Ever wondered why a human tragedy in one part of the world draws a greater emotive effect from certain groups than a similar tragedy in another part of the world? Studies show that we exhibit greater levels of empathy towards people with backgrounds similar to our own, and vice-versa. This is a manifestation of affinity bias and is problematic for inclusion in diverse workforces. Fortunately, researchers studying empathy have provided evidence-based solutions for fostering empathy. Strategies for developing empathy, similar to those outlined in the article linked below, by Gustavo Razzetti, are critical elements of best-practice unconscious bias and inclusive leadership training.
Felicity Menzies is CEO and Principal Consultant at Include-Empower.Com, a diversity and inclusion consultancy with expertise in inclusive leadership, unconscious bias, cultural intelligence and inclusion, gender equity, empowering diverse talent. Felicity is an accredited facilitator with the Cultural Intelligence Centre and the author of A World of Difference. Felicity has over 15 years of experience working with and managing diverse workforces in blue chip companies and is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand. Felicity also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.