Workplace Bias: How to Decode it and Tackle them!

The recent infographic shared by the TopCHRO titled, ‘6 Tips for HR professionals to tackle Workplace Biases’ – throws light not only on the types of workplace bias prevalent in an organization, but also offers steps for the human resource professional to tackle them.

The infographic that has been segregated into four sections states – how can one decode the bias at workplace, along with typical scenarios where various types of unconscious bias takes form; moving on to the section with four settings or environments where workplace bias can be seen; further types of unconscious bias at workplace includes factors like age discrimination, weight and height discrimination among others; the last section talks about HR professionals can counter balance these organizational biases.

Explaining in clear concise terms, the TOPCHRO infographic under the section ‘Decoding bias at the workplace,’ first talks about what is the definition on bias, then how unconscious bias can creep into decision making thus increasing the chasm of organizational biases. The infographic also talks about how workplace bias, if left unchecked, can result in diluted talent pool, thus putting limitations on creativity, reducing diversity and inclusivity.

Taking one section at a time let’s first look at the definition of the bias shared on the infographic. The definition shared here is from Cambridge Dictionary and defines bias as “the action of supporting or opposing a particular person or thing in an unfair way, because of allowing personal opinions to influence your judgement.” The section also talks about how workplace bias enters into decision-making thus affecting recruitment and promotions. This is also the section that talks about the disastrous results of unchecked bias at the workplace.

The next section talks about four common settings where the bias can take place including –

a) Interview Interactions

b) Promotion Decisions

c) Employee References

d) Research Designs.

Next in infographic comes types of the workplace bias that are both conscious and unconscious biases.

  1. Age discrimination: About 20% of the workers employed in the US are in the age of 55+. What’s more about 58% of the US employees reported that they felt age discrimination. Figure this about 18,000 age discriminations were reported in 2017 alone.
  2. Weight and height discriminations: are other common forms of workplace bias. Picture this: about 93% of employers will employ a person with normal weight and about 90% of the CEOs are above average height. There’s more – obese employees earn $2,512 per year less on an average than those who are of normal weight. Top it up with the fact that employees who are over 6ft tall on an average earned $166,000 more during a 30-year career.
  3. Hair and dress discrimination: are other forms of unconscious bias prevalent in an organization. While about 48% of women CEOs of S7P 500 companies have blonde hair thus highlighting the hair color preference at the leadership positions, about 60.6% of men have reported discrimination in the UK based on their hair color. About 81% of women feel that dress codes at the workplace are discriminatory to their sex.

The last section talks about how the HR and People’s team can combat workplace bias through various steps including –

  • Making use of technology to combat bias
  • By challenging the decision makers
  • By incorporating diverse selection panels during recruitment
  • With the use of psychometric evaluations and other best practices in decision-making the HR can try to combat workplace bias
  • By creating diversity and inclusivity for employees and also by training and empowering employees to both recognize and report any workplace discrimination

Finally, the infographic concluded with how the HR team and the CHROs can stay updated with TopCHRO.

Workplace Bias

Infogarphic Source:

Leave a Comment