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Exploring Unconscious Bias


'Unconscious bias is the term used to describe certain prejudices that we may be unaware of, and are therefore out of our direct control. Sometimes called implicit bias, unconscious bias often stems from stereotypes that arise from our backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences.

Research suggests that bias (either implicit or explicit) is a natural behavior among all people. In our day-to-day lives, we naturally categorize people using easily observable characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity, and weight. But it's not just physical attributes either; other factors such as education, sexuality, accent, and social status all influence these biases too. By realizing and accepting we all have biases, we are better equipped to watch for it in ourselves and help others see it as well. 



Understanding Unconscious Bias: 

No matter who you are, you are prey to unconscious biases. To be part of a complex, diverse team, you must take steps to overcome implicit and explicit biases and reject social stereotypes. Understanding your own bias, whether conscious or unconscious, is the key. In this course, you'll learn about the characteristics of unconscious bias and the nature of buried prejudice. You'll discover how they can inadvertently affect your thinking and decision-making. And you'll learn about the positive things that can happen when you take an anti-biased approach to people and situations in the workplace.

Overcoming Your Own Unconscious Biases: 

Each of us is a member of a society that is often partitioned into groups and tribes. While this is common to most societies, it can have harmful effects in the workplace, interfering with productivity and organizational success. We all hold biases, whether conscious or unconscious. Part of understanding the role of unconscious bias in the workplace is admitting to yourself that you, too, hold biases. Once accepted, you can take an anti-bias approach to overcome unconscious prejudice. In this course, you'll learn how to recognize your unconscious and implicit biases and how they can fall prey to social stereotypes.

Overcoming Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

Ensuring a diverse, welcoming, and productive organization means overcoming biases. No matter who you are, you are prey to unconscious biases. To be part of a complex, diverse workplace, you must take steps to overcome them. In this course, you'll learn to recognize how superficial differences can contribute to bias and lead to prejudice and social stereotypes. You'll learn specific tactics for combating unconscious bias and adopting an anti-bias approach. You'll also learn how to be an inclusive leader by using these tactics to overcome explicit and implicit bias across the organization and in the hiring process.

Outwitting Your Cognitive Bias

In order to make the best business decisions, you need to confront – and overcome – your cognitive biases. In this course, you will learn techniques for identifying cognitive bias, as well as strategies for overcoming specific biases.

Faculty and Staff can register by visiting the Oracle Learning page.



It is important to be aware that it is human nature to have unconscious biases, and for our purposes, when interviewing, hiring, and onboarding employees. People may unknowingly favor candidates based on similar backgrounds, shared experiences, etc., and therefore discourage a heterogeneous team. It is unlikely that we can change our unconscious mind, however the more aware of our biases we are, the better we will be able to avoid letting them command our decisions.
Below are some resources to help you become more aware of the different ways unconscious bias can affect the way you hire, and ways to ensure processes for identifying, recruiting, and hiring talent are equitable.



UCLA Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Implicit Bias Video Series

Additional Unconscious Bias Resources


For more information and resources, please contact, Assistant Director, HR Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Yasmine Mukahal at