Everyone exhibits unconscious bias from time to time – and, unchecked in a work context, this leads to a less diverse workforce, with possible adverse effects on organisational performance.
In a bid to help reduce the adverse effects of this phenomenon, the e-learning supplier, Engage in Learning, is organising a webinar to ‘Identify and Challenge Unconscious Bias’.
“If unconscious bias operates in a work context, talented workers can easily be overlooked and discouraged from exhibiting their talents to the organisation’s benefit,” explained Kate Carter, Engage in Learning’s Operations and Marketing Manager. “So, if you’ve ever found yourself treating someone differently just because of the way they look or sound, then this webinar is for you.”
The Engage in Learning webinar focuses on why these biases exist, along with how to recognise them, challenge them and, ultimately, design them out of the workplace. It draws upon Engage in Learning’s recently released e-learning course on unconscious bias.
According to Kate Carter, the financial giant, Prudential, has said it will extend its unconscious bias training from senior managers to all its employees, after revealing that female staff earned salaries that are 29.7 per cent lower, on average, than men’s salaries, with bonuses that are 75.6 per cent lower.
“This British insurer is the latest in a string of employers in the financial sector to reveal a large gap between what men and women were paid,” said Kate.
Under UK government rules introduced last year, British companies and public sector bodies with more than 250 employees must publish data on the gender pay gap by 4th April. While the current national median pay gap is 18.4 per cent and the mean is 17.4 per cent, at Prudential, the median pay gap is 22.9 per cent.
Like other companies in its industry, Prudential has commented that its pay gap reflects the fact that it employs more men in senior roles. A Prudential spokesperson added that, “The solution isn’t to change pay scales but to take steps to ensure that we attract applicants from all backgrounds, create opportunities for all our employees to progress – and challenge systems, processes and mindsets to ensure that they don’t disadvantage women.”
Last year, 188 high-ranking managers underwent special training to help them to identify and eradicate unconscious bias that may hold back women’s careers. One senior figure at Prudential said that the workshop was “hugely revealing for me personally and I am committed to a change in behaviour”.
“The challenge for all organisations – both big and small – is not only to empower workers from all ethnicities, genders or ages within the workplace but also to ensure that those whose responsibility it is to recruit are not only aware of their own biases but can effectively remove these during the entire recruitment process,” said Engage in Learning’s Kate Carter.
The Engage in Learning webinar takes place online, from 10.00am to 10.45am GMT, on Wednesday 28th November 2018. Those who are unable to attend the webinar but would like to discover more about promoting equality in their organisation – and, maybe, get hold of a recording of the webinar -should contact Engage in Learning.