Unconscious Bias: Facebook and Google help employees recognise and tackle their bias
12th August 2015
Marshall E-Learning have been running training courses on Unconscious Bias (a term to describe those prejudices and misconceptions that we have of which we are not in conscious control) for several years, but it’s good to see that some of the leading tech giants of Silicon Valley are realising the same.
Just last week,Facebook announced that it would be releasing its managing unconscious bias’ internal training program to the public, with the aim of helping employees recognise unconscious prejudices to improve better relations in the workplace and mitigate the impact of unconscious bias.
‘Managing bias is an essential part of building diverse and high-performing organisations’, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a Facebook post announcing the release, echoing the outline we published in our Introduction to Unconscious Bias.
Facebook’s announcements follows in the footsteps of Google, who have their own Unconscious Bias training programme, called ‘Unconscious Bias at Work’. Last year, Google raised the issue of Unconscious Bias in the public eye through a video looking at how they go about making their employees aware of their own bias:
We recently argued that confronting a lack of diversity is not just for tech leaders, but with the global presence of Facebook and Google, the releasing of their managing unconscious bias to the general public will raise a lot of awareness about the issues that employers face and can only encourage more employers to take the right steps in making their workforces more diverse and inclusive.
However, there is still a long way to go if we are to fully tackle Unconscious Bias in the workplace.
Facebook’s announcement comes in the second year of releasing their diversity statistics, Facebook and Google saw little progress from the reports they issued a year before. At Facebook, the percentage of women in tech positions increased to 16%, up just one percentage point from the previous year.
This shows that issues like Unconscious Bias must be part of a multi-faceted approach to addressing inclusion and diversity in the workplace. For example, diversity training programs are most effective in raising awareness and then setting the stage for more formalised approaches to addressing bias.
That’s why Marshall E-Learning have developed a new Unconscious Bias Tool to give HR, Organisational Development and talent managers a taster of unconscious bias in their own organisations.
Developed in partnership with the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion, the free tool for managers to ask staff to reflect on their own bias and help businesses achieve a clear understanding of how best to manage their employee’s personal biases professionally, is imperative for creating discrimination-free, fair, inclusive and commercially competitive organisations.
The course is delivered as an online e-learning module and takes approximately 30-45 minutes to complete. It includes an introduction to Unconscious Bias, practical ways of recognising different types of Unconscious Bias and exploring different strategies for tackling Unconscious Bias in the modern workplace.
We should all be inspired by the commitment of these leading companies in their championing of Unconscious Bias training. Every forward-thinking employer should be embracing Unconscious Bias training by now and Marshall E-Learning are here to help them do so.
To find out more about the free Unconscious Bias tool or to find out how Marshall E-Learning can help your organisation commit to equality, diversity and inclusion, contact us to setup a trial of the Unconscious Bias tool or call 0845 123 3909.