Unconscious bias (or implicit bias)
Unconscious bias is often defined as prejudice or unsupported judgments in favour of, or against one thing, person, or group as compared to another, in a way that is usually considered unfair.
Unconscious bias occurs automatically as the brain makes quick judgments based on past experiences and background. As a result of unconscious biases, certain people benefit and other people are penalized.
Although we all have biases, many unconscious biases tend to be exhibited toward minority groups based on factors such as class, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, religious beliefs, age, disability and more.
What can we do to combat unconscious bias?
It is important that we become aware, learn about unconscious bias and ways to combat it. Avoid stereotypes and over-generalisations, separate feelings from facts, engage in self-reflection to uncover personal biases.
The following videos will assist your learning of unconscious bias, providing more information about what it is, an example of unconscious bias, and actions you can take to mitigate it.
- What is unconscious bias: What it is and how it affects our experiences and decisions
- Unconscious bias and prejudgement: The danger of our unconscious thoughts – making decisions based on employee conduct
- Four steps for busting unconscious bias:
You may want to discuss in your organisations and share stories of where it has happened to you and where you have been aware of doing it yourself. Consider ways that can help you and your team address issues of unconscious bias.