August 26, 2016

This week in the workplace: Bias training for police, #Holacracy, and the robots of automation

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WEEKEND LINK ROUNDUP

HELLOOO FRIDAY! HERE’S WHAT WE’VE BEEN READING, SLACKING, SHARING, LIKING & TWEETING THIS WEEK

 

 

Why one software company is going out of its way to hire people with autism. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 80% of autism-spectrum adults are unemployed. Savvy organizations who know that their is no “normal” are ready to tap this incredibly value market and the newly launched Mindspark is helping them gain access to it.

 

We must include process change when training police about unconscious bias. Everything you read today about unconscious bias trainings includes this one fact: that trainings do not have an impact unless they’re coupled with structural changes to existing systems and processes. For this reason we’re disheartened by the newest industry taking up the “unconscious bias training mantle”: police units across the country. The data is still out on whether these trainings will reduce the incidence of police violence and brutality against African Americans, but critics remind that tactics learned to lower bias will not top of mind in that split-second moment of pressure.

 

Tuesday was African American Women’s Equal Pay Day. Tuesday marked the number of extra days into this year that African-American women would have had to work to earn as much as white men did in 2015—that’s more than seven extra months. This article doesn’t just dwell on the injustice of where wealth in our country is distributed today but also highlights problem areas we need to focus on: lack of paid family leave, unaffordable childcare, and the fact that African-American women are less likely to work in flexible workplaces.

 

From #holacracy to hirearchy: Will startup experiments in flat organizational structures last? It turns out some of the companies (Buffer, Medium) who last year were touting their horizontal-ness and self-management strategies now are implementing more hierarchal structures. Jes Kirkwood looks into why and proposes a way to adopt more structure while holding onto those democratic ideals: distributed leadership.

 

Automation is killing, creating and transforming jobs. New numbers from Forrester Research predicts that automation will kill 16% of American jobs by 2025—but replace 9% of that chunk with new (human) jobs. Steve Bates of SHRM helps us be mindful of the drastic changes to come in how we work and what we can do to prepare.

 

Five ways technology is impacting HR for the better. From moving paper trails to the cloud to creating efficiencies that allow for more in-real-life relationship building, these are five great reminders of the critical importance of using technology to improve HR functions.

 

7 surprisingly easy wins through behavioral design. Our founder Laura Mather joined Iris Bohnet, behavioral economist and director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy program for a conversation about her new book, What Works: Gender Equality By Design. Our recap of the night summarizes the 7 big takeaways from the book—including how you can effortlessly adopt her strategies in your own company now.

 

Equal Opportunity Or Affirmative Action? A Computer Program Shows Which Is Better For Diversity. Paolo Gaudiano and Ellen Hunt use a mathematical module to simulate whether companies with bias interventions would achieve gender balance after five years. Even if companies were magically able to “turn off bias”, the results demonstrated the real world “pyramid” phenomenon: equal representation of women in lower level jobs that progressively tapers as you move each level up.

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