What is unconscious bias and how to avoid it?

What is unconscious bias and how to avoid it?

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Bias can be considered as the favor or being against a specific group, thing or a person when compared to another. Bias is often considered as unfair. Biases are held by a group, individual or an institution. It can give life to a variety of negative consequences in the long run.

There are two main types of bias as conscious bias and unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias is the situation where we have social stereotypes about specific groups of individuals that originate outside the conscious awareness that we have. All of us hold unconscious beliefs on different identity and social groups. However, all these unconscious biases come from the tendency that a person has to organize the social world through categorizing.

It is often believed that unconscious bias is something that is prevalent among people than conscious bias. It is incompatible with the conscious values of a person in most of the instances as well. For instances, we can be more prevalent when we are working under a time pressure or when we are multi-tasking.

What are the causes of unconscious bias?

To eliminate unconscious bias, it is important to be aware about the causes of unconscious bias. Then there is a high possibility to keep it away from taking place.

We tend to categorize people

Recruitment agency - CandCsearch mentioned that the human brain is designed to categorize things around us for its convenience. In fact, the human brain does this to process all the information that flows into it in a convenient manner. Due to the same reason, there is a high possibility for us to categorize people around us as well. We categorize them based on gender, ethnicity, race and many other factors. This creates an ideal platform for unconscious bias to take place. Therefore, the natural tendency that we have to categorize things can be considered as the main reason why unconscious bias takes place.

Our perceptions about different groups of people

We tend to have perceptions about different groups of people as well. For example, we believe that people with a black skin are energetic and they are in a position to perform well in sports. Likewise, we also believe that people who come from Asian countries are capable of getting math and science related work done in an efficient manner. Due to these perceptions, which are deposited deep within our minds, there is a possibility for unconscious bias to take place.

The past experiences that we have

The past experiences that we have are also in a position to create a major impact on unconscious bias. If we had worked in the past with a guy from Asia and if he is good in science or math, we believe that all Asians are good in those areas. Therefore, we tend to give priority to them when we are assigning them with work. This comes from our inner mind and can be considered as a perfect example for unconscious bias.

How to overcome unconscious bias?

Make sure that you use inclusive language

While you are working with others in the company, it is important to make sure that you use inclusive language at all times. In fact, you must be mindful about the language that you use at all times. You need to make sure that the language you use is inclusive. For example, you should never use “Hey Dudes” to address the workplace employees. Then you will not be addressing the women who work for the company. Instead, you need to use a clear communication method, including the greetings. If you can do this, you will be able to overcome unconscious bias in a convenient manner.

Get appropriate furnishings for the office

You must also make sure that you are getting appropriate furnishings for the office. In fact, the furnishings that you get for the office should be inclusive for both men as well as women who work for the company. The environment that you create within the workplace has got the ability to act as a gatekeeper. Then you will be able to keep the people who don’t fit to the environment away from it. On the other hand, you will be able to create a perfect workplace, where all the people who are committed towards what they do can survive.

Introduce mentors for the underrepresented groups

There are underrepresented groups of employees working for your company. You should never just ignore them. Instead, you need to look for the most effective methods to get them going with you. That’s where you should empower mentors. The mentors will help the underrepresented groups to highlight and work with their full potential. This can provide a range of benefits to your company in the long run. You will love the positive returns that will come along with it.

Amplify new voices with the help of social media

You can also think about amplifying the new voices of your workplace with the assistance of social media. For example, when you recruit a new batch of employees, you can welcome them to the company by uploading a group photo on your social media channels. While you do this, you need to provide equal attention to both genders. Twitter can be considered as a perfect example for a social media network that you can use in order to amplify the voices. You will be able to receive outstanding results by using Twitter to amplify the smart female voices.

These methods can provide effective results to you with eliminating unconscious bias. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to follow them and end up with the positive results that you always wanted. 

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