Unconscious Bias Training

“What is unconscious bias?”

Our tradition paradigm has generally assumed that patterns of discriminatory behaviour are conscious; that people who know better do the right thing, and those who don’t cause bias, but what if, more times than not, people make choices that discriminate against one group and in favour of another, without even realizing that they are doing it. Interestingly we do this more often than we think we do … and this is called UNCONSIOUS BIAS.

We are “hard-wired” to making unconscious decisions about others based on what feels safe, likeable, valuable, and competent versus logical judgment.

    Learning Points

    1. Unconscious bias training is based on pervasive cultural stereotypes. These run the gamut from seemingly positive ideas like Asians being better at math to more obviously unfair ones like women being less competent than men
    2. Unconscious biases can gives some people an unfair advantage and puts others at a disadvantage. It’s often responsible for dissatisfaction in the workplace
    3. Unconscious bias is just that—unconscious; often we are not aware of it playing out in our lives.

    Some examples of where unconscious biases play out in life:

    • Less than 15% of American men are over six foot tall, yet almost 60% of corporate CEOs are over six foot tall. Less than 4% of American men are over six foot, two inches tall, yet more than 36% of corporate CEOs are over six foot, two inches tall.

    Why does this happen? Clearly corporate boards do not, when conducting a CEO search, send out a message to “get us a tall guy,” and yet the numbers speak for themselves. It seems not only unfair, but patently absurd to choose a CEO because of height, just like it is unfair and absurd to give employees lower performance evaluations solely because they are overweight.

    • Or even to call on boys more often than girls when they raise their hands in school.These things happen all the time, and the today we are acknowledging the fact that is we want to create “Inclusive environments, we will need to raise our awareness around our unconscious mind. At Tatva Leadership we work with organisations to raise this awareness in individuals & groups. Our workshops challenge mind-sets and help employees understand their role in building an inclusive workplace with a special focus on attracting & retaining gender. They aim to hold a mirror, invite participation, encourage accountability and create a space to explore perceptions and attitudes influenced by the unconscious bias.