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Center of Excellence Women and Science

Gender Bias In Academia And Research

Resources For Reducing Gender Bias

We cannot eliminate implicit bias ultimately, but under certain conditions, people can be sensitized to relevant issues so that, for example, gender bias is reduced. Support from an organization's management level is necessary to recognize and anchor the topic as a task and challenge for the entire organization. In addition, structural measures are required at various levels, which must be accompanied by constant monitoring.

The following videos, guides, checklists, and practical handouts provide initial orientation on gender bias in academia and research. The links will take you to the respective pages if the videos are not embedded directly on our site. In addition to introductory materials that contribute to the general understanding of (gender) bias and focus on the topic of bias in academia and research, specific materials on awareness raising, recruitment and selection processes, and materials for gender-sensitive teaching are available.

The following videos are introductions to bias in academia and research: They provide an overview of bias, how it is researched, and the specific issues in academia and research that need to be addressed to identify and reduce bias. The videos vary in length from a few minutes to hour-long lectures.

The Academy of Science, The Royal Society, released the informative animated video Understanding unconscious bias, which explains bias in basic terms. An accompanying handout with basics, counter strategies, and action orientations is available here. [2:59 min]

  • In its toolbox, Freie Universität zu Berlin provides an introductory video by Dr. Sara-Jane Finlay on "Unconscious bias and its impact on equal opportunities“
  • The WEPAN Women in Engineering ProActive Network research network provides two videos and an online course that explain the topic Unintended Bias in Engineering Education. As an introduction, they are suitable for interested parties outside of engineering education.
  • The UCLA University of California Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion website provides numerous videos introducing the topic of implicit bias. The videos include animations and short lectures to highlight basic bias reduction studies and strategies. The following links will take you to the individual pages of each of the three- to five-minute videos:

Preface: Biases and Heuristics

Lesson 2: Attitudes and Stereotypes

Lesson 4: Explicit v. Implicit Bias

Lesson 6: Countermeasures

This video is also suitable for training managers on bias reduction measures in recruitment and appointment procedures.

Lesson 1: Schemas

Lesson 3: Real World Consequences

Lesson 5: The IAT

Hidden Injustice: Bias on the Bench

In addition, there are now countless presentations by experts and interviews with scientists on the topic of gender bias. A selection is available under the following links:

Dr. Julia Sperling, neuroscientist and partner at McKinsey & Company, explains in her speech “Unconscious Bias and Ingrained Beliefs“ how bias arises and can be influenced. She addresses aspects of female leadership and the mini-me effect. [5:59 min]

In the Immaculate Perception presentation, Jerry Kang, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UCLA University of California, demonstrates the connection of automatic perception patterns to Explicit and Implicit Bias. The presentation slides and selected research examples illustrate the procedures of bias research. [13:58 min]

Caroline Simard provides an introductory and a summary of key study findings on bias in science in the Implicit Bias in Science interview with the Berkeley Lab research facility. [16:22 min]

The Creating a Level Playing Field lecture from the Michelle Online Feminism Conference. R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University presents essential aspects of gender bias and individual counterstrategies of each interviewee. [25:04 min]

Facebook Learning & Development's Managing unconscious bias workshop video is available in individual video modules. It includes short presentations on different types of bias and highlights counterstrategies in the work context that should lead to more successful collaboration. [1:05:16 std]

At the 2012 Annual Meeting of the LCLD Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Jerry Kang's speech highlights bias in the organisational context and among lawyers* using classic studies. The lecture is available in individual short video excerpts. In the Nice Ladies video excerpt, Kang discusses gender bias in performance evaluations of women and men. In Emily vs. Lakisha, Kang highlights bias toward female applicants based on their names. He presents his findings on bias against white and Asian female lawyers in Are Ideal Litigators White?

One strategy to identify and reduce (gender) bias is to make it visible and raise awareness among scholars and individuals who belong to black and minority ethnic groups. The following materials highlight forms of sensitization and visibility:

Drawing on the voting patterns for the U.S. election of Clinton and Trump, the panel organized by Roosevelt House at the City University of New York discusses How Did Clinton Lose? How Do Women Win? bias researchers Rudman and Moss-Racusin gender bias, sexism, and leadership positions, among others, using recent research on gender bias. [1:29:34 hrs]

In university personnel recruitment, bias can arise in performance evaluations and application interviews. To identify and reduce these, institutes and initiatives have also published manuals and checklists and numerous videos.

  • For business and academia, the Anti-Bias platform uses a checklist to show criteria for implementing an anonymous application process at the institutional level. Regarding the individual level, the platform provides for members of selection committees a collection of study results on bias during the selection interview as well as counter strategies.

Some institutes and initiatives have published videos to identify and reduce gender bias in recruitment. They are available via the following links and can be used in gender equality work:

The Bureau de l'égalité of L'Université de Lausanne shows in the animated film Eviter les biais de genre lors de nominations professorales (French; English subtitles) where gender bias is present in the selection process and how it can be avoided in this process. [04:15 min]

In the video Recruitment Bias in Research Institutes of the Institució CERCA (Catalan Research Centres Institute), individual intervention possibilities are presented by means of a role play in order to disclose and reduce occurring bias in the selection process. [07:59 min]

The role-play Interrupting Bias in the Faculty Search Process at the University of Washington presents possible interventions in bias situations in the selection process. The four selection committee members discuss applicants' qualifications for an advertised position in the video. Individual free activation via the website is required to view the short film. The accompanying handout explains various forms of bias occurrence, such as cloning or negative/positive stereotypes. [06:04 min]

The following guides help avoid gender bias in selection processes:

Gender bias exists not only in academia and research but can also affect teaching. Gender-sensitive teaching can reduce or avoid gender bias in teaching.

The materials listed here can help:

The videos can be viewed in full screen mode. To do so, start the video and then click on the full screen icon in the lower right corner of the video player.