The concept of ‘unconscious bias’ has taken centre stage as workplace diversity becomes a business necessity.
A recent study at Yale University highlighted unconscious bias at work. Managers were provided two versions of the same résumé. The résumés were identical, apart from the candidate’s first name. Time and again, the ‘male’ candidate was deemed more talented, more experienced, and was offered the job (at a higher rate of pay) more often.
This type of unconscious bias occurs in Australian law firms more often than you’d think. It is particularly prevalent when women reach a certain age, and factors such as maternity leave, flexible part-time positions for mothers, and a perceived lack of commitment to the job, are added to the mix.
Sigma Executive tackles this unconscious bias in a number of ways.
Rather than email a batch of CVs to a hiring manager, we speak to our client first. We explain why our candidate is the most qualified, most experienced person for the role. We demonstrate why our candidate should be interviewed, before the hiring manager has even seen their CV—before unconscious biases around gender, age, or ethnicity take hold.
We work closely with candidates to ensure their résumés do not perpetuate unconscious bias. Women in particular are prone to using passive language, which is always converted to strong, active dialogue. All candidate CVs are formatted in the same template, promoting consistency and equality.
We provide intensive coaching for our candidates prior to interviews, giving them the tools to sell themselves and overcome impostor syndrome—tools which often come naturally to men, but are not instinctive for women.