Kevin Pokorny and Renee Hardman have been friends for years. As Kevin says, “If you’re going to take on a topic like unconscious bias, you better not be afraid to talk about it, which we had over the years — it’s just a part of who we are.”
Early in their careers, Kevin and Renee worked together doing training for the Iowa Department of Personnel. “So there was a great deal of trust between the two of us,” said Pokorny. Hardman and Pokorny felt that unconscious bias was not getting the attention it needed, even though it can create friction in interactions in the workplace. They decided to create a workshop using a three-part approach that begins with helping people recognize that they have unconscious biases. On December 22, 2017, The Business Record, and on December 26 the Lift IOWA Leading Insights on Female Talent published an article about their work with challenging unconscious bias in the workplace. (excerpt below)
By Joe Gardyasz | Senior staff writer, Des Moines Business Record
Renee Hardman recalls once after speaking at a conference, a participant approached her with a compliment that went something like this: “For a black woman, you sure did a nice job speaking.”
It’s one of the personal stories that Hardman uses to illustrate the type of microaggression that can occur when individuals or organizations fail to recognize and address the unconscious biases that are part of being human.
Hardman, president of human resources management firm Hardman Consulting LLC, developed a training curriculum on unconscious bias with Kevin Pokorny, principal of Pokorny Consulting. For the past two years, the two human resource professionals have conducted the training with numerous organizations, among them UnityPoint Health-Des Moines, Des Moines Water Works and the West Des Moines Police Department. The training generally lasts from an hour and a half to three hours….