When is discrimination bad behaviour, and not unconscious bias? Has unconcious bias training gone a step too far? Starbucks recently responded to the scandalous discrimination against two African-American customers in Philadelphia by closing all of its 8,000 stores in North America to provide training for its employees to address unconscious bias.
Should StarBucks have called out the manager in question for discrimination instead?
Unconcious bias training seems to be all the rage in organisations both in the United States, and Australia.
Lucy Taksa, Macquarie University Professor of Management and Associate Dean of Research, and Louise Thornthwaite, Macquarie University Senior Lecturer, Department of Marketing and Management, say unconscious bias is a ‘get out of jail free card’ allowing people to deny that they engaged in intentionally discriminating and exclusionary illegal behaviour. See their article in The Conversation