Inadvertent Bias and the Sponsor Effect - Two Topics Under Discussion






Blog by Rachael Saunders,Head of Communications.

Last week our Champion Steering Group meetings each heard from a fascinating external speaker.
The Champion Steering Groups are meetings of diversity experts and others from our Champion member organisations, whose feedback is invaluable to shape our campaigning. 

The Race for Opportunity meeting heard from Dr Kathlyn Wilson of the University of Bedfordshire, who chairs the recruitment work stream  of the DWP Ethnic Minority Employment Stakeholder Group. 

Dr Wilson spoke about her research on bias within recruitment and selection, including tests and appraisal decisions.   She gave members really clear guidance on how to think through policies and processes to exclude any inadvertent bias. 

For Opportunity Now, Birgit Neu of the Center for Talent Innovation spoke about the Sponsor Effect.  Sponsors are vital to progression, but women are less likely to have one, with many believing that hard work will be enough to achieve progression.  Women have mentors where men have sponsors who act as advocates and supporters, backing their career progression. 

Two quite different sessions, but each of our speakers impressive in their dissection of  the flaws in workplaces which mean women and BAME people are less likely to progress, and in their clear, powerful solutions.