RightTrack trainer Alaba Okuyiga giving a talk on Unconscious Bias.
Psychologist would have us believe that unconscious bias drives our preferences the people we associate with, the people we hang out with and often those people are similar to us in looks, in age, in size whatever it is, so those are unconscious biases and we do those things without a conscious action on our part. It can maintain the status quo, it can make that there are no changes in the landscape of the organisation in terms of age, gender, race, whatever parameters you are using. The flips side of unconscious bias is that once we acknowledge it, it then makes the organisation a great diverse organisation.
For many people it’s discomforting at first to this that ‘My goodness, I have this bias’ depending on what that bias is. For some people it wouldn’t be surprising the bias they have but for many others it’s quite discomforting. But the great thing and superb thing about that is that once we discover what that bias is, many people try to work it out of their system or when they can’t work it out of their system to acknowledge the fact that it exists, so in terms of recruitment, in terms of promotion, in terms of appraisals to be able to say, right I have that issue, I need to work harder on it.