taking photos or videos, are forbidden during the pilgrimage.

Despite the difficulties, Rendy believes that the positive aspects of completing the Hajj properly outweigh any hardships. Rendy shared that the experience helped him to “become more glorified and loving of God and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as his messenger.”

Lessons Learned From His Pilgrimage

The Hajj experience will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on Rendy’s life. “I grew more religious and wanted to learn more about religion, specifically Islam and its holy book, the Holy Qur’an, while also pushing my Muslim brothers and sisters to do the same,” he said. “This experience will serve as my guide in carrying out all of God’s instructions.”

Rendy pointed out that the most impactful moment for him was the time when he visited the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and prayed between his tomb and the pulpit. “From there, I visited the Kaaba for the first time and performed Tawaf seven times, because this is known as Allah’s (SWT) house and the Qibla location of prayer for all Muslims around the world,” Rendy said.

When reflecting on how the experience has changed him, Rendy says that he has “become more tranquil and has fully surrendered to God.” He encourages other Muslims to not hesitate on experiencing their own Hajj trip, stressing the importance of sincerity in fulfilling all of the steps of the pilgrimage and learning fully from the experience.

Lastly, Rendy emphasized that we should “respect everyone, regardless of their differences, and love every living creature and all of God’s creation.” With stories like these, the world becomes a more accepting place of different cultures, races, ethnicities, and religions, that all strive for understanding in a complicated world.

Be more inclusive and never miss a holiday by using our Online Diversity Calendar – you can try it for free.

Addressing Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

Did you know that unconscious bias can significantly influence the dynamics of the workplace? Before we even have a chance to know someone, our minds may form opinions based on past experiences or societal stereotypes. Unconscious bias can manifest in many forms, such as biases related to sexual orientation, disability, mental health, ethnicity, race, gender, or age. The most troubling aspect is that these biases often exist beyond our conscious awareness, making them particularly challenging to address.

This term is often used in the DEI realm, but it’s not always in everyone’s wheelhouse. Let’s unpack what unconscious bias is, its implications in the workplace, and effective strategies for combating it.

Unconscious Bias Definition

Unconscious biases, also known as implicit biases, are social stereotypes and beliefs we form without conscious awareness. These biases develop based on how we were raised and our tendency to organize social worlds into different categories. It’s important to understand that everyone has unconscious biases, even people who are actively anti-racist or advocate for equality.

Unconscious bias is often more common than outright prejudice. Acknowledging this fact empowers us to address our biases, as they can unintentionally influence our thoughts, actions and decision-making.

Unconscious Bias Examples

To truly understand the impact of unconscious bias, let’s explore some common types:

  1. Confirmation bias: Seeking validation from like-minded people to reinforce our preconceived notions or ideas. For example, a product developer creates a product intended for the tech market, and it doesn’t do well. So, they reach out to their developer friends to validate their idea.
  2. Conformity bias: Yielding to group consensus instead of independently evaluating options or opinions. For example, there are two proposals and one person likes the first one best, but everyone else votes for the second. The first person eventually ends up changing their vote only because everyone else felt strongly about it.
  3. Affinity bias: Preferring people who share similar backgrounds, interests, or experiences, rather than focusing on qualifications or merit. For example, a hiring manager chooses a candidate because they share a similar background, not because they are qualified for the job.
  4. Status quo bias: Resisting change and maintaining the current demographics. For example, a company hires individuals from the same demographic group and does not make an effort to move forward with diversity goals.

Strategies for Combating Unconscious Bias

To mitigate the effects of unconscious bias, consider implementing the following strategies:

Start by examining your own biases and reflecting on how they might influence your workplace interactions and decision-making. Think about whose opinions you value most and whose perspectives you find more challenging to consider.

By broadening your knowledge and viewpoint, you can help make a conscious effort to learn more about the different cultures, identities, and experiences of others. For instance, you can engage in unconscious bias training or workshops to deepen your understanding of unconscious bias and its impact.

Empathy is a great tool for helping to deconstruct unconscious biases and to better understand people from different backgrounds. Cognitive empathy allows us to create processes that allow us to better connect with someone. It comes from first self-awareness and then education. All three of these tools together allow us to work better in a diverse and inclusive workspace.

Final Thoughts

While unconscious bias may not directly affect your daily life, it does affect many people around you. By taking time to understand unconscious biases, we can become better people and more compassionate employees.

At Diversity Resources, we are committed to fostering inclusive workplaces and combating unconscious bias. Take the next step in promoting diversity and inclusion by participating in our Unconscious Bias Training. Our comprehensive training will provide you with the knowledge and tools to identify and address unconscious biases effectively. Together, let’s create a more equitable and welcoming workplace environment.


What is unconscious bias?
Unconscious bias refers to the automatic and unintentional prejudices, attitudes, or stereotypes that affect our judgments and decision-making processes. These biases are often ingrained and can impact our perceptions of others without our awareness. They are formed based on our cultural upbringing, experiences, and exposure to media and can influence how we interact with people from diverse backgrounds.

What is unconscious bias in the workplace?
Unconscious bias in the workplace refers to the hidden biases that influence how we treat and judge colleagues or job candidates based on characteristics such as gender, race, age, appearance, or other factors. It can manifest during recruitment, performance evaluations, promotion decisions, and day-to-day interactions. Unchecked unconscious bias can lead to unfair treatment, hinder diversity and inclusion efforts within the organization, and create barriers for people from underrepresented groups to advance in their careers.

What are unconscious bias examples?
Unconscious bias can manifest in various ways in our daily lives and interactions. For instance, when a manager subconsciously favors an employee of the same gender for a leadership role, assuming they are more competent, or when someone unknowingly gives more attention and recognition to people who share similar interests or backgrounds. In a social setting, it could be observed when you subconsciously overlook or avoid interactions with people who don’t seem to have as much in common with you.

Understanding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging have become critical elements in today’s workplaces. As organizations strive to create more inclusive environments, understanding the significance of these concepts is essential.

Looking to stay informed about important diversity events? Check out our Diversity Calendar  or Canada Diversity Calendar for upcoming celebrations and observances.

What is Diversity?

Diversity is a simple term that carries a lot of weight and history. Generally defined, diversity refers to the practice of involving people with different backgrounds or identities, such as race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability. A diverse workplace welcomes people with a variety of identities and a variety of backgrounds.

Why do we need Equity and Inclusion too?

While diversity has been commonly used as a catchall phrase, it doesn’t fully capture the complete picture. Often, addressing diversity issues was done only superficially, with quotas, surface level requirements, and other performative gestures that don’t fully bring everyone to the table. Equity and Inclusion are separate but related concepts which deepen and broaden the practices of diversity. These three components, often abbreviated as DEI, work together to create a more inclusive environment.

What is Equity?

Equity has gained prominence as a key word in recent years alongside diversity. Equity refers to equal opportunity, access and treatment for everyone, regardless of background and identity. In practice, equity also refers to actions taken to identity and remove systemic obstacles faced by certain groups, such as providing reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. An equitable workplace recognizes variety and doesn’t impose one-size-fits-all systems that benefit one group above others.

What is Inclusion?

Inclusion, like equity, has become an important word in recent years. The concept involves actively bringing people to the table, welcoming a variety of voices, and encouraging collaboration. An inclusive workplace actively fosters understanding of and engagement with everybody.

What about Belonging?

Recently, the term Belonging is also gaining traction in DEI conversations. You can build a diverse team, treat them fairly, and include them in decisions, yet people may still feel isolated or excluded – an issue which Covid has shined a bright light on. Fostering Belonging involves synthesizing all the concepts introduced above, and finding where DEI meets engagement, passion and community. Belonging is a state of involvement where all members feel valued, appreciated, respected, and they are at “home” with their colleagues.

Adverse times can often catalyze great changes for the better, and the ongoing conversations about the workplace in the wake of the pandemic are exactly one of those times. Efforts to foster Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are not only supported by a strong moral case but also a strong business case. Many firms and organizations now have roles dedicated to the DEI movement as they realize the benefits of diversity. Managers and leaders who implement DEI and put belonging at the center of the culture are not only doing something ethical, but doing something that builds a strong organization.

Ready to enhance diversity and inclusion in your workplace? Explore our comprehensive Online Diversity and Inclusion Training tailored to empower your team.

Top 3 Reasons to Foster Inclusive Leadership

Today, organizations strive to embrace diversity by fostering teams with various backgrounds and perspectives. However, this alone is insufficient. For the best results, inclusive leadership is essential in making team members feel inspired and respected.

Recent research shows that inclusive leadership isn’t just a “nice to have,” but a must for those who want to advance their performance.

According to Deloitte, teams fostering inclusive leadership are:

  • 17 percent more likely to report high performance
  • 20 percent more likely to say they make high-quality decisions
  • 29 percent more likely to report behaving collaboratively

If you’re seeking similar favorable outcomes, here are a few more reasons why cultivating inclusive leadership is crucial.

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Inclusive leadership allows you to connect with team members

Connections are the links that bring people together. They allow us to build social and emotional bonds that help us gain information and enhance workplace performance. When employees feel connected to one another and their managers, they’re more likely to be satisfied with their roles.

Inclusive leadership is built on the foundation of reaching out to others, asking about their experiences, and actively listening. When you implement a model of inclusive leadership, you show them that their perspectives matter, and you want them involved in the future of the organization.

Inclusive leadership helps your team feel more comfortable

As an inclusive leader, you should take the time to learn about each of your employees. Acknowledge them as individuals and understand how they like to be supported, especially according to cultural differences and customs. When you practice cultural competency, you can help make your team feel more comfortable and supported in their roles, which enhances both loyalty and productivity.

As you’re prioritizing inclusive leadership, you should also note how you should not act in the workplace. For instance, being very direct or overpowering can often be off-putting to employees, and it can also limit the contribution of certain parties to the conversation. This is exactly what you’re trying to avoid in inclusive leadership.

Likewise, you should avoid discounting any alternative views. When you’re vocal about your own strong opinion, it can make it feel risky for team members to bring forward opposing viewpoints and threatens any diversity-of-thought environment you’re attempting to cultivate.

Inclusive leadership reveals your organization’s blind spots

In the past few years, society has been met with a harsh reality regarding the state of racial justice in our world. While we may have previously lived in delusion, we’ve been forced to face and address this issue head-on because of the footage captured on smartphones and blasted all over social media. This technology revealed a blind spot that many were oblivious to.

Similarly, inclusive leadership can bring blind spots to light. It prompts you to reflect on your own shortcomings and limitations, and reveals any unconscious bias you may have. It asks you to reach out to others and hear their experiences. It helps you become better equipped to take meaningful actions and accessible to all employees.

Final Thoughts

Being an inclusive leader gives you the power to harness a diverse team. When you implement this strategy in your organization, you’ll see the results in the performance of your teams.

Ready to foster inclusive leadership? Explore our Diversity and Inclusion Training and empower your team to thrive in a diverse and equitable workplace.

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