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50 Ways to Fight Bias at your organization At your organization

Bias is holding women back in the workplace—and company leaders and employees are looking for concrete ways to take action.

Fighting bias is good for companies

For six years, Lean In and McKinsey & Company have studied the state of women in Corporate America. Our findings are stark: women are less likely to be hired or promoted, and they are more likely to suffer everyday discrimination than men.1 These trends are having profound effects on companies. Women are less happy and more likely to think about leaving their jobs.2 The most talented people aren’t always advancing, and the best ideas aren’t always rising to the top. And over time, fewer women are making their way into leadership roles.3

Bias against women has a lot to do with this—which means employees who challenge bias can help turn these trends around.4 The business case for fighting bias is strong. More inclusive teams are happier and more productive.5 And companies with more women in leadership achieve higher profits.6

New to 50 Ways? Explore the program

The business case for fighting bias is strong: companies with more women in leadership achieve higher profits.

How to access 50 Ways

The 50 Ways cards come in three formats: a free presentation to download, a free digital deck of cards, and a physical deck of cards available for purchase.

Presentation - free

Digital version - free

Physical cards - $35

How companies can use this program

The 50 Ways program is flexible—there are a number of approaches companies big and small can take. Explore some options for bringing the program to your company—from engaging your employees, to training your managers, to integrating into hiring and promotions.

Host a workshop for employees

For large gatherings—either in-person or virtual—use the presentation and speaker notes to walk everyone through the activity. Break participants into smaller groups or virtual breakout rooms to discuss the situations and brainstorm solutions. Check out how SurveyMonkey used this strategy.

Download the presentation
50+ people
1-2 hour session
Mixed gender employees, all levels
Presentation format recommended

Integrate into existing trainings

Embed 50 Ways into existing employee trainings. This could be bias trainings, manager trainings, or any DEI programming you have.

Download the presentation or access our digital cards
All group sizes
1-2 hour session
Mixed gender employees, all levels
Presentation format recommended
Digital cards recommended

Incorporate into team meetings

For common workplace activities like team meetings, use the cards or videos individually. For example, discuss one card at each weekly team meeting or watch the videos together over a video call.

Download the presentation or access our digital cards
All group sizes
Less than 15 minutes
Mixed gender employees, all levels
Presentation format recommended
Digital cards recommended

Host a workshop for managers

Lead managers through the activity. After going through the program, ask managers to bring the cards back to their teams. There is power in managers discussing bias directly with their teams and building a culture of calling out bias when it happens. Check out how Fossil Group used this strategy.

Download the presentation or access our digital cards
All group sizes
1-2 hour session
Managers
Presentation format recommended
Digital cards recommended

Use before hiring

Before each hiring process, pull together all the Situation cards labeled “hiring” and have anyone involved in the process review and discuss the cards.

Download the presentation or access our digital cards
Groups of 6-8 people
1-2 hour session
Anyone involved in hiring
Presentation format recommended
Digital cards recommended

Use before reviews and promotions

Before your reviews cycle, have anyone involved in the process engage with the Situation cards labeled “reviews & promotions”. The cards should be used before conducting a review and before starting a promotion discussion—and evaluators should be given regular reminders or refreshers.

Download the presentation or access our digital cards
Groups of 6-8 people
1-2 hour sessions
Anyone involved in reviews and promotions
Presentation format recommended
Digital cards recommended

Run a small group discussion

For small group gatherings, use the deck of cards—either physical or digital—to lead participants through the activity. You can do this in one session or over the course of a series.

Download the presentation or access our digital cards
Groups of 6-8 people
1-2 hour session
Mixed gender employees, all levels
Presentation format recommended
Digital cards recommended

Footnotes

  1. LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, Women in the Workplace 2018 (October 2018), https://womenintheworkplace.com.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid; Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and Deloitte, “Waiter, is that inclusion in my soup? A new recipe to improve business performance” (November 2012), https://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/home/news-and-events/item/496-organisations-can-increase-their-performance-by-focusing-on-diversity-and-inclusion-28-nov-2012.
  6. Sangeeta Badal, “The Business Benefits of Gender Diversity,” Gallup (January 20, 2014), https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236543/business-benefits-gender-diversity.aspx; Sara Ellison and Wallace P. Mullin, “Diversity, Social Goods Provision, and Performance in the Firm,” Journal of Economics and Management Strategy 23, no. 2 (Summer 2014): 465–81, https://economics.mit.edu/files/8851; Vivian Hunt, Lareina Yee, Sara Prince, and Sundiatu Dixon-Fyle, Delivering Through Diversity, McKinsey & Company (2018), https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/delivering-through-diversity.