If Ethena exists to build ethical and inclusive teams — and according to our About page, we do — then we’ve just hit a major milestone: it’s our newest course, Unconscious Bias

As the architects of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training beloved worldwide by our customers and learners, we know that effective training does more than just name the problem: it empowers people to create the compassionate and inclusive workplaces they deserve. Bringing our signature empathy, nuance, and wit to unconscious bias training was a natural next step.

We’re thrilled to share this impactful course with you — so thrilled, in fact, that we hope you’ll allow us to tell you all about it right now.

What is Unconscious Bias training?

Unconscious bias training aims to help people recognize the internal biases that cause inaccurate snap judgments that get in the way of equitable workplace behavior. And when unconscious bias training is effective, it does more than just raise awareness. Effective unconscious bias training for employees provides actionable tools to reduce bias as it actually appears in the workplace: everywhere from the hiring process, to promotions, to the everyday moments that add up.

Let’s get a little more specific about these internal biases. What exactly are we talking about here? 

Unconscious bias, also often called implicit bias, is a prejudice toward or against a particular person, group, or thing — which the person who holds the bias is unaware of. We often talk about unconscious bias as it relates to race and gender; but it also includes characteristics like:

  • Age
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Weight
  • And more

Basically, anything you can make a judgment about, you can develop an unconscious bias around.

If that problem sounds intractable, never fear: it’s exactly what our Unconscious Bias training was built to address.

Screenshot from Ethena’s Unconscious Bias training course

Unconscious Bias training for employees: who needs it?

While we are trying to sell you something, we aren’t just trying to sell you something when we say that all employees, from individual contributors to the highest echelons of the C-suite, can benefit from unconscious bias training.

Why? Because the fact is that everyone has unconscious bias. Biases are part of being human, and our brains are pros at sorting and categorizing data. This can lead to discrimination and false assumptions — a tendency that’s exacerbated by work stressors like tight deadlines and the pressure to deliver.

Research shows that unconscious biases develop at an early age and have real-world effects on adult behavior. Studies have found, for example, that fake resumes with white-sounding names are granted interviews more often than identical resumes with Black-sounding names. Any serious commitment to DEI in the workplace needs to address patterns of prejudice like these. 

And they are eminently addressable. Unconscious bias training for employees names and breaks down these biases, teaching people not only how to see them, but also how to interrupt biased thinking and course-correct towards equitability and inclusiveness in their own behavior and in their organization at large. 

What topics are covered in Ethena’s Unconscious Bias training?

Here’s a taste of what our Unconscious Bias training has to offer — we surface topics like these in nuanced, real-world situations that your employees can relate to:

  • Forms of unconscious bias and how to recognize them
  • Intersectionality
  • Microaggressions
  • Bias in hiring
  • Bias in hierarchical relationships

Does Unconscious Bias training work?

So what can unconscious bias training do for your organization? Why is it such a cornerstone of an effective DEI program? We’re so glad you asked.

1. It promotes an inclusive workplace

Effective unconscious bias training increases an individual’s awareness of their own bias and its impact on others. Recognizing one’s biases is the first step to listening and being open to different ideas and perspectives — an absolute necessity for a workplace that empowers everyone to bring their whole selves to work and makes use of their broad range of skills. 

And when your training gives you actionable strategies for countering bias, you can be part of the rewarding and necessary work of making your workplace more respectful, more inclusive, and safer for everyone.

2. It shows that you take this stuff seriously

Saying you’re committed to something without making any actual commitment might be worse than doing nothing at all — and people can tell the difference. Investing in unconscious bias training that not only works, but also addresses your employees like real people signals that your leadership is ready to put in the time and effort it takes to build a healthy workplace culture. 

A solid commitment to DEI starts and is maintained by the tone at the top; and unconscious bias training gives everyone at the organization a shared language for understanding and talking about bias.

3. It leads to better decision-making

We know the business case for diversity: among scores of other stats, gender-diverse teams make better business decisions 73% of the time, and teams with a range of ages and geographic locations report better decisions 87% of the time as compared to individual decision-makers. 

But what you might not be aware of is the fact that unconscious bias has a downward-spiraling effect on decision-making: biased and unconsidered decisions in the workplace lead to homogenous groups with predictable thinking — which leads to more biased decisions. And diversity initiatives are doomed to fail when the organization doesn’t invest in the inclusion and belonging efforts that keep and nurture talent. 

Screenshot from Ethena’s Unconscious Bias training course

What makes Ethena’s Unconscious Bias training stand out?

Does unconscious bias training work? Short answer: it does when it’s done right.

And since we know there are plenty of unconscious bias courses out there, here’s what makes ours the one to stand out from the crowd — and make all the difference for you and your org.

Ultra-flexible admin tools

When we say we meet your employees where they are, we mean it quite literally. With dozens of integrations and automatic assignments, Ethena is built to help you reach the people you need to, when you want to (without committing your entire calendar to the task). 

Employee time used well

We deliver high-impact lessons in manageable sizes so people can learn at their own pace. We automatically save your employees’ progress so they can pick up where they left off without missing a beat or repeating a step.

Content that hits the mark

We don’t talk down, and we don’t drone on. We know that ineffective bias training can have the opposite effect it intends to — leaving people feeling angry, discouraged, and threatened — so we situate our training in the real world and focus on actionable steps that employees can integrate into their work. But don’t take our word for it: Ethena has over one million positive reviews from learners who come away feeling knowledgeable and empowered. 

Good training is effective training

This is actually the reason we were cofounded — off the question, “If ineffective training does more harm than good, then why do we all settle for the status quo?” (No seriously, why??)

In developing our flagship Harassment Prevention course, we turned up some pretty compelling research: When you make training modern, relevant, and most of all, engaging, people pay attention and they learn. And when people learn, they have the power to change their behavior. It’s as simple as that.

See what effective Unconscious Bias training can do for you

Unconscious bias is insidious because it’s impossible to fix a problem you’re not even aware of. Building an inclusive workplace starts with understanding these biases — why they come about, how they manifest, and what each of us can do to combat them. It’s hard work, but it’s necessary — and it’s work your employees are ready to do.

Ready to start the journey? Let’s talk. Or, if you want to see an example of our training for yourself, preview a sample of our new Unconscious Bias training today.

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