Breaking the Bias at FINCA

FINCA was founded on the principle of opportunity for all. Diversity, inclusion and belonging are core values of the organization. To reinforce these values and our commitment to a more inclusive work culture, FINCA launched anti-bias training for staff across our global network.

Bias is defined as prejudice against or in favor of a person, group, or things. One form of bias is gender bias. Gender bias manifests itself in many ways. As related to performance, for instance, gender bias underestimates women’s accomplishments and overestimates those of men. Then there is attribution bias, with women getting less credit for success and more blame for failure. Likeability bias expects women to be kind and communal and men to be assertive, while maternal bias expects women with children to be less competent and committed to their careers. And affinity bias involves gravitating toward people similar in appearance, beliefs and background, which often puts women and people of color at a disadvantage. Many of us are guilty of bias without even realizing it.

FINCA’s anti-bias course teaches staff the importance of diversity and inclusion for FINCA’s operational effectiveness, with a special focus on gender. It defines key gender-related concepts and explores the underlying causes of gender inequality in the financial sector and how it can be addressed. It also addresses how staff can create a culture of belonging by promoting inclusion and minimizing the impact of unconscious bias in hiring, talent development and day-to-day work interactions.

To date, nearly 80 percent of FINCA’s thousands of staff globally have completed the training. Across the wide range of countries in which we work, each with their own cultural norms and attitudes, FINCA staff have universally appreciated the training. Here are what a few FINCA staff have said:

It creates an awareness that in an organization each staff has a diverse set of perspectives, work and life experiences as well as religious and cultural differences. Organizations should therefore create a nurturing environment where individuals with different backgrounds are accepted, bias is minimized, and everybody is fully engaged.  This makes staff feel valued, respected and motivated, resulting in high performance.

“This course is excellent and I would recommend to everyone. It contains very useful information on how we create an equal opportunity environment for underserved groups in our organization.”

For me, this course was very useful. Before taking it, there were unconscious prejudices, which resulted in negative aspects in my work. Now having completed the course, I would strongly recommend it to all employees of the company.

Breaking the bias in the workplace through training is an important part of FINCA’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging. In tandem, FINCA is improving its recruitment and implementing professional development practices to retain top talent with diverse perspectives. Everyone deserves equal opportunities in life.