Managing unconscious bias the Freshworks way

Fresh Perspectives – Managing Unconscious Bias

Written by on November 23, 2017

Today was an interesting day at Freshworks. Something simple yet powerful unfolded amongst us. Sindhuja Parthasarathy from the HR team sparked a light-hearted activity with a deeper dimension. It was a challenge, to challenge gender stereotypes.

Objectivity is an illusion deeply imbibed in us and the English language even has a term for it – ‘Unconscious Bias’I remember a research that suggested we all are vulnerable, thanks to the deeply ingrained preconceptions we are conditioned to embrace. We dismiss this as racism or sexism, but the truth is most of us don’t even realize the discrimination we are subjected to, or that we subject others to!

At Freshworks, we believe that a successful organization is built on the foundation of inclusiveness and embracing diversity, be it race, religion, sexual orientation, gender or diversity of thought. The most important step is being aware of our biases before we jump into workshops on managing unconscious bias.

The Challenge

It was simple and fun – click a picture of yourself or your peers holding placards of scenarios that challenge gender bias, and post it on our Workplace. The underlying idea was to throw light on biases that influence the choices we make at work, and in our personal lives.

There were only a couple of pictures in the morning, but by lunchtime it was the buzz of the entire office. Everyone was seen holding a placard, and soon we had more than the anticipated entries.

Here are a few that caught my eye.

The click that started it all 

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

And the answer to it…

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

Isn’t everyone supposed to cook?

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

What’s wrong with some pampering? 

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

And trying to look good!

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

Why should women have all the (par)fum! 

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

Can’t bros get together for brunch?

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

While girls do some heavy-lifting…

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

And indulge in some fixing duties!

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

                        Everyone’s game for some whiskey!                    

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

 Some chores…

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

And still find time to do it all!!!

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

I was intrigued by all the buzz and decided to jump in.

Fresh Perspectives to managing unconscious bias

Helped me justify my shoe-buying frenzy 😉

Let’s not get constrained by pre-defined gender norms.

Tweet, put up stories, or post on Instagram or Facebook with these hashtags #UnconsciousBias #ChallengeGenderStereotypes #Freshperspectives and let’s throw some light on this topic.

Girish Mathrubootham

Founder & CEO of Freshworks