Two candidates are shortlisted for a job vacancy. They both have exceptional skills and experience, so why do we favour one over the other?
Subconsciously, our final choice is likely to be biased by age, race, gender, or any other social stereotype.
While we may not be aware of our below-the-radar biases, they can lead to serious consequences in the composition of our teams and networks - and the long-term success of our organisations.
Dangers of unconscious bias
Research has shown that unconscious bias can strongly influence recruitment and selection decisions. A manager who is educated to degree level might favour other graduates, ignoring the wider, more experienced pool of talent. Unconscious bias may make more extraverted managers reject quieter more talented candidates.
Why does it matter?
- Workforce diversity is a key driver of innovation.
- Diverse organisations attract and energise the best global talent, enabling a diverse range of opinions and more informed problem-solving and decision-making.
- Greater growth - a study carried out by McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity had 15% better returns.
- More diverse organisations have access to a more wide range of customers, opening up new markets and audiences.
The benefits are clear. So what can you do to overcome to help your managers and organisations overcome unconscious bias and create a more inclusive culture?
A good place to start is by joining us for the next Breakfast of Change, Beyond the Gender Agenda, to explore how we can overcome unconscious bias to create more inclusive workplaces.
For limited time only, get a 50% discount when you use code catalyst50 - only £10 per person.