HBA Berlin Tackles "Unconscious Bias"

"Unconscious Bias": How to Uncover and Overcome Hidden Prejudices
19 January 2021
By: Janine Welen

On 19 January, HBA Berlin welcomed more than 45 participants to its first virtual educational event in 2021 - tackling unconscious bias in private and professional life.

Unconscious bias (also known as implicit bias) refers to unconscious forms of discrimination and stereotyping based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, age and so on. It differs from cognitive bias, which is a predictable pattern of mental errors that result in us misperceiving reality and, as a result, deviating away from the most likely way of reaching our goals.1  

We all experienced that as people, we prefer to work with people who are similar to us (affinity bias), or typical stereotypes, like women, are less interested in making a career than men.

Together, with our corporate partner Takeda, we invited two experienced speakers in this field: Helge Zurmühlen and Christian A. Herbst. Besides hearing typical myths from HR talent acquisition, we gained insights into how our brain works. Scientists estimate that we make about 25.000 decisions every day - consciously and unconsciously. To start thinking logically our brain needs 1-2 seconds - the limbic system in our brain reacts faster, in only 2/100 seconds. That's why we sometimes react automatically to situations before we even start thinking logically. But we can use the time between stimulus and our reaction actively. 

So in many situations, it is worth it to pause, breathe and take the time to think about our reaction. Find the source of your bias and try to overcome it, e.g. by actively getting in contact with people that are different than you. Be your own observer, always.

The event was very well perceived and we are thinking of a follow-up event. Stay tuned.

#HBABerlin #Unconsciousbias #stayathome

1 source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intentional-insights/202007/what-is-unconscious-bias-and-how-you-can-defeat-it

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