Students Staff
University of Essex

October 29, 2015

Unconscious bias

We all have biases but how can we stop them affecting our decision-making?

Think of a surgeon, or a nurse, and do you picture a man or a woman?

What do you think when you see someone who is overweight or particularly short, someone who has facial piercings or tattoos, someone who wears a headscarf?

Unconscious, or implicit, bias affects every area of our lives. Unconsciously we tend to like people who look like us, think like us and come from backgrounds similar to ours. We all like to think we are open-minded and objective but research has shown that beliefs and values gained from family, culture and a lifetime of experiences influence how we view and evaluate both others and ourselves.

There is an increasing focus on raising awareness of unconscious bias in the workplace.

The University of Essex has developed an in-house workshop to explore how the beliefs and values gained from family, culture and a a lifetime of experiences heavily influence how we view and evaluate both others and ourselves. Log into HR Organiser and search for ‘Unconscious bias’ to book your place on the next workshop.hr_organiser

Facebook has recently published its managing bias training and here at the University we are now offering an Exploring Unconscious Bias workshop.

Watch this inspiring, honest and funny TEDx talk by Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who challenges us to look beyond our initial perceptions.

  • How do you think a diversity of backgrounds, attitudes and values help an organisation become more effective?
  • When have you utilised diverse opinions to get an effective outcome?

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