Go with your gut – or not? Unconscious bias & its impact on fairness at work | A New Normal

What is Unconscious Bias?

Unconscious bias refers to a bias of which we are unaware, which happens outside of our control. It is a bias that happens automatically and is triggered by our brain making quick judgements and assessments of people and situations, influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences.
 
So let’s be clear – every single one of us has our own unique unconscious biases. And there are sound evolutionary reasons for this. As human beings, we are bombarded with 11 million pieces of information every minute. That’s a lot. Especially when you consider that our brains can only process 40 pieces of information at any given moment. So in order to survive, our brains learn rapidly to form patterns and draw rapid conclusions. It’s the “gut instinct” which keeps us safe, in potentially risky situations, and for that reason it’s a valuable survival tool.

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Trish DriverAbout the author

Tricia Driver is the Founder and CEO of A New Normal Ltd, creating business impact through inclusion. A New Normal supports organisations in attracting, developing and retaining the best people from broad and diverse talent pools, enabling the creations and sustenance of environments which give all employees the freedom to be their full selves at work every day. The company is named in recognition of the fact that whilst a move to a truly inclusive organisational culture can feel challenging, it doesn’t have to be scary; and the benefits are incredible (with Deloitte identifying that inclusive teams out-perform their peers by 80 per cent!).

Trish has over 15 years experience across the end to end talent lifecycle, from employer branding and recruitment process design, through to people development and alumni programmes. She’s worked across the inclusion landscape, and is particularly proud of her work founding Capgemini UK’s returner programme. Trish is an expert in Unconscious Bias and Inclusion, a skilled and highly regarded coach and a compelling speaker. She describes herself as passionate about all things equality, a feminist, LGBT+ ally, parent, entrepreneur and plate-spinner in chief.

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