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Addressing Unconscious Bias in Higher Education


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Providing unconscious bias training to faculty and staff may reduce discrimination and the impact of bias at the university. Although evidence-based training models exist, effective implementation of those models is critical. Some universities have found that mandatory training can incite backlash, while voluntary training is unlikely to reach those who need it most. In addition, not all biases can be addressed at once; separate trainings are needed for racial bias, gender bias, disability bias, etc. During this webinar, experts on unconscious bias training will share evidence from their research, describe effective models, and discuss challenges for implementation. The speakers will also discuss remaining research gaps that limit the applicability of unconscious bias interventions across different contexts (e.g., admissions) and next steps for expanding the use of this promising practice.

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Addressing Unconscious Bias in Higher Education

  1. 1. Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce Webinar Series Friday, January 13, 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET
  2. 2.  If you cannot hear the audio, check the “Audio” pane on the control panel. You can use your speakers or dial-in using your telephone.  You may ask questions at any time using the chat box.  Handouts
  3. 3.  Webinar series on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce  Share findings from the USU/APLU/AAMC report (July 2016)  Upcoming webinars: work/upcoming-events
  4. 4. Brian K. Gibbs, Ph.D., M.P.A., Vice President Equity and Inclusion, Assistant Professor in Public Health Oregon Health & Science University
  5. 5. Addressing Unconscious Bias in Higher Education Brian K. Gibbs, Ph.D., M.P.A., Vice President Equity and Inclusion, Assistant Professor in Public Health Oregon Health & Science University USU / APL-G U / AAMC Webinar - January 13, 2017
  6. 6. Most Recent Census • Underrepresented minority groups (URGs) make up approximately 28 percent of the U.S. population but are experiencing the greatest population growth—with an 11 percent increase for African Americans and a 37 percent boost for Hispanics between 2000 and 2009. • Minority populations are expected to increase to 54 percent of the U.S. population by 2050, and student diversity is reflected in this demographic change. • Although the student population is becoming increasingly diverse, URGs remain underrepresented in STEM education and careers. Moreover, women, who comprise 48 percent of the U.S. workforce, have remained below parity and make up only 24 percent of STEM professionals. • Underrepresentation of these groups in STEM fields begins early and persists across the P-12, post-secondary, and STEM workforce spectrum. FEDERAL SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) EDUCATION 5-YEAR STRATEGY, National Academy of Sciences, April 2013
  7. 7. How Diversity Makes Us Smarter • Decades of research by organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers show that socially diverse groups (that is, those with a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation) are more innovative than homogeneous groups. • It seems obvious that a group of people with diverse individual expertise would be better than a homogeneous group at solving complex, non-routine problems. It is less obvious that social diversity should work in the same way— yet the science shows that it does. • This is not only because people with different backgrounds bring new information. Simply interacting with individuals who are different forces group members to prepare better, to anticipate alternative viewpoints and to expect that reaching consensus will take effort. Katherine W. Phillips, Scientific American, October 1, 2014
  8. 8. Summary: USU/APLU & AAMC Efforts • Research leaders and experts recommended by USU/APLU Presidents and Chancellors • Three cross-institutional “action groups” formed to examine evidence, institutional strategies and practices within four areas: – Leadership, Organizational Change, and Climate; – Diverse Student Success; – Recruitment and Admissions – Diverse Faculty Hiring and Advancement
  9. 9. Methods: • Literature Review across four content areas • Peer Esteem Snowballing Technique/Key Informant Interviews • Development of Action List • Prioritization by Presidents and Chancellors
  10. 10. Priorities and Future Research: • Clarify Characteristics of Effective Leadership and Action Steps to Impact Diversity • ID Effective Models and Implementation Strategies for Unconscious Bias and Diversity Training • Develop Accurate Methods/Metrics for Measuring Institutional Climate
  11. 11. Unconscious Bias and Diversity Training • Identify effective models – Efficacy on broad scale • Changing Attitudes vs. Behaviors • Cultural Awareness / Humility vs. Unconscious Bias – Cost-effective – Positive Impact • High Impact (Individual vs. Institutional) – Sustainability • Testing Unconscious Bias Training – Adapt, test and assess impact on diversity and inclusion – Funding to support implementation and rigorous evaluation of promising practices
  12. 12. Laura Castillo-Page, Ph.D. Acting Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
  13. 13. “Bias is the process by which the brain uses “mental associations that are so well-established as to operate without awareness, or without intention, or without control” (Project Implicit, Harvard University). “Unconscious Bias is a response that is hidden, automatic, and natural. The ability to distinguish ‘safe’ from ‘dangerous’ – the ability to automatically categorize information – is a fundamental quality of the human mind. It gives order to a world that constantly confronts us with a cacophony of information and stimulus” (Cook Ross).
  14. 14.  Recruitment  Hiring  Performance evaluations  Promotion and tenure  Consideration for leadership positions  Other decision-making processes
  15. 15.  Resumes  Letters of recommendation  Cover letters  Applications  Interview processes
  16. 16. Diversity and Inclusion = Innovation and Productivity Identity diversity among intelligent people on a team contributes more to effective problem-solving than a team comprised of the best-performing, intelligent people without identity diversity. NY Times, 2008 Studies have shown that companies that achieve diversity in their management and on their corporate boards attain better financial results, on average, than other companies. Catalyst, 2004, 2007, 2011
  17. 17. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that unconscious bias may influence the evaluation and selection of candidates. This presentation, created for academic medicine audiences, is designed to acquaint search committees and others with this research as one step toward mitigating the effects of unconscious bias.
  18. 18. Harvard Medical School Everyday Bias Workshop: April 17, 2017 Train the Trainer: April 17 - 20, 2017 Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Everyday Bias Workshop and Train the Trainer: Week of April 10-14, 2017
  19. 19. Janice A. Sabin, PhD, MSW Research Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, University of Washington, School of Medicine
  20. 20. INCREASING FACULTY DIVERSITY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF MEDICINE Janice A. Sabin, PhD, MSW Research Associate Professor Department of Biomedical Informatics/Medical Education UWSOM Center for Health Equity, Diversity & Inclusion © 2016, University of Washington, all rights reserved
  21. 21. UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON DIVERSITY BLUEPRINT 2016 - 2020 Goal: Attract and Retain a Diverse Faculty and Staff > Improve recruitment practices for underrepresented faculty by utilizing best practices > Craft position descriptions to attract diverse applicant pool > Emphasize diversity expertise and research in position description Office of the University of Washington President
  22. 22. UW RESOLUTION CLASS C 9 BULLETIN NO. 539 (UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED, JANUARY 2015 ) “BE IT RESOLVED that all University of Washington faculty search committees be given a mandate and adequate resources to participate in some form of Equity, Access, and Inclusion training developed in collaboration with the Office for Faculty Advancement that informs participants on best practices regarding faculty candidate outreach, assessment, recruitment and retention”
  23. 23. 539 ACCOUNTABILITY “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all UW unit heads are accountable to University leadership for making improvements in the area of faculty diversity by reporting unit participation in “Equity, Access and Inclusion Hiring” training efforts as well as reporting diversity hiring activities and outcomes”
  24. 24. University of Washington Faculty Code: Chapter 24. Section 24-32. Scholarly and Professional Qualifications of Faculty Members In accord with the University's expressed commitment to excellence and equity, contributions in scholarship and research, teaching, and service that address diversity and equal opportunity may be included among the professional and scholarly qualifications for appointment and promotion outlined Below > May evaluate candidate/faculty on their work in these areas gleaned from CV > How to value diversity in an non-affirmative action state VALUE DIVERSITY IN APPOINTMENT & PROMOTION
  25. 25. UW SCHOOL OF MEDICINE RESPONSE TO 539 1. Develop a search committee training that includes science of implicit bias (Sabin,& Morales, © 2016, all rights reserved) 2. Letter from SOM Dean and SOM Chief Diversity Office to all 30 department Chairs mandating that all search committees participate in training
  26. 26. SEARCH COMMITTEE TRAINING CONTENT > UW Mandate > Diversity data: county, state, region, national > Value of diversity: research > Research evidence - bias in hiring > Implicit/Unconscious bias, What is it? How to interrupt it? > Best practices to increase diversity > Resources (tool kit)
  27. 27. EVALUATION METRICS Kirkpatrick Model*: reaction, learn, behavior, outcomes 1. Collect data on training participation 2. Response to training in real time 3. UWSOM HR accountability: HR Applicant Approval Form- check box for training completion 4. UW Office of Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action: collect data applicant pool and new hire pre and post 539 *
  28. 28. RESULTS: UWSOM SEARCH COMMITTEE TRAINING November 2015 - December 2016 > 32 Search Committees (30 in person) > 19 department/divisions (all in person) > 1 diversity committee > 4 individuals trained to give presentation in their departments > 14 individuals completed online
  30. 30. EVALUATION IN PROGRESS/ONGOING > UWSOM HR data tracking training Y/N – If no, requires explanation > Diversity of applicant pool data > Diversity new hires data > UWSOM faculty demographic data over time
  31. 31. LESSONS LEARNED > Do administrators send all faculty applicants a link to the AAIR form? > Is the EOAA data easily accessible? > EOAA data incomplete > Hiring that is not done through national search > Change will take time > Pipeline is an issue
  32. 32. THANK YOU
  33. 33. Janetta Lun, Ph.D. Senior Behavioral Scientist Office of the Director for Scientific Workforce Diversity National Institutes of Health
  34. 34. The Consideration of Motivation in Unconscious Bias Training Janetta Lun, Ph.D. Senior Behavioral Scientist APLU Webinar Series, January 2017
  35. 35. Unconscious Bias Unintentional and unconscious use of stereotypic beliefs to perceive and evaluate an individual or a group of people, which can also affect how we behave towards them.
  36. 36. Objectives of Unconscious Bias Training  Raising awareness of inequities  Raising awareness of stereotype-based biases  Self-reflection and acceptance  Bias reduction strategies ? Motivation to mitigate unconscious bias Carnes et al., 2015; Devine et al, 2012; Smith et al., 2015
  37. 37. Pilot Study at NIH Photo by: NIH Image Gallery Flickr
  38. 38. Education Presentation NIH Mission & Diversity Why Diversity Matters Unconscious Bias as a Barrier to Reaping Benefit of Diversity Strategies to Reduce Unconscious Bias Diversity as a source of creativity and innovation Diversity changes the way you think Evidence
  39. 39. Measures Gender-Science Implicit Association Test Motivation to be Nonprejudice Scale (Selected Items)
  40. 40. I don’t want people to think that I’m biased. I would feel guilty if I am biased. I think being egalitarian is important. Being egalitarian is a part of who I am. I love learning about people. It’s not a priority. Extrinsic Motivatio n Intrinsic Motivation No Motivation Legault, Green-Demers, Grant & Chung (2007) Plant & Devine (1998)
  41. 41. ** * **p< .05, * p<.10
  42. 42. Correlations With IAT Scores Training (n=48) No Training (n=37) Intrinsic -.25 .06 Who I am -.32** -.03 Important -.28* .05 Feel guilty -.13 .13 Appearance -.02 .29** No motivation .27 .17 Global Index -.41** -.13 **p< .05, * p<.10 *Higher IAT score = Greater association between male and science
  43. 43. Taking Motivation into Consideration • Participant-center design o Values of diversity in scientific workforce o Personal engagement o Relevance and applicability • Sustainability
  44. 44.  Please submit questions through the chatbox
  45. 45.  Recording will be emailed to you (feel free to share)  Contact info: ◦ Julia Michaels, Project Manager ◦ (202) 478-6071 ◦  Next webinar… Hiring Diverse Faculty: Promising Practices Thursday, February 2, 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern Time