The EDIC runs unconscious bias training workshops throughout the academic year, open to all staff. 

Unconscious or implicit bias affects everyone.

Unconscious bias is a term that describes the associations we hold, outside our conscious awareness and control. These can have a significant influence on our attitudes and behaviours. Unconscious bias is triggered by our brain automatically making quick judgments and assessments, influenced by our background, personal experiences, societal stereotypes and cultural context. Unconscious bias is not just about gender, ethnicity or other protected characteristics; height, body weight, and many other things can also trigger unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias can influence key decisions in the workplace and can contribute to inequality, for example in recruitment, performance appraisals, or promotion. There is a growing body of research around the topic. The Equality Challenge Unit produced an Unconscious bias literature review (pdf)‌ for Higher Education in 2013. By increasing our awareness of unconscious bias, we can start to mitigate against it. 

What can you do?

There are an increasing number of guides, videos, and resources online about unconscious bias that you can access. Below are a few examples which might help you better understand unconscious bias.

Dr Pete Jones, who delivered Imperial's 2016 Diversity Lecture, has a series of short videos about unconscious bias on his website.

Project Implicit is a collaboration between scientists at Harvard, the University of Virginia, and the University of Washington. They have created a range of online Implicit Association Tests to measure unconscious bias. 

The Google re:Work team has produced a comprehensive online guide about unconscious bias.

The Royal Society has produced a briefing on unconscious bias and a short video, which you can watch below. 


Understanding unconscious bias, from the Royal Society