What exactly is unconscious bias? And why should you care about it?
Great strides have been made in equality legislation over the years, and in our experience, the majority of UK & Ireland employers welcome diversity within their organisations and the undeniable value it brings, but what happens when unconscious bias creeps in? What exactly is unconscious bias? Why should you care about it?
Put simply, unconscious bias occurs when we favour those people who are most like ourselves: who look like us or share our values. It can cause us to be drawn to people with a similar educational background, from the same area or of the same colour or ethnicity. It’s both natural and unintended: but that doesn’t mean it’s right – because unconscious bias can significantly impact our decision making. It also means that in the world of business employers risk overlooking talented employees in favour of people who simply remind them of themselves.
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It is no secret that the world of work is ever changing. Recent headlines suggest the impact of technology, robots and AI on the employment market could be both drastic and disturbing.
What can you do to prevent unconscious bias in the workplace?
Unconscious bias – and with this, an accompanying lack of workplace diversity, can have profoundly negative effects on a business. Recruitment can be impacted, engagement levels can be damaged and retention rates can plummet; so, what can
we do about it?