Workplace bias & the implicit issue

It is a truth almost universally acknowledged that we all have some form of bias - even if that bias is invisible to us. Issues of implicit, or unconscious, bias continue to make headlines as leaders of companies like Coca-Cola, Facebook and Google speak publically about their handling of bias within their organisations. Now more than ever, companies are recognising that factors such as age, gender and race can be perceived as a barrier to advancement due to bias. Perhaps even more alarmingly, a recent report revealed that unconscious bias among physicians may be resulting in lower quality health care for disabled or LGBT patients.

Poking around in our biases can seem like an unwelcome intrusion - a level of possibly uncomfortable knowledge that can make us feel vulnerable. But the experts agree that tackling unconscious bias paves the way to greater self-awareness, inclusion and diversity - and ultimately a happier and more harmonious workplace.

But what approach to use?

Many organisations are now exploring avenues for dealing with bias in the workplace. Generally, this includes a mixed programme of awareness and training designed to uncover biases and help to combat their effects on productivity and business.

As a first step, awareness that there is a problem is often necessary. Bias assessment tools use reaction time to measure unconscious bias, often with regards to gender, age, race, disability and sexual orientation - giving employees better insight about what might lie beneath the surface of their behaviour.

Implicit bias testing

Hogrefe's Implicitly was developed to specifically address concerns raised by other unconscious bias tests on the market. Unlike some other tools, it has been carefully constructed to ensure a behaviourally-referenced, stable and feedback-rich testing ground - meaning there is very little capacity for misinterpretation of results.

Implicitly can equally be used as an evaluation tool, an audit tool, or as a diagnostic instrument, providing a wide range of testing utility. Where required, a company can dictate which tests are taken (from the core of eight tests) and track who has been tested - all the while ensuring confidentiality for the test taker. It offers the most accessible, flexible and user-centric environment available in unconscious bias testing.

For more on how unconscious bias testing works, please see our Implicitly FAQs. Implicitly author Dr Pete Jones has also recently published a series of videos on unconscious bias, including Unconscious Bias: What Can We Do?

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