A Step Towards Inclusive Business Practices – a Toolkit created by B Corps

In a step towards fostering more inclusive business practices, B Lab, together with ten Dutch B Corps, launched the first chapter of the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Toolkit, focusing on Unconscious Bias.

Introducing the JEDI Toolkit

In a step towards fostering more inclusive business practices, B Lab, together with ten Dutch B Corps (Triodos Bank – Ace & Tate – MUD Jeans – O My Bag – Elemental – Vebego Participatie- Tony’s Chocolonely – VIE People – Swapfiets), launched the first chapter of the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Toolkit, focusing on Unconscious Bias. This comprehensive resource aims to provide practical examples and actionable insights for companies striving to integrate JEDI principles into their operations. By leveraging the collective wisdom and experiences of the B Corp community, this toolkit promises to be an invaluable asset for businesses committed to enacting positive social change.

B Lab and the participating B Corps are championing this initiative because they recognize the impact of equitable and inclusive business practices. By addressing unconscious bias and promoting diversity, they believe businesses can drive systemic change and contribute to a more just and sustainable world. The next chapter of the toolkit will cover the topic of inclusive hiring. B Lab, the nonprofit behind the B Corp Certification, is a driving force behind this theme and previously launched the Let’s Play Equal board game in collaboration with four B Corps.

What is Unconscious Bias?

Have you ever caught yourself making a snap judgment about someone based solely on their appearance or background? This is a manifestation of unconscious bias. Unconscious bias refers to the automatic associations and judgments we make about others based on stereotypes and preconceived notions. These biases operate outside our conscious awareness, influencing our actions and decisions in subtle yet significant ways. Unconscious bias can manifest in various forms, affecting individuals based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, age, and more.

In the workplace, these biases can impact hiring practices, colleague interactions, and overall business decisions, often maintaining systemic inequities if left unchecked.

Overview of the JEDI Toolkit

The JEDI Toolkit is designed to showcase how various B Corps are currently implementing JEDI principles within their organizations. This toolkit serves as a collection of ideas and practices aimed at helping businesses learn from one another and drive collective progress. The toolkit is organized into six key areas:

  • Unconscious Bias: Strategies to recognize and mitigate unconscious biases in decision-making processes.
  • Inclusive Hiring: Practices to ensure diverse and equitable recruitment and hiring.
  • Generating Awareness: Initiatives to raise awareness about JEDI issues within the company and the broader community.
  • Inclusive Leadership: Approaches to cultivate leadership that champions diversity and inclusion.
  • Safe Environment: Creating a workplace where all employees feel safe, respected, and valued.
  • Measurement of JEDI: Tools and methods for assessing the effectiveness of JEDI initiatives.

A snapshot of the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Toolkit

Importance of Addressing Unconscious Bias

These biases stem from societal norms, personal experiences, and cultural influences, shaping our perceptions and behaviors without our conscious control. They influence workplace dynamics and decision-making, often reinforcing existing inequities. Recognizing and actively confronting our biases is essential for dismantling institutional barriers and promoting equity within professional settings. By addressing unconscious bias, we contribute to a fairer workplace where all individuals can thrive, regardless of their background or identity.

Looking ahead: The future of JEDI in the B Corp Community

The importance of JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) in the B Corp movement is growing rapidly. With B Lab revising the standards for B Corp certification and making JEDI a standalone topic, B Corps now have an even greater responsibility to enhance their JEDI practices.

Now more than ever, it is crucial to share our best practices and learn from each other, enabling us to continuously improve and advance JEDI within our organizations. To realize our vision of an inclusive and equitable economy, we must advance how companies engage with aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Danja Overgaag , Community Lead at B Lab Benelux