The latest fashion trend with most of my clients is Unconscious Bias Training. While those trainings are interesting and engaging, and may raise awareness about various biases, there's little evidence to their effectiveness in eliminating those. This is well explained in Diversity and Inclusion specialist's Lisa Kepinski's article, Unconscious Bias Awareness Training is Hot, But the Outcome is Not: So What to Do About It?
Lisa outlines two problems with these trainings:
- The "So What?" effect: having done the training, leaders and HR professionals alike remain at loss for the next steps that could deliver a sustainable cultural change, and
- The training may backfire by encouraging more biased thinking and behaviors (by conditioning the stereotypes). Moreover, "by hearing that others are biased and it's ‘natural’ to hold stereotypes, we feel less motivated to change biases and stereotypes are strengthened (‘follow the herd’ bias)."