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Oracle Data Cloud is on a mission to combat unconscious bias

According to the 2017 Women in the Workplace study by McKinsey, in the technology industry 25% of people VP level and above are women.

At Oracle Data Cloud we’re on a committed mission to improve our diversity representation and inspire a change in the industry.

We are looking at diversity through a global lens and focusing on all categories of diversity, not just gender and race but also sexual orientation, religion and disability status.

Our Impact group created a task force focused on increasing diversity. We determined that we should come to a place where our entire 1600+ person organization is speaking the same language and has the same ground rules in place around unconscious bias and how we can work together to combat it.

According to Professor Lisa H. Nishii, Ph. D. in the Countering Bias in the Workplace for HR course at  eCornell University,

“What's really important to understand is that we all have unconscious biases. And having an unconscious bias does not make somebody a bad person. The reason we all have unconscious biases is because they result from the way that our brain is structured. They represent neural connections within our brains. Scientists estimate that we're exposed to as many as 11 million pieces of information at any time, but our brains can only consciously process about 40 bits of information. That means our brains can only consciously process 0.00001% of the information coming in. Our brains evolve to help us survive by automatically filtering information that seems familiar.”

Given the nature of unconscious bias, working to combat it will take buy in from everyone at Oracle Data Cloud, and teamwork to develop good habits as an organization. We’ve got the commitment from our executive team and a big goal of having all of Oracle Data Cloud trained by the end of the year. We’ve also incorporated this training in Experience Oracle Data Cloud, our onboarding program.

Through a self-reported survey from Google, the team found that those who went through their Unconscious Bias @ Work workshop showed statistically significant increases in awareness and understanding of unconscious bias, and motivation to overcome it. Those who watched the self-study video scored on par with those who went through the live workshop.


How are we working to accomplish this big goal?

With the use of this awesome free online resource. We find this training is the most productive when we host small sessions across all of our global locations hosted by myself or one of our local Impact leaders. We follow the training up by facilitating some conversation about how we can take what we’ve learned and apply it in our day to day at Oracle Data Cloud.

What I love about the training is that the action items are clear. Some tips to counteract unconscious bias that really resonate with me are:

  • Assume positive intent
  • Bring your full self to work and don’t waste energy holding your real self back
  • Small changes can make a big difference
  • Be conscious and check yourself
  • Continue to talk about this topic to help solve the problem
  • Strive for progress rather than perfect

Participate in a training, follow the tips and inspire the change you want to see in your organization. 


About Kaitie English

Kaitie is a senior manager of internal communications for Oracle Data Cloud and the program manager for Impact.

Prior to joining Oracle Data Cloud, Kaitie led employee communications for the launch of the Oath brand and Verizon and AOL's acquisition of Yahoo!.

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