Here are the names and occupations of the individuals that we asked you to write your first impressions down about.
Tessy Thomas (1)
The first Indian woman scientist to head a missile project in India. (Photo source: Wikipedia website)
Jodie Arias (2)
Was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to life in prison in 2015 for killing her ex-boyfriend. (Photo source: eyes for lies website)
Lina Chan (3)
CEO and co-founder of Parla an organisation dealing with fertility issues. (Photo source: myparla.com website)
Jamal Edwards, MBE (4)
A British entrepreneur, author, and the founder of the online urban music platform SBTV. (Photo source: campaignlive.co.uk website)
Sheikh Imtiyaz Damiel (5)
A lecturer and educational consultant. He is currently the CEO and Founder of the multi-award winning Abu Hanifah Foundation based in Blackburn. (Photo source: bbsi.org.uk website)
Constance Briscoe (6)
One of Britain’s first black female judges. (Photo source: the guardian.com website)
Janet Yellen (7)
Secretary of Treasury, USA and former CEO of Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. (Photo source: flickr.com website)
Samantha Tross (8)
Britain’s first black orthopaedic surgeon. (Photo source: kensingtonorthopaedics.com website)
Valentin Le Du (9)
Better known by his stage name Vald, he is a French rapper. (Photo source: theapricity.com website)
How did you do?
Did you make assumptions about people? Did your unconscious mind help you make quick decisions about who you saw? Did you predict the occupations accurately?
If any of these people reminded you of yourself, someone like you, or if anything about them felt familiar, you may have had a positive reaction to them, but if any of these people were ‘different’ to you in anyway, what were the immediate thoughts that popped into your head? How accurate were they? How positive or negative were they?
It is worth bearing in mind that you are often making assumptions based on your past thoughts, feelings and experiences. It also worth remembering that you did not know anything about these people beforehand, all you knew was what they looked like.
Think about this in terms of your workplace, and any ‘unconscious patterns’ it might have. Maybe your workforce is made up of individuals of a certain age. Maybe there are more men than women, or the other way around. Perhaps quite a few of your team are from the same race, or have the same cultural background? Is there a lack of diversity? Can you think of why this may be? If you think of anything that strikes you, make a note of it.
Here is a video that you could watch by Valerie Alexander on how to outsmart your own unconscious bias.