What Is Unconscious Bias Training: Common Types Of Unconscious Bias

Promoting diversity and inclusion efforts is crucial in a modern, increasingly diverse work environment. In some jurisdictions, companies should present foundational anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and unconscious bias training. Unconscious bias training has grown as a successful approach to diversity education. 

The training usually commences with explanations of how the mind functions in ways that are outside of conscious perception or control. These explanations show that individuals make, and sometimes work on, quick judgments based on the other person’s ethnicity without any deliberate intention. Also, unconscious bias occurs when individuals make choices that remain implicitly based upon features of another without even understanding or planning to do so.

Understanding the Concept of Unconscious Bias

Unconscious biases are assumptions or stereotypes that an individual makes about a particular group of people outside of their conscious perception. Also, these biases include both affirmative and unfavorable evaluations that get stimulated involuntarily and without a person’s awareness or deliberate control that remain affected by numerous factors, including the person’s background, culture, and individual experiences. 

Implicit biases happen because an individual’s conscious mind can barely process approximately 40 bits of data per second, leaving the unconscious mind to process the remaining. Hence the unconscious brain continuously works in the background to filter, categorize and prioritize information to help the conscious mind to concentrate on notable data. 

When this process is applied to the attributes of people, the brain produces stereotypes that lead to discrimination. Unconscious bias further holds physical impacts on recruitment, advertisements, and feedback. For instance, certain word selections in job specifications may deter women from applying for a particular post because they see a work atmosphere centered on more gentlemanly traits. 

Also, after getting recruited, there can be implicit opinions that pregnant ladies or working moms do not remain interested in taking on more responsibilities. Since these implicit prejudices can negatively influence employee spirit, employers must take the initiative to combat them in the workplace.

Purpose of Rendering Unconscious Bias Training to Employees

Unconscious bias training aids make individuals aware that unconscious bias exists and help them take measures to decrease the possibility that prejudice will influence their choices. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EEOC) has determined that unconscious bias training enhances awareness that unconscious bias exists. 

Training the members in understanding that even when they do not consciously support a name or custom, it can impact others’ emotions and act outside their perceived consciousness. Increasing awareness is crucial in resisting the impact of implicit prejudice. 

When individuals know that they possess implicit biases, they are more likely to exercise steps to slow down their choice-making process. It allows their rational brain to make determinations instead of their gut instinct, affected by bias. 

Therefore, unconscious bias training will empower employees to work towards cultural diversity and inclusion by becoming more conscious of hidden prejudices and exerting measures to overcome the effects of preferences on others.

Common types of unconscious bias 

Hereunder are some common types of unconscious bias prevalent in the modern workplace. 

  • Attribution Bias

Attribution bias correlates to how individuals understand their own as well as other conduct. They prefer to connect their accomplishments to their capabilities and errors on factors beyond their control. 

On the contrary, individuals tend to equate other achievements to luck and their shortcomings to a lack of ability. It can point to differences in recruitment and performance assessments.

  • Affinity Bias

Affinity bias usually occurs when individuals promote people like them in some manner since they view them as more cooperative and quicker to connect and befriend. 

Also, it could be due to mutual choices or hobbies, or common attributes like status, cultural background, or geographic location. It could make individuals think that somebody is not proficient or suitable for a job since they do not share identical beliefs or practices.

  • Gender Bias

Gender bias is the inclination for one gender over another, often arising from long-standing assumptions about gender roles. 

Numerous individuals unintentionally select specific gender functions or attribute to men and women that are not dependent on fact. For instance, according to a recent study, there is an implicit custom that “brilliance” was correlated more with males than with females.

  • Racial Bias

Prejudice based on culture or color of the skin is likewise widespread in the workplace and holds a significant adverse impact on people of color. 

  • Conformity Bias

Conformity bias refers to an impulse to make decisions based on the opinion of others instead of seeking individual choices. Owning a large team and urging them to reveal their feelings openly involves bringing an extensive range of knowledge and experience to the table, allowing even more creative and well-considered recommendations to arise. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that individuals do not feel forced to agree with other points of view.

Managing and addressing unconscious bias in the workplace

Unconscious bias significantly impacts any workplace choice that includes contracting, hiring, advertisements, performance evaluations, and discipline. Unconscious bias can further influence communications with individuals outside of the company, such as clients, suppliers, co-workers, and community members. 

There are several different kinds of prejudices — based on an extensive range of features and opinions, and all of them can end in poor choices or discriminatory conduct. For instance, replacing a qualified applicant because they are not a great ‘cultural fit’ or possess a ‘different sounding name.’

Rising awareness and knowledge of unconscious bias is a continuous process. Monitoring contracting strategies and promotion standards and including an assorted team to weigh in on fundamental choices are practical measures to decrease the uncertainty of implicit bias. 

Executing a system for anonymously recording events and conducting periodic reviews to reveal unconscious bias remain effective measures, too. In addition, expediting weekly conversations and communications between different departments and groups, promoting mentoring, and building a sense of belonging are behaviors that add to overcoming unconscious bias and its influence on workplace culture. 

Ways to Overcome Unconscious Prejudice in the Workplace 

Given below are some ways to overcome the problem of unconscious bias at your workplace

  • Know what unconscious biases are

The primary step of limiting the influence of unconscious biases on your business is ensuring that employees remain informed that such issues exist. Therefore, awareness training is the initial measure to reveal unconscious bias that allows employees to know that everyone contains preferences that must get recognized and worked on to build a better working atmosphere. 

  • Improve your hiring strategy

To ensure that unconscious biases do not adversely impact your employing choices, you must reestablish and rethink your hiring strategy. For example, studies reveal that the word in job stipulations can hinder some applicants from applying for a specific job role. 

Therefore you must ensure to redo all the job specifications to draw an all-inclusive pool of job candidates. Moreover, businesses must choose candidates only for their excellence and not due to their race or nationality. 

Final Words 

To summarize, we can say that every workplace, at some time or the other, encounters the issues of unconscious bias. Nevertheless, the sooner they become conscious and begin taking a step in this direction, the better they curb its influence. Additionally, by subduing the consequences of unconscious bias with conventional training, modern businesses can create a good name amongst clients and assist them efficiently. 

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