What is ‘unconscious bias’ you ask? We all have an innate urge to judge something, or someone, based on their background, without even realising. But in a nutshell, you could say ‘unconscious bias’ is like judging a book by its cover.
I’m pretty sure most of us like to believe we don’t do this and only judge someone on their capabilities alone.
The Dots, a recruitment platform offering a diverse collection of talented creatives, recently introduced a biased blocker to help stop that initial judgement. The ‘bias blocker’ lets employers hide someone’s identity, including gender, race and age – so they can focus solely on the quality of their work.
On The Dots’ own website, their values state:
“Born out of a genuine passion to make the creative industries more open and diverse, founder Pip Jamieson launched the platform in 2014… connecting, supporting and championing the people, teams and companies that make ideas happen.” – The Dots
I love the overall essence of what they’re trying to do. As a young female creative in the industry myself, I’ve felt the pressure of job hunting. My biggest worry is being judged on looking like a young, inexperienced blonde. Even though I’m 25 and heading towards the big 3-0, I’m still being ID’d for scratch cards and energy drinks. I worried that employers would take one look at me and wouldn’t take me seriously, despite having 5 years’ experience. The bias blocker would’ve allowed my work to speak for itself.
However, I feel the tool falls flat not being a permanent feature. If an employer was to view work using the bias blocker, they then have the option to turn it off and check their choices once they’ve narrowed down their decisions. Although hopeful they wouldn’t do this, people are naturally too curious. It would’ve been very bold for The Dots to make this feature permanent, but it would’ve been a great step towards a more diverse industry.
I’ll end this post on this statistic: Currently, the design industry is 90% white and nearly 60% male (source: Design Week).
If more recruitment companies viewed without being biased, what would our industry look like?
How do you feel about the concept of a bias blocker? Join the conversation on our Twitter.