An "unconscious bias" is a subconscious preference which may sway opinion based on facts and anecdotal experiences of the past. The good news is, there are ways to avoid these biases in the workplace and recognize the advantages they present. EasyLlama's online training courses include Unconscious Bias examples as well within our courses. Here are 10 Unconscious Bias Examples and How To Avoid Them In the Workplace.
1 - Ageism
Age discrimination exists on the basis that older workers aren't as competent or capable as younger workers. While ageism affects everyone who grows older, women and minority groups are particularly affected, as they face multiple types of bias.
How to Avoid: Ageism can be combated by including younger and older workers together in teams to have them interact and form positive relationships. This way the value of the experience and knowhow of the older employees can be observed.
2 - Conformity Bias
Conformity bias is similar to peer pressure in that the groups' opinion may sway the judgement of another person. This unconscious bias is common during meetings and other gatherings.
How to Avoid: The best way to avoid conformity bias in the workplace is by utilizing various group meeting techniques. Methods such as making opinions anonymous, perhaps through writing, can reduce or eliminate this unconscious bias.
3 - Weight Bias
Weight bias is the judgement of another because they are heavier or lighter than average weight. Weight bias afflicts people of all backgrounds, regardless of the ability of the person being judged.
How to Avoid: Weight bias can be avoided by looking solely at the person's work ability and fit to the team, and not physical appearance.
4 - Affinity Bias
Affinity bias exists on the premise that people like others who are similar to themselves in age, race, gender, and so on.
How to Avoid: Affinity bias can be avoided by ensuring that the workplace is a diverse environment instead of a homogenous pot. Different minds offer fresh perspectives.
5 - Confirmation Bias
Confirmation bias is the desire to confirm information or ideas one has made prior to the situation.
How to Avoid: Build awareness of preconceived notions you hold, and recognize them in the moment.
6 - Beauty Bias
Beauty bias is the judgement of others based on how attractive they are believed to be.
How to Avoid: Beauty bias, like weight bias, can be avoided by looking solely at the person's work ability and fit to the team, rather than physical appearance.
7 - Gender Bias
Gender bias is the preferential treatment of one particular sex. Gender bias notably affects women more than men.
How to Avoid: Gender bias can be avoided by determining whether a gender swap would matter in that role.
8 - Attribution Bias
Attribution bias belittles women by downplaying their accomplishments and inflating their mistakes.
How to Avoid: Attribution bias can be avoided by maintaining a neutral approach on the grounds of gender during reviews and on feedback.
9 - Name Bias
Name bias affects people whose names form preconceived notions of them. This is prevalent when sifting through resumes.
How to Avoid: Name bias can be avoided by blocking out the names of applicants when reviewing resumes so that you can focus on if they are the best person for the job based on ability and experience.
10 - Height Bias
Height bias is judgement of those who are significantly shorter or taller than average height.
How to Avoid: Height bias, like weight and beauty bias, can be avoided looking solely at the person's work ability and fit to the team, rather than physical appearance.