Conversations on Diversity: Unconscious Bias – Starting the Conversation

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Abstract

The Office of Diversity and Community Engagement kicked off its annual lecture series, Conversations on Diversity, with a highly engaging and interactive workshop led by Beth Gerwe, the North Texas Inclusion Leader for Deloitte and a leader within Deloitte Tax LLP. Unconscious Bias – Starting the Conversation explored how unconscious bias can impact interactions, how our actions and behaviors may have unintended consequences and how individuals may experience the world differently. Gerwe provided guidance on recognizing personal blind spots and strategies for mitigating them. Gerwe discussed the origins and shaping of unconscious biases through biology, history and environment. She advised that the first step to countering biases is becoming aware of them, and she suggested simple steps to work through them, such as finding commonalities and asking open-ended questions. Inclusive leaders are curious people and eager learners, and they must continually stay alert to biases to lead effectively. This event served as an impetus to a larger dialogue on diversity and inclusion.

Speaker

Beth Gerwe

Beth Gerwe

Managing Director Deloitte Tax LLP Dallas, TX

Beth is the North Texas Inclusion Leader for Deloitte and a leader within Deloitte Tax LLP focused on business strategy. She has been with Deloitte for over 20 years focusing most of her career within Deloitte Consulting LLP serving clients in various industries with strategic transformation, merger and acquisition integration, technology implementation, and HR transformation. Beth also has performed strategic change management services for Deloitte through several acquisitions, organizational restructuring, system implementations and strategic transformations. Prior to joining Deloitte she served as the leader for Texas Instruments' Defense Systems Organizational Development group and began her career as an Industrial Engineer with General Motors. Beth holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, Master of Science in Organizational Behavior from the University of Texas at Dallas and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Parish Episcopal School. Additionally, she is a member of the Board of Directors for Dallas Dinner Table, an organization focused on achieving an America without racism, one meal at a time.