Topic outline

  • Unconscious Bias: Awareness

    Unconscious bias is a natural part of how our brains work, being a trait that remains from the earliest days of humankind - from an early age, our minds learn to be comfortable with the familiar and to be sceptical of unfamiliarity. 

    Being aware of unconscious bias is vital when making decisions within our roles within the Church, especially when those decisions are about people. Examples of such occasions are: welcoming new church members, discernment of vocations, recruiting church officers / volunteers / staff, appointing ministers, or processes such as appraisals, sickness / absence management and / or disciplinary processes. At a parish level, participants in this course might also go on to consider how a group / PCC / congregation can incorrectly perceive an institution or area of the community. The scriptures tell of a God who created humankind in his image, and therefore all are to be valued and treasured, not just those with whom we feel comfortable and familiar. 

    If we are aware of our biases, we are better able to avoid unintentional discrimination. It is with this awareness that we might ‘unlearn’ old habits and old biases, and learn how to be more inclusive and welcoming of diversity, which brings with it many benefits and opportunities.

    By the end of this course, you will:

    • Understand different types of unconscious bias and the impact of 'Fast and Slow' thinking.
    • Have explored the ways in which unconscious bias impacts our interactions with others.
    • Have developed strategies for self-awareness and behaviour change.