Research Project: Unconscious Bias and Gender Balance in the workplace

Research Project: Unconscious Bias and Gender Balance in the workplace


Job Description

Unconscious Bias: understanding the issues and impact on gender diversity in the workplace

The purpose of this project is to gather relevant information and research on unconscious bias that can be used to create a training program for employees on how to overcome unconscious bias in order to improve the ability of an organisation to attract, retain and develop female employees; and thereby improve corporate performance in the process.

I am looking for someone to compile recent and relevant data, statistics and research that can be incorporated into a training program of 3-6 hours duration.

Details of the project are as follows:

- Word count: maximum 5,000 words
- To be compiled as a Microsoft Word document
- Format can be essay or headings/bullet points (either is fine)
- All statistics must be hyperlinked to relevant research URL wherever possible
- A footnote must be included linking all references and research documents to a bibliography at the end of the report**
- I’m happy to review draft versions whenever required, or to respond to questions any time.
- Due date: Final version must be submitted by 30th April 2013.
- Bidders MUST provide two examples of research projects undertaken for outsourcers in the past

* * PLEASE NOTE: if you do not provide full reference/research bibliography, this assignment will be considered incomplete and therefore payment may not be finalized.

Please message me if you require additional information about this project.

Topics that the research should include, but not be limited to:

1. What is unconscious bias?

2. What’s the difference between unconscious bias and straight out bias against any “other” way of doing things/approaching problems etc

3. How does it play out in practice? How does it impact perceptions & recruitment/retention strategies and practices, eg:
a. Recruiting in like ie in mirror image of self
b. Salary differentials for people in the same job
c. Promotion and retention rates that differ between gender
d. Part time workers perceived as less valuable or worthy for bonuses
e. Men with stay at home wives assume women won’t travel, take on greater challenges etc (and also the challenge when their own choices/values are invalidated)

4. How/why does business benefit from overcoming bias
a. Cognitive diversity
b. Groupthink
c. Strategic advantage / business case for gender diversity/diverse teams/better leadership/better decision making
d. other???

5. What is the link between cognitive bias and cognitive diversity?

6. How this plays out in terms of advancing women through corporate ranks into male dominated leadership positions?How does it impact on gender balance? Women in Leadership?

7. How to overcome it eg
a. Understanding your biases/tests
b. Look for differences in salaries or retention rates
c. Consider if there is bias built into talent development/emerging leaders programs eg only picking up talent at entry/early stage or career when women may be offramping
d. Management & leadership practices
e. Personal checklist to make sure you’re not caught in the unconscious bias trap
f. An example of an Australian business leader who didn’t realize their bias until it was pointed out
g. Need diversity on recruitment panel; and process to ensure panel has opportunity to discuss merits of each candidate including someone to ask critical questions of the panel
h. Top down approach works best and also temp-check culture down stream

8. At least 3 case studies from organizations that are leading the way and have been successful in implementing diversity programs and what they’ve learned from unconscious bias training.

9. Empathy and understanding of the different challenges women may face eg what are the different processes a primary-carer mum needs to go through when asked to work overtime, versus a male colleague in terms of making arrangements for childcare etc.

10. Broader diversity and unconscious bias, and how that plays out for different cultures eg The thought process of different cultures in meetings – Caucasians speak out; Asians respect hierarchy etc.

11. Are employers keeping up with the “new normal” – 2 income families etc – and is still bias against different frames of reference.

12. Other interesting or relevant facts, anecdotes, stories and policies re unconscious bias in the work place.

Skills: research, training, leadership, management