Overcoming unconscious bias
Strategies to assist
- Provide diverse role models and messages in communications and images
- Ensure diverse work and decision making teams
- Emphasise collective goals and cooperative activities
- Provide cross gender/race mentoring and sponsorship programmes
- Consider anonymised screening (removing names and identifying features) of applications for scholarships, disciplinary reports, auditions, etc.
- Develop and/or use evidence based criteria and organisational guidelines and policies
- Use varied decision making tools; Six Thinking Hats, SWAT and PEST Analysis, ethical decision making tools, decision making mind map, etc.
- Provide events which are accessible
- Ensure conferences and panels have appropriate speaker gender balance
- Encourage appropriate team training; e.g., recruitment and selection techniques, inclusive teaching and learning practices etc.
Recruitment and Selection
- Explore how the staffing profile can match the student/community profiles
- Explore auditing the department’s staffing profile for; pay equity in starting salaries; representation of Māori and equity group’s conference attendance; Māori and equity group representation at each stage of the application/shortlist/interview/appointment process, etc.
- Examine language used in communications such as job advertisements to remove exclusive language; consider using a gender decoder
- Ensure diverse selection panels
- Panels to use structured processes, objective pre-determined criteria and assessment methods
- Avoid here-say
- Benchmark the job itself and not the people who have done the job.
- Consider counter-factual questions particularly to generalised or qualitative statements and to avoid group think, eg “how does Applicant A not fit?”
- Be aware of potential biases such as affinity, anchoring, confirmation and attribution biases
- Consider fairly non-traditional career paths, work patterns, and different ways of doing a job
- Consider anonymised screening of CV’s for shortlisting
- Take time in decision making and reflect before rushing into judgements
- Consider short-listing all women in proportion to their application rates in STEMM areas
- Use inclusive teaching and learning practices accommodating different learning styles
- Use universal design principles in creating and delivering teaching and learning resources and environments e.g. use captioned videos, provide information in a variety of formats
- Provide diverse role models and opportunities for student interaction; e.g., female lecturers in male dominated areas
- Search for and provide to students, research and information from diverse sources including Māori, Pacific and Asian perspectives to avoid curricula being euro-centric
- Consider if Māori and Pacific issues are presented as a deficit model and if so ways this can be addressed
- Become aware of own possible biases; reflect on personal associations and interactions; analyse decision making practices and outcomes; undertake the IAT; ask others to give feedback
- Be conscious of the words and physical reactions that surface in interactions with others
- Actively seek out and engage with diverse people
- Practice creating more positive behaviours such as micro-affirmations to interrupt bias
- Be an ethical and active bystander; speak out if a colleague’s contribution may be ignored or misappropriated unfairly, call out sexism, racism, homophobia, ageism, ableism, discrimination, harassment, condescension and bias
- Acknowledge and appreciate a team member who takes a risk, offers a new idea, asks a question etc., especially where the team member is different or where other members may not share similar assumptions or experiences
- Be curious of differing opinions and explore differences
- Refer to evidence rather than hear-say
- Look for ways to challenge what you think and see; consider other explanations
- Become informed about minority group workplace issues
- Use thought and change processes and habit breaking interventions to guide decisions towards more objectivity, e.g.:
- Thinking slow strategies
- Using decision making tools
- Stereotype replacement and counter stereotypic imaging
- Reframing and perspective taking
- Question first impressions
- Challenge un-reflected exclusion.