Have you ever made a judgement about someone on the way they look, the colour of the clothes they are wearing, or the way they speak?
What exactly is unconscious bias? It refers to a bias that happens automatically, is outside of our control and is triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations, influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences.
Unconscious bias can cause us to make decisions in favour of one group over another. If women face unconscious bias it is easy to see how there are certain aspects in the workplace that can favour men. For instance, a woman who is pregnant may not be considered for promotion. Studies have shown that unconscious bias affects hiring decisions, salaries, and ultimately, career advantages.
Research has also shown the extent to which we are unconsciously biased; with 67% of the British public admitting to feeling uncomfortable talking to a disabled person and 80% of employers admit to making decisions based on regional accents.
People are able to control their unconscious biases, and that this can be achieved through awareness training, creating structures and labelling the types of bias that are likely to occur. Unconscious bias as it relates to diversity and inclusion is reflected in prejudices and stereotypes that are deeply seated within us.
At BC Training we can deliver training on Unconscious Bias and help leaders and managers to educate their teams on their biases and the way their behaviour alters in response to cues that they may not have consciously realised.