January/February 2023 - 101

Acknowledgement Bias
W I D F S E R I E S
In the second of a multi-series column the Women in Deep Foundations (WiDF) Committee looks at how a failure to provide professional credit is
harming the industry, and how to solve the problem
As discussed in the previous article (Sept/Oct issue of Deep
Foundations), acknowledgement bias can have a massive effect
on the careers of those most vulnerable. Acknowledgement
bias can affect the frequency of growth opportunities, sever
the building blocks for career advancement, harm
professional reputation or create overall feelings of
resentment, frustration or dissatisfaction with the job.
Overlooking contributions, or attributing accomplishment to
another employee, might not just limit future advancement
opportunities but also contribute to high employee turnover.
So, what do we do about this type of acknowledgement
bias in the deep foundations industry,
and how can we identify solutions to
empower individuals, companies and
the industry to combat acknowledgement
bias?
The path forward comprises two
main parts - what individuals can do
to advocate for themselves, and what
management/leadership wi thin
companies can do to help eliminate
acknowledgement bias.
Individual Advocacy
A large part of what individuals can do to combat
acknowledgement bias involves advocacy. This can include
both peer advocacy, where you advocate for a peer and give
credit/acknowledgement, and self-advocacy, where you
advocate for and promote yourself.
Peer Advocacy: Career success requires many
relationships and support from peers, teammates and
managers. Publication and report results may be received
by leadership with praise, but it is also important for peers to
promote individual contributions and accomplishments
through acknowledgement. Celebrating the accomplishments
of your peers draws attention to the underlying
hard work and effort of individuals that often get
overlooked, and positions them to receive further
contribution opportunities. Simply thanking a fellow
colleague for their work in a meeting can bring it to the
larger group's attention.
Self-Advocacy: Self-advocacy can be done through selfpromotion,
which is the act of furthering one's own growth,
advancement or prosperity. When you read the definition
and think more about it, this may make some of us
uncomfortable. It might even feel like bragging or " sucking
up, " when really, it is about being genuine and frank about
your work and efforts. By letting others know what you have
been working on, you are creating awareness of your efforts
and contributions. When the final product is complete, credit
will be hard to withhold or reattribute, and the gravity of your
accomplishment and capabilities is more likely to be
understood and acknowledged by your peers and employer.
Internal and external networking is another key to selfpromotion.
By seeking out conferences, presentations,
speaking opportunities and networking events, you can carve
a space for yourself in the industry and broadcast
accomplishments.
Overlooking contributions, or attributing accomplishment
to another employee, might not just limit future
advancement opportunities but also contribute to high
employee turnover.
Strategies for Companies and Leadership
The industry also needs to be aware of acknowledgement bias
because it affects a company's bottom line. Creating a
company culture where people feel comfortable taking credit
for their accomplishments ensures that the efforts of workers
are not overlooked, helping to limit employee turnover.
Limiting employee turnover and retaining talent is key for
any business.
Below are some best practices for creating a company
culture where acknowledgement bias is less pervasive. This
list is not all inclusive, but it provides a place to start the
conversation around improvements to consider.
Company Policies: Creating strong and clear company
policies based on non-biased methodology is key for creating
a company culture that can combat acknowledgement bias.
These policies can include, but are not limited to, clear and
thorough performance evaluations, a rotation or other formal
selection process to assign individuals to special
opportunities, developing mentorship programs and
providing a clear process for an employee to voice concerns
about potential acknowledgement bias.
A Closer Look at Mentor Programs: One of the best ways
for companies to create a company culture such as this, is to
establish a mentoring program within the organization.
Mentoring programs provide a new or younger employee with
an employee that knows how to navigate the organization and
DEEP FOUNDATIONS * JAN/FEB 2023 * 101

January/February 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January/February 2023

TOC
January/February 2023 - Intro
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January/February 2023 - TOC
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