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Unconscious bias

Unconscious bias

Unconscious bias refers to the biases we all have that we are not in conscious control of. Evidence suggests these biases can heavily influence recruitment and selection decisions.


Why is this important to Prospect?

It is easy for discrimination to creep in. Often it is unconscious, very subtle and hard to spot, let alone eliminate. We are trying to address this with employers. If you are concerned you may have been disadvantaged through discrimination, make sure that you contact the union.

Unconscious bias has been identified as an issue affecting many Prospect members, including:

  • performance management outcomes in both the civil service and telecoms sectors show potential bias against black and disabled workers when making decisions
  • surveys of women in STEM show that people who work part-time generally find it very difficult to be taken seriously for promotion opportunities.  

Our guidance

Prospect has developed learning materials for reps and members to help them to combat unconscious bias in their workplace. 

The video above is a short tutorial for reps to provide them with an understanding of:

  • what unconscious bias is
  • the effect it has on individuals
  • the effect it has on businesses
  • what employers can do to combat unconscious bias.  

Prospect also runs training courses on unconscious bias. If you think this would be useful for your branch please contact  

Challenge your unconscious bias

Follow the link to test your own unconscious bias.

Our campaigns

Gender bias (Wilbury Primary School): In 2017, Prospect returned to Wilbury Primary School in north London to run a follow-up event highlighting gender bias to the school’s pupils. It followed a similar successful event held in 2016.