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Looking at Diversity Through the Lens of Unconscious Bias

Former UK Coaching Disability Coach of the Year Anna Jackson and UK Coaching Development Lead Liz Burkinshaw with a guide to understanding the concept of unconscious bias to enable organisations to work towards developing a more inclusive coaching culture

The term 'unconscious bias' refers to deep-rooted social and cultural stereotypes that we are unaware of but that impact negatively on how we treat people. 

It is important to both understand how these prejudices influence our everyday decision-making, and learn techniques to limit their impact, to help us build a more diverse coaching workforce. 

We have all jumped to the wrong conclusion about a person based on a snap judgement of what they look like (their race, gender, age, weight, disability) or sound like (their accent, educational background, which language they speak). It’s human nature. We do it all the time, without even noticing.

These hidden biases can be influenced by societal perceptions, cultural environment, the media, our own background and personal experiences, our friends and family. Unfortunately, the instinctive judgements we make about people are often wrong, and the decisions we make based on our biases can have serious long-term consequences.

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