Earlier this month, we were pleased to welcome our very own Ambassador, Valentina Coco, to deliver virtual Diversity & Inclusion training for all EMEA Recruitment staff members.
This initial session focussed on bias, specifically, our own biases, and how these affect our personal and professional lives.
Valentina explained the harsh reality that, even if we don’t think we’re biased or aren’t sure whether we’re biased, everybody is biased in some way. In fact, bias was necessary for our ancestors and can still be useful today.
We explored the distinction between explicit and implicit bias, focussing on why implicit bias is often more difficult to spot.
With a series of exercises, Valentina highlighted the ways that our brains filter out most of the information it’s being fed, so that – in some cases – we’re left with what we want to see.
Using specific examples relating to the recruitment process, Valentina looked at the common biases that most people have, aside from the more common and obvious biases relating to gender, age, race and beauty.
We concentrated on the following biases, and how they can typically influence professional life and the recruitment process:
- Affinity bias – creating a bond with somebody that you like
- Conformity bias – looking for evidence based on what we think to be right
- Attribution bias – comparing our behaviour to others’, which can impact how we perceive them
- The contrast effect – comparing events sequentially, to unfairly judge people
After explaining these common biases in detail, Valentina discussed the ways they can impact us in day-to-day life:
- Our perceptions of others
- Our attitude towards others
- The way we behave around others
- The attention that we give to others
- Our listening skills
- The micro-affirmations we give to others
We were all given regular opportunities to ask questions and discuss our thoughts in an open, inclusive environment, before Valentina left us with seven steps to identify and address our implicit bias.
Valentina will also complete a follow-up session with all at EMEA Recruitment on how we engage with our clients and address their biases during the recruitment process in the near future.
Valentina Coco is the CEO and Founder of Coco Consulting & Coaching. She helps teams create a truly inclusive environment.