Leadership

Why Implicit Bias Is One Of The Biggest Challenges We Still Face

We all have an unconscious belief system, based on innate prejudices, which can be a huge barrier to creating a diverse and equal workforce. Here’s how to question yours.

By Natalie Cornish

Leadership

We all have an unconscious belief system, based on innate prejudices, which can be a huge barrier to creating a diverse and equal workforce. Here’s how to question yours.

By Natalie Cornish

Think back to the last time you interviewed for a new job. Whether the role ended up yours or not, you no doubt prepped your responses, read over the resume you’d tweaked to apply and deep-dived the company to give yourself the best possible chance. But what if the hiring manager’s mind was already made up the moment you walked through the door?

Implicit bias impacts us all, especially in the workplace when it comes to recruitment, succession planning and business decisions. In fact, research shows our predetermined belief systems are one of the biggest barriers to creating a diverse workforce. A British study found white job applicants were 74 percent more likely to land an interview than those from an ethnic minority with an identical resume, while a 2012 Columbia University study revealed science professors of all ages and genders were more likely to favour a fictitious male job applicant called ‘John’ over female job applicant ‘Jennifer’, even though their experience was identical. Not only did they rate him as more competent, but offered him more mentoring and selected a higher starting salary in tests.

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