Symantec employees were invited by CEO Greg Clark to stop, reflect, and check their blind spots. What does it mean to check to your blind spots? Hint: It has nothing to do with driving.
It has everything to do with unconscious bias.
Greg, a signatory of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge, invited employees to immerse themselves in the “Check Your Blind Spots” mobile tour. For three hours last Wednesday, Symantec employees from a wide range of business units, teams, levels in the organization and diverse backgrounds stood in line to check out a fully customized 55-foot mobile tour bus – chock-full of interactive unconscious bias training modules.
When I sat down to experience – in virtual reality – what it felt like to be the recipient of discrimination solely based on the color of “my” skin, it felt very personal, and I was left feeling shocked and infuriated. The absurdity of the situation was very visceral, and it made me realize more than ever how people experience discrimination for no reason other than what they look like. To say it was frustrating is an understatement.
Which is all the more reason to host an event like this. The way unconscious bias was presented on the tour bus was more personal, and therefore more impactful. By virtually living in someone else’s reality, people got a much deeper understanding of the concepts of bias and prejudice, which then aroused feelings of empathy and compassion for the lived experiences of other people. The live experience on the bus reinforced the importance of diversity and inclusion that we consume via trainings, readings, and conversations – and elevates it to a whole other level.