Presentation on theme: "The impact of unconscious bias on LGB inclusion"— Presentation transcript:
1 The impact of unconscious bias on LGB inclusion Dan RobertsonDiversity & Inclusion DirectorEmployers Network for Equality & Inclusion
2 What is unconscious bias? “Unconscious biases are our unintentional people preferences, formed by our socialisation and experiences, including exposure to the media.Unconscious biases are the result of our limited cognitive capacity; we implicitly and automatically both group and categorise people to avoid having to conduct completely new assessments for every new person.We unconsciously assign positive and negative value to the categories we use.”
3 Bias facts We ALL have them They are triggered and enacted between 30 and 100 millisecondsThey are often in our personal ‘bias blind spot’What we see together, we wire togetherThe brain is a formidable pattern matching machineThey are automatic and rapid
6 Social categorisation Three mental processes Social identificationSocial comparisonCategorisationOur sense of self is based on membership of social groupsWe divide the world into “them” and “us”Known as in-group (us) and out-group (them).Tells us thingsabout peopleAdopt emotionally significant in-group behavioursTired up with our self-esteem. Critical to understanding prejudice
7 Explicit vs Implicit Social Bias (Abrams & Houston 2006) Jones, P 2005 Implicitly 3000
9 TriggersWhen we are placed under emotional load such as stress, anger, frustrationWhen we are under cognitive load such as making complex decisionsWhen our emotional and cognitive resources are depleted
10 5 types of prejudiceAggressive prejudice: Open and explicit animosity, often backed up with violenceBanal Prejudice: Implicit examples of less positive attitudes, which may be intentional or unintentionalBenevolent Prejudice: Expressions of positive views that are not intended to demonstrate less positive attitudes, but which still produce negative consequencesCathartic prejudice: A view that is recognises as being less positive, (therefore unacceptable) that is justified and rendered acceptableUnintentional Prejudice: Attitudes or behaviours that unwittingly demonstrate an ignorance or lack of understanding
11 52% of gay men had experienced harassment 40% of lesbian, gay or bisexual workers were not out to their manager46% never or hardly ever think it is acceptable for a gay man be to a primary school teacher34% think the same for lesbians35% think that gay men should not be hospital doctors32% think the same for lesbians75% of heterosexuals believe it is wrong to refuse a job to someone due to their sexual orientation
12 Affinity biasAffinity (like me) bias: leads us to favour people who are like us.Commonness leads toComfort leads toCompetence“He reminds me of myself at his age”Gender, ethnicity, social background, accent, nationality, sexual orientation and disability….etc.
13 I’ve known very talented bankers that have, essentially beenside lined or fired once it’s knowthat they are gay.If I came out at work it would becareer suicide.I’d love to march inLondon Pride but as adeputy head of a Londonprimary school I have bevery carefully in case I’mseem by parents.I work in a very maledominated workenvironment. They oftenmake comments aboutmy sexuality.The legal sector has verytraditional attitudes and waysof working. There are unwrittennorms. Colleagues know I amgay but I think they’d rather Iwas wasn’t.
14 Higher earners find it more difficult to be open about their sexuality at work There is widespread concealment amongst the British workforceWhen at work people modify their behaviour to ensure colleagues do not discover their sexuality
15 Bias control tips Positive Role Models Re-categorisation IndividualisationGet tested
16 Contact me: Dan Robertson Diversity & Inclusion Director Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion/
17 Overview of key provisions Vera Bermingham Kingston Law School The Equality Act 2010Overview of key provisionsVera BerminghamKingston Law School
18 Protected characteristics Age; disability; race; religion and belief; gender; sexual orientation; pregnancy and maternity; marriage and civil partnership; gender re-assignment
19 Concepts in discrimination law Direct and indirect discriminationHarassmentVictimisationPositive actionEquality duties on public bodies
20 Direct and Indirect discrimination requires proof of different treatment between applicant and his/her comparatorIndirect discriminationrequires proof that the same requirement or condition was applied, for example......
21 Direct Discrimination To treat someone less favourably than someone else has been treated (or would be treated) on grounds of the person’s sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age. An illustration of how the law operates can be seen in…………
22 Showboat Entertainment v Owens 1984 Former RRA Section 1 (1) (a) ..”on racial grounds”Note: Motive of the alleged discriminator is immaterial and there is no defence of justification (there is in indirect discrimination)
23 What does ‘less favourably mean?’ This means that there must be a comparison with another person. Example: Pregnancy Turley v Allders (1980) Hayes v Malleable WMV (1985) Webb v EMO Cargo (1991)
24 Indirect discrimination…. .. is less straightforward. This applies where a particular policy or practice, which, on the face of it appears to treat everyone equally, but which actually, in practice, leads to people from a particular group being treated less favourably than other people. Mandla v Lee (see below)
25 ......in Griggs v Duke Power 1971(US) employees required to have successfully completed high school and to have achieved scores on two professionally prepared aptitude testsstandards applied fairly to white and black people alikeAlthough disparity outside employer’s control - still liable
26 Mandla v Dowell Lee (1983, HL) Race claim involving headmaster’s refusal to permit Sikh boy to wear a turbin.Sikhs constituted an ‘ethnic group’Indirect discrimination
27 The Court held further that … ….intent or discriminatory purpose is irrelevant; it is consequences that mattertests used for hiring and promotion must be job relatedinvalid practices, however neutral in intent, that caused a disparate impact upon a group protected by the act are unlawful
28 Indirect discrimination: ‘Justification’ defence Provision, criterion or practice (PCP) must be objectively justified by a legitimate aim....
29 Public bodies - General Equality Duty There is one General Equality Duty with a focus on output rather than input. The Equality Act (section 149) states that our General Equality Duty is to have due regard to the need to:eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;advance equality of opportunity between different groups; andfoster good relations between different groupsAdvance (used to be promote)Foster (used to be promote) - tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups.