Saimah Razak, hr consultant
I was recently delivering Recruitment and Selection training for managers and a key theme embedded throughout the course is ensuring and promoting diversity throughout the process. It is inevitable then that when discussing selecting (judging) someone on their suitability for a particular role that the idea of unconscious bias emerges.
This is undoubtedly one of my favourite parts of this course, as a HR Consultant there is something very refreshing about asking people to reflect on their experiences and unpick scenarios where their unconscious bias may have reared its head and affected a key decision or choice. Now there have been some interesting examples, from the shoes someone is wearing to the university they attended.
I ask delegates on the course to think to themselves ‘What is my unconscious bias?’ For me it is integral that any organisation that truly values diversity encourages staff and managers to talk about issues that remain taboo, to accept that we all have biases and this is not something to be hidden away.
After all, a failure to acknowledge our own biases doesn’t mean they go away; in fact, it often means they are left to work underground having far more profound implications on individual actions and eventually the organisation.
So it is important for us as individuals to delve into where our preferences lie whether this is by simply sparking the conversation as I did on the training or completing an assessment tool. Not only is this extremely enlightening but on an organisational level it can help to embed awareness of unconscious bias and go a long way in promoting much more diverse and inclusive workplaces.