As I discussed in the last post, we all have biases. And these biases can't be parked at the door when we come to work. They impact our interactions with clients as well as co-workers, subordinates, and leaders. As a result, unconscious biases impact the success of individuals throughout their careers. For equity-seeking groups (i.e., women, racialized and Aboriginal employees, persons with disabilities, newcomers, LGBTQ) the result is lower pay, higher rates of under-employment and higher unemployment even when they have the same levels of education.
Unconscious bias operates in subtle but damaging ways throughout the organization. If left unchecked, they can also undermine an organization's equity and diversity efforts and help to shape an organizational culture that is exclusive rather than inclusive.
Even small negative or positive biases have a cumulative effect over one's lifetime. Positive biases support some people to be successful while negative biases undermine the success of others. The result can be large differences in power and position over one's career.