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Unconscious bias

It can impact your decision making and you may not be aware.

by Clare Kennelly on 10-04-2019


Hiring a diverse workforce is key to being competitive. However, unconscious bias can work against this end and keep under-represented groups like people with disabilities from being equal, successful, and economically stable.

Unconscious bias awareness is a fundamental part of Disability Equality training.  Unconscious bias is the influence one’s background, personal experiences, societal stereotypes and cultural context can impact your decision-making and actions without you realizing.

Unconscious bias happens by one’s brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations without us being aware of why we are doing it.  We may not even be aware of these views and opinions, or be aware of their full impact and implications.

Research has found that unconscious bias can heavily influence recruitment and selection decisions. Several experiments using CV shortlisting exercises have highlighted bias by gender and ethnicity.

HR professionals must combat unconscious bias in hiring and it is important for employers to maintain policies that are supportive of equality.

Examples of such include remote working options, flexible hours, and family leave. Each of these policies make for a happier, more productive workforce. It is also beneficial to work with groups who can help get diversity into the workforce. In addition, educating your employees about implicit biases will help them to scrutinize their own behaviours and be more mindful.