Everyone has unconscious biases. They are simply the brain’s way of coping with and categorising all the information we receive every day. Our tendency to discriminate against a group or type of person may not be intentional, but we can still do something to change it. The more we expose ourselves to ideas, images and words that challenge negative stereotypes, the less discriminatory we will be.
Safety professionals can play a key role in unearthing these hidden biases. When faced with a negative event, how often does the first idea for which there is evidence capture the organisation’s attention? Subsequent thinking can be dominated to the exclusion of other causes, especially cultural and systems issues. The true causes of the event is obscured, leading to a course of action that may perpetuate the problem. Underestimating exposure to risk and overestimating the capability of systems to mitigate hazards. While any single decision may be insignificant on its own, a series of small decisions can create a path to disaster.
On 13th Feb at 2pm in Room 4, Abercorn Conference Centre, West College Scotland, Allison Johnstone from Equate Scotland will introduce us to the concepts of bias and unconscious bias.
- Exploring what happens in the brain when we make unconscious judgements
- What this means in the workplace (Micro and Macro Inequalities)
- What can be done to mitigate it in decision-making processes