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7 Ways You Might be Overlooking Talent – How Unconcious Bias can Play Out in the Workplace

Center for Creative Leadership
This resource lists unconscious biases that negatively impact people’s opportunities to advance in their career and examples of specific actions to fight them. As female employees often face higher barriers to advancement due to bias and stereotypes, becoming aware of what those biases are can help address them.

  • Likeability: Depending on one’s dimension(s) of diversity (race, gender, ethnicity, etc.), one’s likeability may be perceived differently.
  • Similar to me: Unintentionally gives higher ratings to employees who are similar to them.
  • Personal: Individual preferences may prevent objective analysis of an employee.
  • Horns and halos: Managers may make assumptions that a particular type of employee is naturally good or bad at the job.
  • Stereotyping: People may assign attributes to an entire group and act upon those ideas.
  • Shifting standards: Leaders may not realize they’re applying more stringent standards to one similarly situated employee over another.
  • Confirmatory: Once a judgement or recommended action is made, people are highly motivated to find or produce evidence to justify it.

Examples of strategies for fighting unconscious bias at work:

  1. Look back at talent conversations and assess if any unconscious bias might have been at play.
  2. Assess past selection processes to determine if the candidates you considered were all men – perhaps all white men – and why.
  3. Establish a practice to recognize if your selection process is overlooking talent.

To learn more, click here.