by James Judge
Originally published: March 15, 2017
As we strive for equality and diversity in our workplaces, it becomes even more critical to understand the impact of unconscious bias in the workplace. Our unconscious biases are pervasive and affect our decision-making with respect to hiring, appraising performance, evaluations, team-building, choosing friends and even our careers.
We are all affected by unconscious bias to some degree. While our prejudices may vary, we’re still the same in having human prejudices. Why is there so much attention placed on this psychological tendency? Because our decision-making might result in outcomes we didn’t intend. This means less innovative workplaces, talent being overlooked for promotion, problems with employee engagement, poor team constitution and loss of opportunity (in both a business and a personal sense)
Unfortunately, it’s easier to take the perspective of someone who resembles our own demographic characteristics or make a decision that confirms our past patterns or experiences. Affinity bias and Stereotype bias are two common forms of bias present in the workplace.