The Bias Gym is the place to ‘work out’ bias and get your organisation in shape!

Not all bias is the same. Gender is different from race, race from age, and so on. Even within a specific area of bias, say for example gender, different factors lead to the disparities often observed between men and women. This means that different approaches are needed to address bias and its causes. This is what The Bias Gym does – we examine each underlying cause of bias and develop methods to combat it. All of our approaches are grounded in academic research and have data to support their success at diminishing bias.

Below is an overview of the solutions we offer to reduce bias.

GENDER

SCULPT
What would it be like to live in a world with no stereotypes,
where we all appreciate each other for who we really are? Most people aim to act in a fair and equal manner towards others, however, the way our brain processes information is sometimes faulty and can lead us to make biased decisions – those that favour one group of people over another. Gender stereotypes are one set of faulty decision rules that our brain has learnt.

There is no scientific evidence that men and women possess different skills and
abilities. However, when we see a man or a woman our brain associates different traits with them. Furthermore, the stronger these associations are, the more likely they will influence personnel decision-making. SCULPT rebalances the traits we associate with men and women, leading to each individual, regardless of gender, being valued for their unique abilities.

Gender Workshop
This workshop raises awareness on the key factors that underpin gender bias and what every person in the organisation can do to ensure these biases are minimised, thus ploughing a path to greater gender parity within the business.

On-line Learning
Gender Bias
The belief that there are eternal and universal differences between the sexes is a popular one – but it’s not supported by the scientific research and continues to underpin gender inequality and discrimination both in the workplace and beyond. Tackling implicit bias around gender can deliver huge benefits across the board, both at an individual level and in terms of the performance of your organisation as a whole.

Understanding Gender Bias

Studies have shown that, contrary to popular stereotypes, there are no differences at all in terms of women’s and men’s cognitive abilities. What’s more, the gendered roles that today appear immutable have not always been
so – history tells us that prior to the industrial revolution, men and women performed a wide range of mutually interchangeable roles, and that even 100 years ago, jobs that today are seen as typically ‘female’ were done almost exclusively by men. Yet today’s workplace remains hampered by perceptions of gender-specific roles and broadly accepted ‘norms’ of gender behaviour, and organisations and individuals are suffering as a result.

In this ground-breaking new course from Skill Boosters, Professor Binna Kandola and Dr Jo Kandola explain how today’s gender inequality stems not from biology and evolution but from artificial social constructs and show how challenging gender bias can deliver huge benefits for both individuals and organisations.

This course will give a better understanding of:

  • the nature of gender bias
  • how gender bias impacts on both men and women in the workplace
  • the negative impact of prescriptive and descriptive stereotypes
  • the business case for tackling gender bias.

Tackling Gender Bias

If organisations truly believe that their people are their biggest asset, then addressing and eliminating bias has to be central to everything they do – from recruitment and development through to advancement and promotion to leadership roles. Research shows that gender stereotypes continue to impact negatively on both men and women in the workplace and as a result, organisations are routinely failing to recruit, retain and advance the best people.
In this ground-breaking new course from Skill Boosters, Professor Binna Kandola and Dr Jo Kandola look at the reality of gender inequality in the workplace, how a reliance on stereotypes is holding us back and what practical steps we can take to tackle implicit bias around gender.

This course will give a better understanding of:

  • the impact of gender bias in the workplace and the business case for tackling it
  • how to hone your ability to assess people’s strengths, skills and potential
  • how to recruit, retain and advance the best people, regardless of gender.

RACE

CONDITION
Nelson Mandela once said no-one is born disliking another because of their skin colour. Now backed up by ample research, we know this to be true. Via the mass media and culture that surrounds us, we learn from a young age to associate white people with positive things and black people and ethnic minorities with negative things. Even people from ethnic minority groups can display this pro-white bias. Such negative associations have been shown to underpin the many types of discrimination experienced by black and ethnic minority people in the judicial system, education, healthcare and the workplace. These findings may make us feel uncomfortable – most of us are not intentionally prejudice – but discomfort is not a reason for inaction.

Racial bias has been learnt, the good news is, with a little effort we can unlearn it, if we really want to. For less than 5 minutes a day, CONDITION helps diminish negative implicit reactions towards black people and ethnic minorities, thus minimising the application of this type of bias to decisions.

TONE-B
Picture leaders you work with and admire. If you are like most people, the individuals you are thinking about are likely to be predominantly male. They are also likely to be predominantly white. Leadership is not a trait we associate with black people. In fact, many of the stereotypes activated when we come into contact with black people are negative. In contrast, stereotypes associated with white people tend to be positive. These associations are cultural stereotypes, learnt from our environment from a very young age. You may not explicitly endorse them, but it is difficult for our brain not to be aware of these associations and for these cognitive biases to have an impact on our behaviour and decision-making.

Racial stereotypes have been learnt, the good news is, with a little effort we can unlearn them, if we really want to. For less than 5 minutes a day, TONE-B can help combat these negative stereotypes and minimise the application of this type of racial bias to decisions.

Race Workshop
This workshop raises awareness on the key factors that underpin racial bias and what every person in the organisation can do to ensure these biases are minimised, thus ensuring all people have the opportunity for career success regardless of skin colour.

On-line Learning
Coming Soon

DISABILITY

On-line Learning

Disabled adventures in customer service
Disabled customers and service users continue to face unhelpful or inappropriate behaviour, much of it due to uninformed attitudes and a lack of confidence. This course takes a humorous look at how to provide an inclusive service for people with disabilities.

In this course, we take a wry look at customer service from the perspective of disabled customers and service users through the experiences of a group of disabled professional comedians from the comedy collective Abnormally Funny People.

Guided by founder member and leading disability trainer Simon Minty, the course provides personal insight and guidance on welcoming disabled customers and demonstrates how a combination of confidence, common sense and communication skills is the key to providing an appropriate and inclusive service for your disabled clientele.

This course will give a better understanding of:

  • why uninformed attitudes and a lack of confidence result in poor service for many disabled people
  • why it’s important not to make assumptions about the physical and mental abilities of people with disabilities
  • the importance of listening and knowing the right questions to ask
  • key steps to follow to ensure you are providing an inclusive service for your disabled customers and service users.

Disabled adventures in work and recruitment

Disabled people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as their non-disabled counterparts, and this represents a huge loss to the workplace. This course dispels some of the myths around employing disabled people and looks at how to provide appropriate support for staff with disabilities.

Employers often tend to see the disability before the person and make assumptions about their needs and capabilities – and this can mean that the skills and potential of disabled job applicants and staff are not being properly recognised. In this course, we take a humorous look at the world of work and recruitment from the perspective of disabled people through the experiences of a group of disabled professional comedians from the comedy collective Abnormally Funny People.

Guided by founder member and leading disability trainer Simon Minty, the course provides personal insight and guidance on recruiting and employing disabled people and sets out how to provide reasonable adjustments and support in the workplace.

This course will give a better understanding of:

  • why outdated and uninformed opinions can make it hard for disabled people to enter the workforce and advance professionally
  • key considerations when interviewing job applicants with a disability
  • common mistakes that organisations make with regard to their disabled staff
  • how to make reasonable adjustments and provide appropriate support for your disabled employees

Disability confident
Enabling people to move from disability awareness to disability confidence is an important part of building an inclusive workplace and improving customer service.

Would staff in your organisation know the right way to deal with a customer or colleague who has a physical or visual impairment, or has mental health issues? Would they be able to deal with them comfortably and confidently, or would they feel awkward or embarrassed and be afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing? Developed in partnership with Business Disability Forum (BDF), this course combines original drama with powerful personal testimony from people with a range of disabilities, and insight from the experts to show the practical steps you need to take in order to provide effective service for disabled customers and support disabled colleagues and staff.

This course will give a better understanding of:

  • the advantages of being disability confident
  • why we may need to challenge our attitudes to disability
  • the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 with regard to disabled people
  • the most appropriate ways to work with disabled colleagues and how to communicate with and serve disabled customers
  • the types of ‘reasonable adjustments’ that need to be made for staff and customers with disabilities
  • the importance of promoting appropriate behaviour in relation to deliberate bullying and harassment
  • the knowledge and skills necessary to work successfully as part of a diverse team.

AGE & SEXUAL ORIENTATION

At present, there is limited research on how to reduce bias against certain groups in society, such as older workers and LGBT individuals. Whilst we don’t yet have any targeted interventions here, we are conducting research to understand more about bias in these areas. If you are specifically interested in age or sexual orientation bias, then please contact us. Your insights together with ours may spark some ideas on how we push these areas forward.

MICRO BEHAVIOURS

On-line Learning

This course examines the impact that micro-behaviours can have on our working relationships.

Micro-behaviours are the tiny things that we say and do that tell those around us about what we’re feeling or thinking. We’re often not even aware of them happening, but they can have a huge impact on working relationships and team dynamics and are often a key indicator of unconscious bias.

Combining original drama with expert insight and analysis from leading business psychology consultancy Pearn Kandola, this briefing looks at how micro-behaviours can affect things like communication, motivation and performance and how we can make them work to our advantage.

This course will give a better understanding of:

  • what we mean by micro-behaviours and micro-messages and their impact in the workplace
  • the damage caused by negative micro-behaviours (‘micro-inequities’)
  • the relationship between micro-behaviours and unconscious bias
  • the importance of being aware of and regulating our own behaviour
  • how using positive micro-behaviours can support diversity and inclusion.