Unconscious Biasness: Women and the Workplace

Unconscious biasness or implicit bias occurs subconsciously, it’s a series of judgements that assess people we encounter in life. Whether that be in the workplace or in the public. Many of us are not even aware of our subconscious views and how they affect the way we treat others around us. The impacts and implications for both the victim and the bias party is not always obvious. The judgements are based on background, social stereotypes, cultural identity and even our own personal experiences.

In terms of the workplace, research has found that unconscious bias impacts certain areas more heavily, such as; recruitment interviews and selection, career progression and performance expectations. CV shortlisting can be used to highlight workplace bias in terms of gender inequality. A study of science (Moss-Racusin et al 2012) faculties had a team of staff review a number of applications – the applications were all identical, apart from the gender and name of the applicant.

In this study, the science faculties rated the male candidates as better qualified in comparison to the female candidates. This meant that they then wanted to hire the males over the females. The study also mentions that the men chosen for recruitment were given a higher starting salary than those few females that were recruited.

It’s important to be aware of not only your own unconscious bias tendencies but also the unconscious biases someone might put on you. In understanding this issue and supporting the general awareness of it, we may see a change in these studies and ultimately create more positive unconscious views of women at work.

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This guide was provided by Ellie Bridger

About the author

Eleanor Bridger is a writer from Rayleigh, Essex who was born on 5th December 1995. She is in her second year of completing a BA honours degree in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester - where she also serves as CW Student Representative for her year.

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