Unconscious bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect a person’s subconscious feelings about things such as; beliefs, understanding, race, religion, politics, stature and so on. Our Unconscious Bias Training programmes help to educate, inform and engage participants to help them understand the nature of their unconscious bias in the workplace.
We understand awareness is not enough and this is why we also provide a safe space, where people can acknowledge and discuss their experiences, as well as addressing other detrimental consequences that unconscious bias can have on others.
Everyone holds unconscious biases, yet many people do not understand what unconscious bias is. This is why unconscious bias training and education is important, as it can be very impactful both inside and outside of the workplace.
Types of Unconscious Bias
There are over 150 unconscious biases, with people commonly holding unconscious feelings and attitudes about characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, gender and appearance. It is legally indefensible, and while none of the biases are easy to prove, it is becoming more common for employees to raise grievances and take legal action against their employers. With many employers not having implemented correct processes and procedures in order to handle unfair biases action in the workplace. Some employee action’s include written logs of events where they feel they have been unequally treated.
Examples of unconscious bias
Perception bias: is a person’s tendency to form stereotypes and assumptions about certain groups that prevents them from objectively distinguishing an individual from their group of membership, for example, race, gender and age.
Racial bias: is a person’s belief based on racially based stereotypes and assumptions of a race of people, which is normally perpetuated by indirect messaging such as media influences. Similar to perception bias, racial bias happens commonly in the workplace and significantly negatively affects people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
Name bias: This is one of the most pervasive examples of unconscious bias in the employers hiring process. One study found that white names receive 50% more call-backs for interviews than black and minority ethnic names. Other studies found that Asian surnames are 28% less likely to receive a call-back for an interview compared to Anglo last names.
Don’t Be a Slave to the Halo Effect
Mission Diverse work with your staff to ensure you are hiring and promoting based on logical reasoning and an individual’s ability to deliver based on the employment criteria. Our awareness training, workshops, and discussions forums work with employers and senior level staff to educate, inform and assist them in assessing and questioning impactful decisions where unconscious bias can easily influence the decision making process in areas such as recruitment, internal promotions and workplace recommendations.
To ensure you extract the best employees you must select from the widest range of talent during the recruitment and promotion process. Unconscious bias narrows an organisation’s recruitment and promotion talent pool based on what an employer believes is the “best fit” based on initial physical appearance, verbal tone, perception and ideals, as opposed to logical and factual assessment of all candidates. These assumptions are also known as the Halo Effect.
Unconscious bias and diversity in the workplace
Unconscious bias and diversity in the workplace go hand-in-hand when it comes to establishing workplace inclusion. Organisations have shown a continually growing upward trend in racial prejudice in British society, with studies finding over 43% of people from ethnic minority backgrounds feeling they have experienced racial or unconscious bias in the workplace. This includes instances of overt and covert racism, negative workplace treatment and being overlooked for workplace promotions
Your workplace should be a place EVERYONE should want to go to.
People who experience forms of unconscious biases and discrimination do not feel like they are able to openly discuss and disclose their experiences to their colleagues and superiors, as well as referring to their experiences as “feeling belittled, ignored and dismissed”. In some instances employees have referred to feeling as if they have been “gas-lit by a work colleague” for speaking out. These feelings of being unheard and ill-treated is also proven to create a negative workplace subculture and impact on employee mental health. This results in highly skilled and qualified members of staff leaving their job post for other companies they feel adopt a forward-thinking and flexible approach on unconscious bias and diversity in the workplace.