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50 Ways to Fight Bias Fighting bias at your organization

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

Why fighting bias matters

This International Women’s Day comes at a moment of crisis for women. Millions of women have been driven out of the workforce by Covid-19. Many more are struggling with burnout and considering downshifting their careers or leaving their jobs.

To avoid unwinding years of progress toward gender equality, companies need to act now to promote, hire, and retain women. Combating the biases women face at work is critical to getting this right. Research shows that bias contributes to women being passed over for jobs and promotions. Almost three in four women experience bias at work, and those who do are more likely to leave their jobs. And women of color, LGBTQ+ women, and women with disabilities face more acute biases. Yet only one in three employees, including managers, challenges biased behavior when they see it.

Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough. We need to take action and #ChooseToChallenge bias. Lean In’s 50 Ways to Fight Bias program can help.

How to access 50 Ways

50 Ways to Fight Bias is available for free online and is optimized for both virtual and in-person workshops.

Explore the program

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.

Engage Your Employees

Host a workshop for employees

For large gatherings—either in-person or virtual—select a set of cards and use the virtual moderator guide to walk everyone through the activity. Break participants into smaller groups or virtual breakout rooms to discuss the situations and brainstorm solutions together.

Check out how SurveyMonkey used this implementation strategy.

50+ people
1-2 hour session
Mixed gender employees, all levels
Digital cards 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.

All group sizes
1-2 hour session
Mixed gender employees, all levels
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.

All group sizes
Less than 15 minutes
Mixed gender employees, all levels
Digital cards recommended

Train your managers and senior leaders

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 implementation strategy.

All group sizes
1-2 hour session
Managers
Digital cards recommended

Host a workshop for senior leaders

Senior leaders play a key role in creating inclusive company policies, programs, and cultures where fighting bias is a norm. Lead senior leaders through the program to help them understand how they can build a more inclusive workplace.

All group sizes
1-2 hour session
Senior leaders
Digital cards recommended

Integrate into your hiring and reviews/promotions process

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.

Groups of 6-8 people
1-2 hour session
Anyone involved in hiring
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.

Groups of 6-8 people
1-2 hour session
Anyone involved in reviews and promotions
Digital cards recommended

Facilitate small group discussions

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.

Groups of 6-8 people
1-2 hour session
Mixed gender employees, all levels
Digital cards recommended