Unconscious bias refers to the hidden beliefs that impact our perceptions of others. Until recently, there was a tendency to think that having biases made us bad people. Well, this would mean that we all are bad people. Everyone has biases in some way. What makes biases “bad” is a lack of awareness with regard to how they influence our decisions and impact other people.
Creating an inclusive workplace means creating awareness of unconscious bias in the workplace and its impact on workplace decisions and behavior. Managers and business leaders should lead by example, but we all have our own part to play. Realizing the I in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is everyone’s responsibility!
It is important to become aware of the biases you may have and understand the impact of unconscious bias in the workplace. The following steps can help you:
➡️ When someone’s opinion makes you feel uncomfortable, ask yourself why and listen to their reasoning
➡️ When making important decisions, invite others who can broaden your viewpoint and balance any hidden biases
➡️ If you identify a colleague who may be basing a decision on potential bias, try to engage with them in a conversation to identify any possible biases
➡️ When working in an organisation or team with multiple nationalities, understand that your perceptions may result from a lack of understanding of cultural differences. Increase your awareness and understanding of the cultures to better understand any potential biases you may have
It all starts with improving your own awareness and understanding of unconscious bias. Are you ready to take action?
Don’t know where to start? Try to practice:
➡️ What biases might I have?
➡️ What impact does this have in my workplace and on the way I treat my co-workers?”
➡️ What can I do to change?