Unconscious bias training at Hera Group
Hera Group is an Italian multi-utility company that believes in the importance and necessity of inclusion. Among their numerous Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, in 2019 Hera Group invited all of their employees to play Diversity@Work, an unconscious bias training applied game. We consulted Susanna Zucchelli, Diversity Director of Hera Group, to find out more about why and how they introduced the training.
What is Diversity@Work?
Developed by Work Wide Women, Diversity@Work is an applied game that addresses the issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It is designed to make players think about their reactions to real-life situations. The objectives of the game are: to illustrate how our actions (which are often dictated by automatisms or stereotypes) can change productivity; to reveal implicit discriminatory dynamics; and to encourage the adoption of inclusive behavior.
The macro indicators used for the game metrics are based on the European Commission’s “Implementation Checklist for Diversity Management.” The impact of the player’s responses (i.e., behaviors) is measured in four categories — Management, Leadership, Working Environment, and Team Skills — in order to illustrate how certain choices and actions will affect the workplace.
What impact did Diversity@Work have on Hera Group?
Work Wide Women designed and customized the game for Hera Group’s employees. The purpose of the game was not to evaluate an employee’s behavior, but to help them think about different ways of handling situations and orient them towards a more inclusive mindset. The result was a company-wide reflection on the effects of inclusive behavior on workplace well-being. According to Zucchelli, the game was positively received and evaluated by employees.
Founded in 2002, Hera Group is an aggregation of 11 municipal companies operating in Emilia-Romagna. Hera Group is now one of Italy’s largest multi-utility companies, working primarily in the environment, water, and energy sectors.
It is important to highlight that the success of this initiative lies within all the other actions and initiatives that the company has introduced at an organizational level — the creation of the “Diversity Manager” role, their collaboration with different associations working on empowering minorities, and their innovative policies on maternity leave, flexibility and well-being in the workplace. The use of unconscious bias training fits perfectly with the ongoing development and reinforcement of a culture of inclusion, acceptance and respect.
Work Wide Women is an Italian company that supports women and companies by providing diversity management and inclusion solutions. In 2019, they launched Diversity@Work, the first applied game on diversity and inclusion.
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