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Deconstructing Stereotypes and Gaining Competitive Advantage through Inclusion

In 2013 Google first implemented a key initiative to train all its employees across the world on unconscious bias.  They wanted to be a leader in this area by reducing stigma and encouraging diversity to be meaningful by talking about it.  Research confirms that awareness of our own and others’ unconscious biases can lead to changed behaviour which will eventually lead to an organisation becoming more collaborative, inclusive and competitive.

Our unconscious bias training can be delivered in a format to suit your organisation

We thought it might be helpful to provide a couple of examples to highlight how our Overcoming Unconscious Bias training can be adapted to fit each individual customer’s requirements.

Example 1 – Unconscious bias and management: Gaining competitive advantage through inclusion

Despite considerable individual and collective good intentions and commitment to reduce known inequalities, pervasive unconscious biases can adversely impact our people decisions. Unconscious bias affects hiring, promotion and performance management as well as team effectiveness which, in turn, can undermine the achievements of the business. Globalisation means that promoting inclusive cultures has become a business imperative and research by McKinsey (2014) suggests that companies with high levels of gender and cultural diversity at the executive level outperformed those with lower levels of diversity by as much as 35%. Unconscious bias is a major barrier to successful inclusion.

This session covers:

  • The business case for diversity and inclusion
  • What is the neuroscience of unconscious bias
  • The difference between implicit and explicit bias and research that demonstrates ‘good’ people can still treat others differently – despite their values and best intentions
  • The dimensions of stereotypes and the double bind faced by women and minorities seeking to demonstrate leadership at work
  • The impact of affinity bias at work with specific reference to selection, performance management, talent management and team management
  • Evidence based solutions for mitigating and managing unconscious biases at work

Example 2 – Unconscious bias: Deconstructing stereotypes

Increasing gender and ethnic diversity, particularly in leadership roles is a priority for many organisations. Research on unconscious bias has demonstrated that stereotypes play a particular role in stalling progress. Stereotypes can affect us in three ways.

  • Underpinning unconscious biases in others leading them to treat us less favourably
  • Triggering unconscious biases in ourselves leading us to treat ourselves and others like us less favourably
  • Creating a ‘threat in the air’ that can undermine the way that we react to our context

But we are not powerless and can intervene to reduce its effects. Research has identified a number of solutions which have been shown to make a difference:

  • Associating minority groups with positive attributes and experiences
  • Showcasing counter-stereotypical role models
  • Promoting ‘bias-busting’ thinking skills

By increasing our awareness and mindfulness, we can learn to both recognise and mitigate bias-triggering language, imagery and action, as well as proactively reconstruct people and groups. By doing so, we can break the stereotyping cycle.

This session covers:

  • The sources of unconscious bias and stereotypes and how these affect individual judgment and decision-making.
  • The impact of bias and stereotyping on confidence, performance and outcomes.
  • Specific solutions to manage and mitigate unconscious biases and stereotypes and to identify specific opportunities and actions we might take to do so.

Trainer – Tinu Cornish

Tinu Cornish
Tinu Cornish is a Chartered and Registered Occupational Psychologist with extensive experience consulting on diversity & inclusion and leadership.  She consults and trains on unconscious bias for a range of high profile clients in the private, governmental and higher education sectors.

You can read more about Tinu on her profile page here.


Please contact us on 0131 476 5027 if you would like to discuss your specific training requirements, or alternatively send details in an email to training@in-equilibrium.co.uk

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