Even organizations that do their utmost to root out bias can still face implicit bias at every stage of the workforce cycle, from writing the job description to promoting from within to upper management. Companies seeking to increase diversity among their ranks may focus on new hires, which is more likely to add to the number of diverse candidates than increase their power and influence. If you find your business bottom-heavy as far as inclusion, seek opportunities to recruit diverse candidates for management roles and be sure all employees have an equal shot at professional development and promotion from within.
What is Implicit Bias?
Everyone has implicit bias. It can be as simple as believing that one gender is better than another at specific tasks, or believing that someone is successful because the are simply lucky.
Other examples of implicit bias include:
- Assuming a candidate who attended the same college as you or belonged to the same fraternity is more qualified than average.
- Giving experience as a high school quarterback more weight than a more gender-neutral leadership role when choosing a manager.
- Finding neatly braided hair less professional than straight hair.
- Adding “must be capable of lifting 50 pounds” to the requirements of a desk job, thus eliminating candidates with disabilities from consideration.
Types of Implicit Bias
Facebook offers online training on implicit bias, outlining types of implicit bias you may not have considered. These Include
- Performance bias: evaluating some people on potential and others solely on proven success.
- Performance attribution bias: judging people as either naturally talented or just lucky depending on who they are.
- Competence bias: judging the same quality differently depending on who has it. An example would be viewing assertive women negatively and assertive men positively and the opposite is true too.
- Maternal bias: bias against working mothers, but not working fathers or women who are not mothers.
Recognizing and Changing your Biases
Change cannot happen until you understand your own weaknesses. The problem is that implicit bias is so ingrained; it’s nearly impossible to detect on your own. If you have peers willing to be honest with you, a brainstorming session could prove invaluable. It’s such a sensitive topic for many that it’s challenging to address. A tool that’s has proven valuable to many managers is the Implicit Association Test (IAT), developed by researchers from Harvard University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Washington. The IAT may be taken free of charge at implicit.harvard.edu.
Additionally, if you’re using technology to help with your hiring and onboarding, it’s important to constantly evaluate those processes and technologies to reduce the likelihood of bias.
Raise Awareness and Reduce Unconscious Bias with The Panther Group
At The Panther Group, we recognize the strength in diversity and the importance of taking a proactive approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). If you are looking for strategies to create a more equitable and diverse workplace, Contact The Panther Group today.
Call 855-899-JOBS (5627)