Biltir hosts training to combat unconscious bias
An insurance industry group has hosted a diversity and inclusion training seminar for its members that was aimed at tackling unconscious bias in the workplace.
The Bermuda International Long Term Insurers and Reinsurers represent 65 companies supporting the island’s life insurance sector.
Biltir said the session was the latest in a series of ongoing diversity and inclusion training events being held by the organisation. It added that the series is one way that Biltir can support its member companies on their diversity and inclusion journeys.
Unconscious bias, also called implicit bias, refers to subconscious preferences that individuals can have for people or groups that can unintentionally influence behaviour and decision making, Biltir said.
Rachel Field, the founder and principal of R.K. Field LLC, hosted the well-attended virtual session. Her organisation develops diversity, equity and inclusion programmes for international companies and non-profit organisations.
Biltir said participants were enthusiastically engaged in the dynamic interactive session, with many sharing personal stories and experiences.
Sylvia Oliveira, chairwoman of Biltir, said: “As pre-work to our session, attendees were encouraged to take Harvard University’s Implicit Association Test online, to understand our own individual implicit biases. Some of the results were surprising, but we learned that it is normal for people to have unconscious biases that run counter to our values.”
She added: “The bad news is that these hidden biases can unintentionally impact decision making, such as hiring or performance reviews. The good news is that once we have awareness, we can use our conscious values to prevent biased decisions.
“Participants were each left with a call to action to select and execute on at least one tangible activity that will interrupt our unconscious biases. The level of engagement, enthusiasm and commitment from attendees made it clear that all are passionate about taking positive actions to improve the diversity and inclusion within their firms.”