What is Implicit Bias?

Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner (kirwaninstitute.osu.edu, 2015).  Research demonstrates that most people hold unconscious, implicit assumptions that influence their judgments and perceptions of others. Implicit bias manifests in expectations or assumptions about physical or social characteristics dictated by stereotypes that are based on a person’s race, gender, age, or ethnicity (whitehouse.gov, 2015). We engage in critical dialogue on implicit bias because it is one of the challenges girls and women of color face in STEM fields.

Select Resources on Implicit Bias

Google Video on Unconscious Bias - Making the Unconscious Conscious

Excerpt: Google developed a workshop, Unconscious Bias @ Work, in which more than 26,000 Googlers have taken part. The workshop highlights four bias busting techniques which can help mitigate the potentially negative influence of unconscious bias:

**Gather facts
**Rely on consistent structure and criteria when making decisions
**Watch for subtle cues
**Foster awareness and accountability

Royal Society: Understanding Unconscious Bias

Excerpt: This animation introduces the key concepts of unconscious bias. It forms part of the Royal Society’s efforts to ensure that all those who serve on Royal Society selection and appointment panels are aware of differences in how candidates may present themselves, how to recognise bias in yourself and others, how to recognise inappropriate advocacy or unreasoned judgement.

The Biases that Blind Us: How Gender Stereotypes Constrain Opportunities for Women in STEM

Excerpt:  What is the impact of gender biases on promotion and advancement in the scientific community? Dr. Corinne Moss-Racusin shares her latest research exploring the impact of gender biases on meritocracy, diversity, and the pursuit of knowledge throughout academic science. She discusses educational strategies designed to increase awareness and reduce bias, and provides examples of effective scientific diversity interventions.