Lunch & Learn: Unconscious Bias Unplugged Session with DCA
On Friday 22nd October, we had a Lunch n Learn session on Unconscious Bias held by external facilitator, Loren Days from the Diversity Council Australia (DCA). The DCA is the independent, not-for-profit peak body leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Loren discussed the myths around unconscious bias and how workplaces can ensure that biases (conscious or unconscious), which may contribute to a lack of diversity and inclusion, are neutralised. The session focused on the importance of identifying bias in an exact and scientific way, with a focus on individual development.
Loren helped the team understand the misconceptions around diversity and taught us that despite our best efforts, it is impossible for our brains to ignore diversity differences. Diversity is rarely something we can control, for example, when you were born your gender identity, ethnicity, skin colour, sexuality, disability and whether you’d be born into wealthy or poorer circumstances.
We learnt that unconscious bias comes in a variety of forms such as affinity bias, where we unconsciously prefer people who are like us or that we are familiar with, and we therefore may favour based on our own affinity bias. Bias comes in many forms such as gender, ethnicity and even height bias.
The DCA explained that through environmental changes, people can be ‘nudged’ towards making better, less biased decisions. An example of a nudge is that was trailed previously was removing identifying information of applicants from selection panels which, in turn, led to a doubling of women in senior roles –from 21% to 43% (2015 to 2016).
The session gave a great insight to the team for them to appreciate different types of bias and provided them with an understanding how everyone has their own perspective of the world and we all need to make an effort to push for improved, less bias choices.