‘Proximity Bias’ May Hurt DEI Efforts

The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) tells the story of Jasmine Lewis, who doesn’t want to go back to the office because she’s constantly asked what Black people think about certain issues.

“I’m not your performative Black person,” she said in the article. “Translating is exhausting.”

SHRM is INSIDE Public Accounting’s go-to resource for all things related to HR, and the most recent article to catch our attention discusses why people of color – 80% by some accounts – would rather work at home than deal with those irritations, or worse. And yet, there’s an out-of-sight-out-of-mind attitude that can harm inclusion efforts.

SHRM released a survey a year ago that says nearly 70% of supervisors believe that remote workers are more easily replaceable than onsite workers. “About 42% of supervisors say they sometimes forget about remote workers when assigning tasks, and nearly three-quarters say they would prefer all of their subordinates to be in the office.”

Companies of all sizes are trying to make remote workers feel more connected to their coworkers while improving DEI, and yet supervisors in the office prefer seeing their employees there too. SHRM provides some thoughtful insights on these critical issues.


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