Unconscious Bias Awareness Raising

This webpage is intended to provide you with an overview as to what Unconscious Bias is about and how it can impact on decision making and actions. Below you will find some definitions and links to useful resources such as slides, video clip and articles.


"Unconscious bias refers to a bias that we are unaware of and which happens outside of our control. It is a bias that happens automatically and is triggered by our brain making quick judgements and assessments of people and situations, influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences.

Implicit bias refers to the same area but questions the level to which these biases are unconscious especially as we are being made increasingly aware of them. Once we know that biases are not always explicit, we are responsible for them. We all need to recognise and acknowledge our biases and find ways to mitigate their impact on our behaviour and decisions.” Equality Challenge Unit UK: Unconscious Bias in Higher Education Review 2013.

Further definitions can be found in The Nature of Unconscious Bias by Shire professional Chartered Psychologists



The following five slides provide further insight into Unconscious Bias. These slides are a snapshot of the Unconscious Bias awareness raising programme developed by Dr Pete Jones, Shire Consulting. Dr Jones was contracted by Trinity College Dublin under funding provided by the HEA National Athena SWAN Committee to deliver a programme to representatives from the Higher Education Institutions. Please click here to access: Slides on Unconscious Bias

Video Clips

The Royal Society provides a 3-minute video clip that introduces the key concepts of unconscious bias.

Google also developed a short video clip about making Unconscious Bias at Work conscious. 

Inspiring the Future - Redraw the Balance - This is a film from MullenLowe London and provocatively captures how, early on in their education, children already define career opportunities as male and female. When asked to draw a firefighter, surgeon and a fighter pilot, 61 pictures were drawn of men and only 5 were female.

Dr Pete Jones outlines the science behind unconcious bias in this 23-minute video clip.


Equality Challenge Unit (2013) “Understanding Unconscious Bias

Alexandra Kallv, Erin Kelly, and Frank Dobbin, Best Practices or Best Guesses? Assessing the Efficacy of Corporate Affirmative Action and Diversity Programs, American Sociological Review 71 (2006) 589-617. 

Atewologun, Doyin, Cornish, Tinu, Tres, Fatima, Unconscious Bias Training: An assessment of the evidence for effectiveness 

League of European Research Universities: Implicit Bias in Academia


A conference on unconscious bias is taking place in UCD in Spring 2019 to explore the impact and effectiveness of Unconscious Bias Awareness Raising on the elimination of discrimination. A holistic programme will subsequently be developed to address conscious and unconscious biases.

In the meantime, if a School/Unit wishes to organise a face-to-face Unconscious Bias Awareness Raising session, the following consultants are recommended: 

  1. Claire Mulligan - http://claremulliganconsulting.ie/training/ 
  2. SEVEN psychology http://www.seven.ie/what-seven-offers/what-seven-offers-individuals 
  3. Pearn Kandola  https://www.pearnkandola.com/
  4. Melrona Kirrane https://business.dcu.ie/dcubs/people/melrona-kirrane.shtml