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Unconscious gender bias

"We all have in-built biases... And even though we know we have them we still make decisions based on them so smart companies like Facebook are bringing in bias training so people can make better decisions - less biased decisions - and... we'll end up with much more diverse, productive, functional, better workforces and more successful businesses"

James Wallman, The Future of Gender Equality Report

Eradicating unconscious bias

Behavioural science has proved that we are often biased, without realising that we are.

A new company called Textio is just like a spell checker, but for gender bias. Use "exceptional", "proven judgement" and "able to work under pressure" in a job advert, and you'll attract more men. If you want more women to apply, swap "exceptional" for "extraordinary".

But in addition to eradicating unconsciously biased job ad wording, the rise in AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) will make it easier to avoid gender bias. In an interview, for instance, you might be a woman in real life but a man in VR, or through an AR lens.

Companies are tackling this issue. Facebook, for example, introduced bias training in 2015 and their COO, Sheryl Sandberg said "One of the most important things we can do to promote diversity in the workplace is to correct for the unconscious bias that all of us have".

In the future, our workplaces will be far less affected by the inbuilt biases. As a result, the people we hire and work with will be more diverse, and the results far improved.


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