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Karin Steen about unconscious bias

To avoid the harmful impacts of unconscious bias in research and research grant funding it is becoming increasingly clear how important unconscious bias in training of academics is in order to help us understand our own biases.
Karin Steen, head of the the Gender, Diversity and Equality committee at LUCSUS and one of the organisers of the upcoming event on unconscious bias, shares her thoughts on this highly relevant topic.
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Why are LUCSUS arranging a seminar and workshop on uncounscious bias?

The ‘unconscious bias’ workshop is part of an initiative at LUCSUS that aims at raising awareness of equality and diversity as well as to improve equality and diversity in the LUCSUS work environment. Gender, equality, and diversity work is needed continuously at all levels of society also at LUCSUS. LUCSUS staff is sensitive to equality and diversity issues and there is a willingness to work preventive.

Can we really avoid uncounscious bias, and how?

To learn about unconscious bias is part of this preventive work. We know that in Swedish universities there is a ‘leaky pipeline’ where women ‘leak’ out of the system even if no one would ever admit that women are consciously discriminated against. Hence, we need to learn about the unconscious biases we as an organization holds towards women, men, and other identities.

What do think the university should to to address this issue and what can you do yourself to avoid unconscious bias?

I welcome the Lund University strategy to map out gender discrimination in the hiring process. Lund University do this as a part of the ‘jämställdhetsintegrering’ that is a demand the Swedish state has put on all state agencies. I also think it is important to try to be reflexive – even as a woman who is potentially disadvantaged in many situations – what privileges do I have? How can I work to improve equality and diversity?

I anticipate the ‘unconscious bias’ workshop as I expect to learn something I didn’t know about discrimination I may be guilty of.

 

About the event:

Time: 15 February 2018 10:00

Location: BMC, Belfragesalen

Contact: lena [dot] christensen [at] stu [dot] lu [dot] se

More information about the event

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