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Reducing Gender Biases in Modern Workplaces: A Small Wins Approach to Organizational Change

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The author does a research review on how ambiguity in decision-making contexts creates an uneven playing field for women, and to some extent, why unconscious bias training and formalized organizational processes have led to negligible to minor decreases in bias.


One experimental strategy is the "Small Wins" approach; concrete, implementable actions that are of moderate importance and produce visible results; seen as doable by supporters and flying under the radar of detractors. The change we can expect from one change will be small, imperfect, and incomplete. Many gains will be eroded. But some changes will stick, and those that do have the potential to inspire positive change.


Some millennials will argue against this approach. The Millennials that dream big, that want change to happen faster, might feel that this approach concedes that we may need to chip away and expect setback and frustration along the way.


However, this approach resonates with many for the same reasons. Incremental progress is still progress. Putting the onus on all individuals (and giving them control over their small wins) feels empowering. As millennials find that “best practices” in diversity and inclusion aren’t working, experimental strategies like the “Small Wins” approach give us fodder to try our own evidence-based interventions.