A new, deeper understanding of how the breeding structure of species affects their genetic diversity is giving conservationists better tools for saving animals. In March 2018 at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, surrounded by his devoted keepers, Sudan the northern white rhino breathed his last. He wasn’t the only remaining northern white rhino because three females in protective captivity survived him.
But Sudan’s death ended any hope of those females breeding naturally and rendered the northern white rhino effectively extinct. The moment made headlines, and the world lamented the high-profile extinction. But it wasn’t a true species extinction event. Northern white rhinos are just a distinct subset, or subspecies, of white rhino. More than 10,000 white rhinos are still left in the southern subspecies. White rhinos as a species aren’t even endangered.
Nevertheless, ever since Sudan’s death, Cynthia Steiner, an associate director in conservation genetics for the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, and her colleagues have gone to great lengths to try to reboot the northern subspecies. They’re working to turn stem cells collected from the remaining females into embryos for in vitro fertilization. They want more northern white rhinos, and mixing in genes from southern white rhino males just won’t do.
“Before, people would say, we need to save the species,” Steiner explained. “But that’s not enough if you think about it. When you talk about species, you’re not considering the whole evolutionary potential of all the different groups that make up that species. That’s why the new notion is: We really want to save the genetic structure of the species, these different populations — subspecies — that have unique characteristics at the genomic level.”
In recent years, biologists have developed a deeper understanding of how the relationship between genetic diversity and population structure can influence the fate of a species. They’ve long understood how geography and ecological variations often partition species into subspecies or other small distinct populations of individuals who are more closely related to one another than to outsiders.
Now, with the help of better tools and techniques for studying the genomes of creatures in the wild, researchers are discovering the full extent of how much the genetic dynamics within and among those populations can affect how resiliently a species can evolve and adapt to changing conditions over time………..
Unconscious bias can have a profound impact on the workplace...getty
With more companies embracing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, it’s no surprise that unconscious bias has come to the forefront. Inherent in corporate cultures, unconscious bias (also known as implicit bias) refers to subconscious attitudes that impact how people respond to others at work.
While some implicit biases are directly related to age or gender, others result in judging people based on height, weight or even how attractive someone is perceived to be. Implicit bias can have a profound impact on the workplace. For example, it can influence retention, engagement, productivity, brand reputation and ultimately, the bottom line.
A Harvard Business Review and University of Chicago study surveyed over 1,900 employees of large companies to determine if they perceived bias at work. Those who did were twice as likely not to feel proud of working for their company, three times as likely to plan on leaving within a year and more than four times as likely to feel alienated at work.
Because unconscious bias stems from stereotypes that people are unaware of, it can be difficult but not impossible to detect. Here are some of the most common forms of implicit bias and ways to address them in the workplace.
1. Affinity Bias
Also called similarity bias, this type of bias causes people to be attracted to others who appear to be like them. These similarities could include backgrounds, interests and appearance. For example, if you interview someone who happened to go to the same university, you may automatically feel they are a good fit for the team.
To combat affinity bias, stop and ask yourself why you may be drawn to specific people at work. Also, encourage feedback and try to find common ground with all your colleagues—even those with whom you disagree.
2. Appearance Bias
This type of unconscious bias involves judging someone based on how they look. The physical attributes used to treat people differently include hair color, weight, height and even perceived beauty. According to one academic review published in the scientific journal, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, physically attractive people are more likely to be interviewed for jobs and hired, advance rapidly in their careers and earn higher wages than unattractive individuals.
The good news is that this bias is easier than others to address. A simple example is eliminating photographs or appearance data from the hiring process. In addition, a structured screening process that evaluates candidates before in-person interviews helps avoid appearance bias. By first screening candidates by phone rather than video, you can select the most capable individuals without unnecessary bias impacting the process.
3. Confirmation Bias
Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out and interpret new information in a way that confirms your own views. It affects our ability to think objectively, leading to bad decision-making. For example, let’s say you are conducting market research for a new product at work—what you anticipate being the next “big thing.”
Although you gather information supporting that it isn’t something consumers want, you classify those data points as outliers to reinforce your original hypothesis.
To avoid this unconscious bias, follow the data when making decisions. For example, in hiring, try not to form initial opinions about candidates based on their names or where they went to school. Instead, ask standardized skills-based questions that provide everyone a fair chance.
4. Gender Bias
Gender bias is a form of unconscious bias where one gender is preferred over another. It most often refers to the favored treatment men receive in the workplace. According to the most recent Women in the Workplace study, only 25% of C-suite executives are women. For every 100 men promoted from entry level to manager, only 87 women are promoted.
One of the most effective ways to deal with gender bias is to train your employees to identify and challenge it directly. You can also avoid it through gender-neutral hiring practices. By implementing blind evaluation techniques such as skills tests and work samples, diversifying your workforce will be much easier.
5. Age Bias
Ageism in the workplace affects people young and old. It refers to treating someone less favorably because of their age. One example is being passed over for promotion because of your age. Another example might include being encouraged or forced to retire.
To combat age bias, promote reverse mentorship where younger workers get paired with a more senior employee. Also, reward workers based on performance rather than tenure. And finally, be sure to craft job descriptions without using potentially discriminatory language like “young team” or “perfect for a stay-at-home mom.”
Left unchecked, unconscious bias can interfere with DEI efforts and developing a healthy workplace culture. Becoming aware of it is the first step. Then it’s critical to take action and lead by example. By understanding the different biases and how to address them, you’ll be able to create an environment that encourages innovation, creativity and diversity.
Discussions about money — specifically salaries — are moving out into the open. Recent studies show pay transparency attracts more job candidates, particularly Gen Z jobseekers, who are more comfortable talking about salaries than previous generations were.
New York City this month joined seven states and several cities across the U.S. that have enacted legislation requiring employers to disclose salary ranges — either in job postings, after an initial interview or if an applicant requests that information. California, the nation’s largest state, is expanding its 5-year-old pay transparency law to require published salary ranges starting Jan. 1. Similar legislation is pending in New York State.
From where I sit, pay transparency is good for employees and employers — and not just because it’s another step toward pay equity.
Potential employees can use transparent pay to decide if a posted salary is financially viable for them. Employers can take the opportunity to reassess their pay structures to ensure that pay is fair for their workers with similar skills and in similar roles. Posted pay ranges provide a starting point for negotiations — something that’s especially valuable for new college graduates just entering the job market.
Pay transparency should be a key strategy for any company looking to build a stronger early talent pipeline. Here are three reasons companies could be proactive about disclosing salary ranges.
Pay transparency can help companies attract more applicants.
Pay transparency laws are already starting to have an effect: A recent survey found that nearly one in six companies that disclosed pay data attracted more job candidates. Generation Z — today’s early talent — tell us they’re more likely to apply for a job if they see a salary range. They’re much more comfortable discussing salaries than previous generations. Our own data shows that salary is far and away the No. 1 reason why Gen Z chooses a particular employer and sticks with a job.
In fact, when asked to rank their top factors related to gender diversity that might compel college students to apply to a company, Gen Z put pay equity above seeing women in leadership roles, having dedicated programs to support women and employing a chief diversity officer.
Companies that keep salary information close to the vest risk losing applicants and draining their talent pool. A recent survey of adults who have looked for work within the past five years found that a third of them would not go to a job interview unless they knew the pay.
It can enhance equity and diversity efforts.
Salary disclosure laws are intended to promote fairness as we continue to learn more about chronic wage gaps between men and women and disparities rooted in race and ethnicity. Handshake data shows that companies get 13% more applications from Black students when they include salary information in job postings.
Public salary disclosures won’t rectify all of these long-standing pay equity issues, but they let early talent know that companies are serious about working to fix them.
It can improve company morale.
It’s clear that not every company is thrilled by this trend toward greater pay disparity. A survey of North American employers found that nearly a third say they are not ready to take this step.
Companies that delay might undermine efforts to attract and retain employees. When job applicants don’t see salary information on a posting, they’re likely to think a company is hiding something or might underpay them. It further suggests that a company might be untrustworthy.
Yet another survey found that 60% of employees — especially Gen Z and Millennials — would consider switching jobs to gain more pay transparency than they have at their current company. Indeed, studies suggest pay transparency has positive effects on job satisfaction, job performance and workers’ perceptions of their employer.
If trends continue, pay transparency could be the law of the land. Before that happens, it makes good business sense for companies that want to attract early talent to adopt pay transparency policies.
It’s time to create a working culture where everyone feels valued and heard, says Abadesi Osunsade, the Founder and CEO of Hustle Crew, a diversity consultancy. Here she shares her top tips for making our work teams more inclusive.
If diversity means celebrating our differences we must respect and value a balanced range of perspectives and ensure we have a range of different voices in our team that are equally supported and heard.
Corporate culture, like many other parts of our patriarchal societies, have been designed with the lived experience of straight, white men in mind. But what about the rest of us? What efforts can we each make to turn our offices into environments where all professionals, regardless of their background, can flourish? Here are four ways to make work more inclusive:
1. Take stock of the identities that dominate your office
Research shows our lived experiences shape everything from how we think about the world to our motivations and cultural behaviours. Is there a particular type of person that’s well represented across the leadership team and beyond? If so, how could that dominant identity group impact company culture and views?
What risk is there that certain perspectives represented amongst your customer or client base are being missed due to your team make up? Spark up conversations with your team about whose voices matter to your work but are not represented in the team. Think of ways to expand your community and outreach to include these voices.
2. Recognize where you have privilege and therefore blind spots
Professor Michael Kimmel famously said, “Privilege is invisible to those who have it.” That means that privilege i.e. unearned advantages we gain through our identity, which we have no choice over, can be difficult to discern unless we actively consider the experiences of other people in our society who don’t share the same opportunities, choices and other advantages we have.
For example, as a cis gender heterosexual woman I have never had to experience the anxiety that comes with using a restroom in public buildings, or fear violence when walking hand in hand with my partner on holiday in exotic countries.
3. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Look at the tragic events we’ve witnessed these past few years from the murder of George Floyd to the fatal shooting of Chris Kapa, both at the hands of the police. And let’s not forget the death of Belly Mujinga, who passed away from coronavirus which she contracted after an infected passenger spat at her at the station where she was working.
It is undeniable that our identify has a huge impact on how we navigate the world, and it has a huge impact on how others treat us. This is an uncomfortable truth that we must engage with regularly so we can take action to make the world more fair and equitable. Be willing to challenge racism, and other forms of discrimination wherever you hear them or see them.
4. Focus on your vision of the future
Fighting for equality and fair treatment of all identities takes guts. It’s not easy. The more you become aware of privilege and discrimination, the more you will see it play out in everything from the media, think about toxic headlines in the newspapers, to banter at the office, think of the types of jokes you’ve heard that made you stop and think. What has helped me do the work I do, challenging bias wherever I see it, is focusing on the future.
In the future I want to see more women especially Black women and other women of colour, leading teams and companies and really – doing whatever they want. Without the obstacles they face today. I wish this for all marginalised identities underrepresented at work everywhere.
Abadesi Osunsade is the Founder and CEO of Hustle Crew, a careers community for the underrepresented in tech and a diversity and inclusion consultancy on a mission to make teams more inclusive. Hustle Crew Membership is for anyone who wants to be an inclusion ambassador in their community, with weekly resources and monthly workshops to teach you how to drive change from £12/month.
Niamh McCollum is Features Assistant at Marie Claire UK, and specialises in entertainment, female empowerment, mental health, social development and careers. Tackling both news and features, she’s covered everything from the rise of feminist audio porn platforms to the latest campaigns protecting human rights.
As you analyze your own company culture, you’re likely wondering if your team has cultivated a positive or negative experience for your employees. If your company has difficulty attracting top talent or exhibits low employee morale, McCusker says these could be signs that your workplace culture needs improvement.
“I absolutely believe you can reverse a negative company culture — however it takes a lot of work, and likely some significant changes,” she adds. “It’s not a project, it’s a movement.”
Creating a positive company culture: 4 Expert tips
McCusker explains that the key to creating a positive work culture is knowing that it cannot be reverse-engineered. What works for one company, she elaborates, can’t be authentically replicated elsewhere. This is because workplace culture is not something that’s owned.
“It is the result of millions of little decisions over the lifetime of a company,” she says. “Because it’s organic, it will quickly change when left untended.”
As you strive to cultivate and maintain a positive culture within your organization, consider the following four pieces of advice from our business experts.
1. Identify your organization’s core values
While there’s no surefire recipe for achieving positivity within your work environment, every organization can benefit by analyzing a few key aspects of its identity. Sam Pardue, CEO and founder of window insert company Indow, highlights three cornerstones of a positive work culture: mission, vision and values. “They are simple, but hard to execute in a credible way,” he says, noting the following about each:
Mission provides the intrinsic motivation which makes employees excited to accomplish great things at work.
Vision helps them understand the destiny they are helping to create.
Values are the ways everyone agrees to work together.
If you hope to build up an employee base that is passionate, engaged and productive, begin by identifying a foundational mission your workers will find exciting.
2. Establish trust by representing those values
Culture coach and consultant Lizz Pellet notes that workplace culture travels from the top down. “Leaders create culture,” she says. “How members of a group take their culture cues is the way they see and perceive how the leader behaves — so what leaders focus on is critical.”
Pellet explains that if an organization’s leadership team is employee-focused, empathetic and authentic, it will send a calming message to employees that their leaders are there for them. That can help keep help improve engagement, productivity and even profitability.
McCusker agrees that cultural representation among leadership teams is crucial: Having a positive culture means seeing leaders at all levels living the values out loud. “It means having an employee experience that, at all touch points, is reflective of the company’s beliefs and values,” she adds.
3. Maintain clear and consistent expectations
One element most all of us need to achieve a sense of harmony is consistency. While teams across industries strive to achieve innovation in their product offerings, predictability is actually something many employees seek in a positive work culture. Pardue says it’s critical that your workers are able to fully grasp what’s expected of them.
“Employees want to know what the rules are, and that they will be enforced equally and in a predictable way,” he offers. “Unpredictability in management actions causes contempt and distrust — and ultimately destroys the culture.”
McCusker agrees that maintaining expectations at every level is essential. “I once heard a CEO say that if you are not willing to fire your top performing employee over behavior that is inconsistent with the culture, then your culture is not very strong and you do not truly believe in it.”
4. Ensure your employees feel valued
Creating a positive work culture isn’t simply about workplace happy hours and catered Friday lunches, notes senior partner at Partners in Leadership Jared Jones. “Real culture is rooted in an employee’s daily experiences, which in turn shape their beliefs,” he says. “These beliefs inform their actions, and actions lead to results.”
One survey from the American Psychological Association (APA) found that over 90 percent of employees who feel valued at work say they’re more motivated to do their best. That drops to just 33 percent among employees who don’t feel valued by their employers.
“Companies led by executives who create positive experiences by consistently offering and asking for constructive feedback, recognizing employees’ efforts during company meetings and even just saying ‘thank you’ on a regular basis lay the groundwork for a positive workplace culture,” Jones explains. He adds that the more employees see this type of behavior, the more valued and connected to the organization’s goals they’ll feel.
Build a positive workplace culture
Investing in your organization’s wellbeing calls for an honest assessment of your company ethos. Take time to analyze what’s working and what isn’t. Then, let the insight from our business experts guide you in creating a positive work culture that can support your organization’s future success.
Petite 'n Pretty aims for its lifestyle product line to more accurately reflect the younger ... [+] getty
Young people today are thinking about their futures earlier than ever before. Gone are the days of, “I’ll figure out my major before I graduate.” Instead, these are the days of lemonade stands that turn into business plans, seed money, and a resulting entrepreneurial journey.
In many respects, branding comes early on the journey of the very young, also known as Generation Alpha. According to an N.C. State article, Generation Alpha’s habits and outlooks reflect that of their Millennial parents. “As health-conscious caretakers, Millennial parents seek out a lot of information about the products they buy and expose their kids to,” says author Heather Dretsch. Like their parents, Alpha’s appear to seek high-quality, health-conscious, sustainable products with technology, diversity, and immediacy at the forefront.
The youth of today has been marketed through social media, television, apps, games, and other media outlets. But, according to Common Sense Media, advertisers are keenly aware of the long-term effects of getting their brand in front of youth as early as possible. “Advertisers know that kids greatly influence their parents’ buying decisions, to the tune of $500 billion per year,” cites Common Sense on advertising for kids.
However, in some industries, such as beauty products, advertisers tend to position their marketing from already established models that cater to adults more than young people. As a result, mature messaging is portrayed to a younger audience attempting to develop their identity and explore their emotional space in the world.
Samantha Cutler, the founder of Petite ‘n Pretty, harnessed 17 years of experience in product development in the professional make-up industry with such brands as Smashbox, MAC Cosmetics, and others to launch an age-appropriate product line for younger girls just learning to explore their personal development and sense of self.
Cutler recognized that if beauty products were already being marketed to a younger age bracket, she might as well offer a healthy, age-appropriate product that educates through inspiration, empowerment, equity, and inclusion.
While working at name brands, many friends and acquaintances would ask her if she could recommend products, and she realized how many products did not align with younger kids.
“I never had an answer, the products weren’t age-appropriate. Many of the products had suggestive naming conventions, or the colors were extremely pigmented, something many parents would not feel comfortable giving their daughter or son,” says Cutler.
Product integrity is essential to Cutler, and some marketed merchandise did not represent clean beauty. In addition, some were produced overseas without proper testing that would appeal to parents wanting the safest products for their children.
As a mother herself, she knew there was a need. “I felt like there was this whitespace of opportunity in beauty, educating about beauty, and I always wanted to start a brand. But the beauty marketplace is saturated with 300 times the number of brands launching yearly than when I first started working. So I wanted to ensure there was a purpose behind what I did.”
Cutler concentrates mainly on the niche market from ages 7 to 12. While cutesy in nature, the company’s naming is steeped in feedback from the associations of younger kids and application principles. “I raddled off names to my three-year-old daughter and when the word ‘pretty’ came up, she instantly knew what it meant. There was a familiarity, and ‘pretty’ is a feeling that comes from within, a good feeling. Petite represents everything we produce. Everything is slightly smaller and gives a first user the best initial experience.”
At the core, Cutler is trying to bring confidence and comfort to kids by starting what she calls ‘the beauty journey’ and building within the offerings. “What I like to say is if your daughter or son is going to ride a bike for the first time, you’re not going to give them a mountain bike,” she says. “Everyone begins the journey at a different age, and we are here to support them and be their friend, knowing there are no mistakes along the way.”
Education Zoom Camps
During the pandemic, Cutler found the use of Zoom camps a tremendous educational and informative tool. “The camps were a great revenue driver for us and brand building experience. These kids were so bored and stuck at home, and ultimately it was an opportunity for us to create a fun brand-building experience with dynamic, engaging, creative activities.
Cutler’s ability to team up with influencers such as Piper Rockelle, with almost 10 million subscribers on YouTube, is part of the process of bringing people from other worlds together. Cutler has noticed that some influencers’ numbers skyrocket after the collaborative process. “There’s a fascinating dynamic with influencers, actresses, and dancers, and we bring them together for photo shoots. As a result, different audiences come together, and everyone begins to follow and learn from one another socially.”
Many brands try to go after the younger consumer. Still, Cutler recognizes that many brands are not directly integrating them into marketing or bringing them together for learning workshops or photo opportunities. “They know there’s an audience and a consumer that sits on TikTok all day, or Instagram, but they are not necessarily hiring a 12-year-old for a photoshoot. They’re trying to get the audience to engage with their brand but not directly.” It’s a direct relationship that appears to set Cutler’s efforts apart from others.
With 30% to 40% growth rates last year, Petite ‘n Pretty is looking to scale at a 30% rate this upcoming year. Online sales on Amazon and others have been a success and Cutler is moving back into Ulta.com stores this coming year. The projection is to build the branding in stores in the U.S. with international efforts on the horizon.
Cutler’s approach is a more hands-on collaborative effort. An iterative educational process that learns about the younger generation while at the same time generating consumer behavior habits that are authentic to their consumer needs. Cutler recognizes that the younger generation isn’t necessarily and habitually brand loyal, but more driven by a loyalty found in authentic experiences that speaks to them and caters to the world they are forming.
Samantha Cutler found her entrepreneurial groove with her motherly instincts intact. Her thriving business illustrates the scale companies can grow if brands and proprietors maintain a sense of self along the way and educate themselves on the needs and understanding of the younger generation.
Even though cosmetics tend to be viewed as ‘outer’ oriented, Cutler is building a company of substance that stays true to the consumer base with the sensibility of market trends, sustainability, and safety.