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Unconscious Bias

Meaning & Definition

Unconscious Bias

Unconscious Bias influences our background, experiences and environmental conditions can all play a part in shaping our choices, whether we realise it or not. For the most part, this is not a major issue. But we display unconscious bias when we favor or discriminate against people because of these influences without even realising it.

In fact, unconscious bias can have a big impact on people-related decisions at work, especially when it comes to recruitment, promotion, performance management and idea generation. When bias is prevalent, your organisation will struggle to hire diverse teams, and efforts to improve workplace inclusion will be of limited success.

As well as the ethical imperative for recognising and mitigating unconscious bias, there are commercial considerations, too. Research has shown that a diverse workforce, at all levels of an organisation, is more effective, with one study finding that businesses with a more ethnically and culturally diverse board of directors are 43% more likely to make above-average profits.

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