Understanding and Managing Unconscious Bias

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Everyone has unconscious biases, it is a part of the way our brains are wired as human beings. As such, biases are often subtle and can be very difficult to identify. However, when these biases interfere with our decision making, they can have profound and often negative effects on how we manage both diversity and inclusion, and, if unchallenged, may lead to discrimination and prejudice.

The Understanding and Managing Unconscious Bias course, designed by psychologists, will develop the knowledge and skills needed to prepare individuals to work well with diversity and to actively promote inclusion.

This one-day course focuses on developing understanding of the neuroscience principles of unconscious bias and how to apply these to real-world situations. It will seek to assist participants to recognise their own biases (as well as the biases in others), and how to manage these effectively to when working with diversity. A key feature of the course is the development of self-awareness in order to identifying risks for discrimination and prejudice within both personal and professional relationships.

Who should attend:

The course is suitable for anyone who manages or works, or otherwise interacts with diversity (ethnic, religious, gender, sexuality etc.) and is interested in becoming, or increasing their own knowledge as an advocate for the promotion inclusion and equity.

Learning objectives:

  • Develop participants’ awareness of the neuroscience of Unconscious Bias 
  • Assist participants to recognise bias within themselves, in others, and in organisations
  • Enable participants to recognise the impact of bias on inclusion
  • Empower participants to manage their own bias and learn how to assist others to identify and manage their own biases

Course outline:

Topic 1: Diversity Awareness: developing understanding of diversity in New Zealand and how this impacts on interactions across all spheres of life.

Topic 2: The Neuroscience of Unconscious Bias: Understanding how the brain functions to produce bias and how this can manifest in discrimination and prejudice. Identifying the potential for bias and recognising its outcomes.

Topic 3: Promoting Equity and Inclusion: Putting learnings into practice in order to empower participants to manage unconscious bias in their own workplaces and lives.

Course format:

This is a small group course that includes a variety of presentation techniques to cater to all learning styles (discussion, audio-visual, experiential). The course is designed in accordance with adult learning principles and is predominantly focused on facilitating autonomy of learning and capturing participant voices and experiences so that learning can be applied to real-life situations.


Jaimee Stuart or Reneeta Mogan

Further details:
If you would like more information about this programme, please contact us on: 
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email: profdev@vuw.ac.nz

Customised workshops: 
Victoria Professional and Executive Development are able to customise many of our workshops to meet specific individual or organisational requirements. Please contact us for further information.

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