by Jill Strange
Originally published: July 10, 2017
Every day, we make countless decisions about other people and circumstances based on our personal experiences and preferences without even realizing it. A study from the Journal of Neuroscience found that we judge a person’s trustworthiness within milliseconds of seeing his or her face.
This natural human tendency is called ‘unconscious bias’ and it can ultimately impact a company’s ability to hire talent that is best suited for a particular role.
Unconscious bias is not necessarily malicious, however it can have negative impacts on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. For example, a Yale University study found that male and female scientists were more likely to hire men, and pay them $4,000 more per year than women. Another study at the University of Toronto found that job applicants with names of Indian, Pakistani, or Chinese origin were 28% less likely to get called for an interview compared to applicants with traditionally Anglo names.