Courageous Inclusion Director, Evosis Limited.
The recent increase in visibility of the Black Lives Matter movement and awareness of racism in our societies, has led to a corresponding increase in awareness, dissatisfaction and trauma around racism in our organisations (and no doubt grievances and tribunals to come) from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour). This upwelling emotion has resulted in organisations scrabbling to make statements of support and action to back them up. The go-to activities include an old favourite - unconscious bias training. However, evidence suggests unconscious bias training doesn't eliminate bias. Indeed it can even backfire and increase bias (e.g. ‘it’s okay to be racist because that’s how the human brain works’). Indeed, we could also argue – what now is still unconscious? I’m sure there’s a lot, and we also have lots of conscious awareness to process.
As a business psychologist, I understand brain functioning and how bias can be 'hard-wired' into how we process information and make decisions. However, it has never been my solution for diversity and inclusion training because no evidence understanding these processes or improves people’s ability to be inclusive of diversity. This blog outlines more impactful alternatives.