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Bias in the workplace

Whether individuals, believe it or not, conscious and unconscious bias characterizes a

high percentage of the global job market. In the contemporary world, workplace bias has been

associated with negative connotations such as stereotype, prejudice, and discrimination thereby

portraying it as a bad thing. However, Thiederman (2003) asserts that this is no surprise since

bias refers to the tendency of a party to incline to give an unprejudiced of another party or an

underlying issue. Therefore, it is important to note that bias in the workplace may be positive or

negative because they are often personal. As such, they emanate from the involvement of two or

more parties in particular environments or sharing of individual experiences.

The modern workplace is filled with numerous types of biases. However, the areas where

biases are most common are universal throughout the world. For instance, biases are usually

common in the hiring, promotion, and remuneration process of a company (Bielby, 2000). In all

this cases, the responsible company personnel to deal with the activity prefer one party over the

other based on attitudes rather than on qualifications and performance. Resultantly, the

perpetrators of such vices should note that they are creating a disharmonious workforce.

Additionally, they are decreasing the morale of the employees because most workers are bound

to lose the motivation to perform better since the paths to a promotion and better pay are

blocked. Consequently, such actions reduce the productivity and reputation of the entire firm.

Nonetheless, there are various steps or strategies that companies can employ to reduce or

eliminate cases of biases in their operations. Firstly, Thiederman (2003) posits that organizations

must encourage their human personnel to discuss all cases of biases that occurs within their

boundaries because the realization of self-awareness denotes the primary step. Workers must

admit and own to possessing them before they can attempt to address such actions. Subsequently,
the employees and staff must understand and realize the effects that biases may cause in the

decision-making process as well as other activities within their firms. Additionally, the

employers or management must survey the employee body regarding their experiences with

either the conscious and unconscious biases or any hidden obstacles within the institution.

The interventions preferred for implementation must be tailored based on the results of

the survey. Afterward, it is essential to implement practices and policies that ensure that the

recognized biases do not impede on the path towards a harmonious workplace. Then, the

management must develop organizational policy guaranteeing the non-replacement of traditional

structured recruitment processes by employees social networks. The hiring of the companys

personnel must not use sites for assessing the applicants. Ultimately, both federal and private

proprietors may opt to leverage affirmative action compliance as a measure of monitoring the

decisions of top-ranking managers. Such a decision aims at ensuring that all forms of systematic

discrimination are inhibited and blocked from occurring (Bielby, 2000).

One the companies that have taken steps towards address bias in their corporate

operations is the Coca-Cola Company (Thiederman, 2003). In this case, Coca-Cola Company

undertook a series of internal surveys that have made it survive the 2000 challenge of diversity.

As a result, the company learned numerous valuable lessons regarding about biases and its

impact on the workplace. Coca-Cola now provides a better job environment compared to before

the study and the subsequent process of reducing biases. Hence, it innocuous to claim that other

firms may learn from Coca Colas experience or undergo comparable mayhem. Nonetheless,

companies operating today are in a better place because they have a choice to make, unlike

Coca-Cola during the 2000s.


Bielby, W. T. (2000). Minimizing Workplace Gender and Racial Bias. Contemporary Sociology,

29(1), 120-129.

Thiederman, S. B. (2003). Making diversity work: 7 steps for defeating bias in the workplace.

Chicago: Dearborn.