Close this search box.
Energy Workforce & Technology Council 90th Anniversary
Close this search box.

Seminar Participants Learn to Understand Unconscious Biases

Inclusion & Diversity Business Champion Certification Program Completes 2nd Year


The Council’s industry-leading Inclusion and Diversity Business Champion Certification Program concluded with a final seminar on November 16 devoted to how our brains process information and observe patterns, recognizing unconscious biases and inclusive leadership.

More than 30 attendees from 10 companies participated in the year-long program, which provides tools for leaders across functions to affect internal change, focusing on building internal organization capability of inclusion and diversity.

The last session included topics such as utilizing the ladder of inference, a tool which promotes an understanding of the thinking steps that can lead to incorrect assumptions and explains the thinking process that we go through, usually without realizing it, to get from a fact to a decision or action.

“The experiences we create as leaders in every level of the organization impacts our beliefs, which impacts our behaviors. Our leaders’ primary job is to drive culture. Our leadership model outlines three core beliefs that each leader should have to ensure we’re having a consistent culture and experience wherever you are globally in our organization.”

Lauren Noyes, ChampionX

Participants had the opportunity to engage in an exercise putting the ladder of inference to the test. The session highlighted how our brains categorize information, devise problem-solving or mental shortcuts based on past knowledge, experiences, assumptions and stereotypes.

Attendees also participated in a self-reflective breakout about common cognitive biases. The discussion helped participants understand that while we cannot overcome our biases completely, consciously identifying them and understanding how they impact our decisions and work can improve the quality of our decisions.

“It is really difficult to face our biases head-on; there is a level of discomfort about it. But in the end, it’s the work that you put into it to ensuring you recognize your unconscious biases that makes the most impact.”

Program Participant

A full group conversation allowed time for participants to consider biases that hadn’t been already addressed and time for people to share with the group of biases attendees have observed or experienced personally.

The final breakout provided time for groups to identify the behaviors key to being an inclusive leader. Feedback included behaviors such as collaborative, trusting, supportive, motivating, open-minded and having the confidence to be vulnerable.

To complete the program and join the graduation ceremony, participants must complete a short report on the I&D plans they developed during the certification program, and how they intend to implement them personally and within their companies.

The Council, I&D Engagement Committee, and partner Envision look forward to celebrating in person with the group as they graduate in January 2022.

The 2022 program is open. Register now!

Peggy Helfert, Vice President Programs and Events, writes about the Council’s sector-specific best practices and leadership. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights industry practices, workforce development, Council activities and more.


Stay Connected

Sign up for the Energy Workforce newsletter to stay on top of the latest energy news and events.