Unconscious Bias Speakers

Throughout life, a person’s thoughts can be influenced by their life experiences, and such thoughts may not always be right nor reasonable – and this concept is known as ‘Unconscious Bias’. A person who demonstrates unconscious bias can often make decisions that are influenced by false beliefs or based on false assumptions. Many people will be affected by unconscious bias throughout life, and it is highly important to not let unconscious bias affect behaviour or decisions.

Unconscious bias is triggered by the brain automatically, causing people to make judgements and assessments that are influenced by a person’s personal experiences, cultural context, background or societal stereotypes. Unconscious bias is a highly important factor to be aware of in the workplace, as employers must not make decisions based on certain characteristics of a person. It can influence key decisions that must be made in the workplace, from recruitment to appraisals and promotions – and if bias is prevalent in employment people are 34% more likely to withhold ideas or solutions and 80% less likely to refer people to their employer.

Our roster of unconscious bias speakers are experts in raising awareness of unconscious bias, and what can be done to eliminate unconscious bias affecting behaviour and decisions. Book today!

Tim Campbell

Founder of Bright Ideas Trust, Winner of the First Series of The Apprentice & Aide to Lord Alan Sugar

Asif Sadiq

Multi Award Winning Diversity Champion, Currently WarnerMedia's (Warner Bros, Cartoon Network, CNN) Senior Vice President for Equity & Inclusion

Oona King

Former Labour MP Created a Life Peer & Current VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Snap Inc

David Olusoga

Best Selling Author of ‘Black & British A Forgotten History, Named in the 100 Most Influential Black Britons

Gina Battye

World Renowned LGBT & Psychological Safety Consultant and Author of How to Beat the Biscuit Tin Blues

Binna Kandola

Co-founder of Pearn Kandola and Author of Racism at Work: The Danger of Indifference, Named on the Asian Power List 2020

Paris Lees

First Trans Columnist at Vogue, Named First on The Independent on Sunday's Pink List

Unconscious bias will affect everyone at some point in life, forming associations outside of our conscious, awareness and control.

What is Unconscious Bias?

Unconscious bias is defined as a learned assumption or attitude that exists in our subconscious. Such assumptions and biases are used as mental shortcuts for faster information, and biases will be developed over time as a person accumulates various life experiences. A person who demonstrates unconscious bias can often make decisions that are influenced by either false assumptions or beliefs.

Unconscious bias can also be referred to as implicit bias.

What Types of Unconscious Bias Are There?

  1. Affinity bias – a bias towards people who are similar to you
  2. Age bias – assumptions based on a certain age range
  3. Attribution bias – bias derived from attributing outcomes to external circumstances rather than a person’s own efforts
  4. Beauty bias – bias towards people who are more attractive
  5. Colour and culture bias – bias based on a person’s race, culture or ethnicity
  6. Confirmation bias – bias based on the human tendency to find evidence to prove beliefs
  7. Conformity bias – a bias that is influenced by conforming to the majority
  8. Contrast effect – a bias which assigns value to something based on its comparison with something else
  9. Gender bias – bias based on a person’s gender
  10. Halo effect and horns effect – halo: a positive factor overshadows all other factors. Horns: a negative factor overshadows all other factors

There are various other kinds of bias, all of which form aspects of unconscious bias and inform our day-to-day thoughts about people, places and situations.

How Can You Reduce the Impact of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace?

  1. Increase understanding of stereotyping – the basis for bias
  2. Be transparent in hiring and promotion processes
  3. Have clear criteria for employee evaluation
  4. Provide bias training
  5. Make the workplace inclusive

What is an Example of Unconscious Bias?

Examples of unconscious bias include:

  • A man being favoured over a woman when recruiting for a job, despite them having similar skills or experience.
  • An older member of a team being passed over for a promotion by a younger person, despite that younger person having less experience
  • Hiring people because they are more attractive, when there are less attractive people with better qualifications
  • Seeing that a candidate has graduated from a prestigious school, and assuming that they will excel at a job
  • Not inviting a teammate to an after-work social event, because you assume that they don’t share the same interests with the group

Sources: Imperial College London, Asana, ACAS, Betterworks, Forbes