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Uncovering unconscious bias

Unconscious bias says Patrick Lancaster with the City of Lloydminster is “the shortcuts that your brain takes when trying to group information or make quick decisions.”

Lancaster has been with the city for 15-years and has been the manager of social services and programs for a decade.

The city is hosting two workshops to shine light on the topic of unconscious bias. An all-day workshop is planned for June 2 and a shorter three-hour session will be on June 3 both taking place at Best Western, 1402 – 50 Avenue.

Lancaster digs deeper by alluding to the information that is used when making a decision.

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“Are we allowing certain biases or perceptions to get in the way of our judgement – and are we being inclusive and aware of the decisions that we are making.”

Lancaster says the sessions are open to anyone who wants a better understanding of biases, how we perceive the world and make decisions. This includes hiring managers and those in decision-making roles.

Planners indicate the all-day session will cover:

  • Understand unconscious bias and the ways it can show up in the workplace
  • Explore ways bias shows up in the way we interact with colleagues
  • Increase communication skills related to bias with tools to support challenging conversations related to bias
  • Explore methods to help check bias in the way decisions are made

Lancaster says the city in conversations with various community groups have been hearing about various topics and they are using their resources to bring facilitators on these topics to the community.

“We have been talking to different community partners – working with the Lloydminster Local Immigration Partnership and different groups. They have expressed an interest in seeing some additional training and support around different topics ranging from cultural awareness to working with different groups and trauma informed care,” says Lancaster.

The social services and program manager says the whole day workshop will be more in-depth, while for those who can’t come that day, the shorter session on the following day would be suited for that audience.

Lunch will be provided at the all-day session on Friday June 2, which goes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The three-hour workshop will be on Saturday June 3 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Full details are on the city’s website.

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