A test is not training. Bias training has to be an ongoing process. So yes, to start: Talking about unconscious bias will make you more aware of your implicit biases. When you see the facts, the research, the evidence, and the case studies, you realize how insidious and pervasive biases can be. They affect us in so many ways that we don’t realize. Take ageism, accents, looks, and height—and think about dating. So much of the dating technology being created is not only incorporating these biases but also perpetuating them.
“I always say that bias training is not a magical cure that can cure somebody of unconscious biases.”
We need to become aware of—and reflect on—our biases. It has to be an ongoing process of educating ourselves and watching ourselves. Then we have to make really important decisions. We have to try to neutralize our stereotypes by making sure that we don’t fall back on them. Especially when hiring and doing recruitment, people tend to follow confirmation bias. We are more attracted to people who perhaps went to the same university as we did, who come from the same town, who dress a certain way or speak a certain way. When a person walks into a room, you’ve already made these judgments about them whether you like them or not.
So how do we put processes in place so that we can minimize these effects? That is what organizations and workplaces have to think about in order to counter some of these systemic problems. Are we actively being allies? Are we actively promoting and encouraging people from marginalized and vulnerable groups? Are we actively speaking up? On an individual level, we all have a responsibility to counter these stereotypes. To make sure that we expose ourselves to as much reading as possible. To get our information from different role models.