• kirstenwestholter

Unconscious bias is often an enemy we don't see

If you have ever looked through resumes for a potential new hire, can you truly say you have never judged a candidate just by reading their name on the resume?


#unconsciousbias happens when a person is stereotyping a person or judging a person without being aware of it. It is often seen in the workplace, but can happen anywhere. Unconscious bias can lead to unequal treatment and lower #performance, as well as less #innovation and lack of creativity.


We tend to define ourselves in terms of our social group. Unconscious bias exists in all of us – as much as we try to convince ourselves that everyone is judged by the same criteria. Problems arise if those biases then lead us to discriminate against people in the ‘other’ groups. If this happens in the workplace it not only damages the company’s reputation, but it can also lead to heavy fines and other legal penalties.


Unconscious bias in the workplace can be a problem when it negatively impacts people and their ability to thrive and succeed in their careers. It can exist between peers occupying similar levels of an organisational hierarchy, as well as between managers and subordinates.


Some more undesirable consequences of unconscious bias in the workplace include:

➡️ Unjust advantages for some

➡️ Unfair disadvantages for others

➡️ Lack of organisational diversity

➡️ Low morale, low productivity and turnover for those who suspect they are on the receiving end of negative biases

➡️ Greater likelihood of discrimination complaints


Proactively, many companies have begun to implement measures to reduce unconscious bias when hiring. But how can business leaders avoid unconscious bias during the lifecycle of an employee’s employment? We need to work on addressing our own biases in order to reach a diverse workforce with an inclusive culture.


An advice is to always think about how you interact with team members and review if there is unfair treatment. Treat them the same and give each person an equal opportunity.


What do you do to uncover your specific biases and increase your own self-awareness? Who would like to share their experience?

#hiring #diversityandinclusion #inclusiveculture #hr #workplaceculture


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