Unconscious bias can have a significant impact on so many industries when it comes to creating job positions, hiring and through general work attitudes in the office.

 

To better understand the potential repercussions that unconscious bias can lead to, it is easiest to first answer the question – what is unconscious bias?

We all have unconscious bias.  We are ingrained with stereotypes that we unintentionally hold onto as beliefs that can affect our behaviour and our attitude to others in the workplace.

An easy example of unconscious bias would be in a hospital, you are most likely to assume that a Doctor is a male and a Nurse is a female.

Sometimes these assumptions can be brushed off as innocent mistakes but unconscious bias can run deep within people and can cause significant disruption to work flow and productivity in the workplace.

Racism in the workplace

Ageism in the workplace

Sexism in the workplace

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There are several types of unconscious bias that are often at play without our conscious awareness, some examples are:

Affinity Bias – This is a tendency to like and prefer people who are similar to yourself. People who are like each other, like each other!

Attribution Bias – A tendency to attribute success and failure differently for different groups of people.

Confirmation Bias – This is where you look for confirmation that your existing ideas and assumptions on a group of people are correct.

Halo Effect – This is where you assume that someone is an overall good person simply because you like them.

Perception Bias – This is where you believe one thing as fact for an entire group of people based on misinformed stereotypes.

Group Think – This is where you try overly hard to fit into an existing culture or group which can, in turn, suppress your unique take on things and potential ideas. This can result in a loss of personal identity and lost creativity.


 

So now you know how unconscious bias can play out in the workplace, it is time to consider what you should do about it.

At Skills 4, we offer several interventions to tackle unconscious bias in the workplace, these include:

Bespoke workshops – we have a track record in delivering successful workshops from the C-Suite, to recruitment and selection teams, to shop-floor operatives.

On-line training and testing – after training awareness and understanding of unconscious bias, you may feel the time is right to introduce testing. We are trained to offer implicitly ® on-line unconscious bias tests. 

Coaching – for people who have a high or elevated level of bias and would like to work to weaken their biases.

Consultancy – bespoke work to support in-house initiatives such as unconscious bias awareness campaigns or to review and embed UB content into in-house training programmes around key areas such as recruitment and selection a performance management. 

Testimonials

  • Following superb feedback from our regional leads, we then asked Jayne to run a similar session with our group leads from across UK/Europe. Jayne masterfully changed her delivery style to play to a diverse audience of 40 in a conference style format. Jayne was equally engaging, challenging and impactful with this audience, skilfully using humour and interaction to deliver a very serious message and move individuals to action. Everybody needs to experience this!

    Caroline Brown Associate Director, Energy, Atkins
  • “At Imagination Technologies, we value everyone for the contribution they make to our business. Everyone’s story and journey is different and we all need to feel we ‘fit in’ at work. We asked Skills 4 to deliver unconscious bias training to ensure our people understand the part they have to play in creating inclusive cultures where everyone is treated fairly and respected for their skills and expertise. The Skills 4 training has sparked valuable discussions at all levels of the organisation.”

    Woz Ahmed Chief of Staff, Imagination Technologies
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