Unconscious bias training alone will not stop discrimination, say critics

When former KPMG boss Bill Michael resigned for telling his staff to stop “playing the victim card” and describing the concept of unconscious bias as “complete and utter crap”, he reignited an ongoing debate about workplace equality.

“There is no such thing as unconscious bias, I don’t buy it,” Michael said in his now infamous virtual meeting. “Because after every single unconscious bias training (UBT) that has ever been done, nothing’s ever improved.”

While studies have repeatedly shown the prevalence of bias and discrimination in the workplace, Michael may have unwittingly touched on a truth: that one-off training sessions might not be the best way to address this.

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