Unconscious bias

Unconscious Bias


The other day my wife told me about a job that had been advertised on a group that she belongs to on Facebook. She said I should apply. She does that quite often, but this time was different. This was a role that I could do quite easily, offered a flexible working week of 15 hours and it was based locally. All in all, it sounded like a great fit. I did some research into the company and it sounded interesting, so I decided to apply.

So, off went my CV along with a covering letter espousing how interested I was in the role and why it would be great to work for the family-run company. The reply that I got back shocked me. It questioned whether I knew the role was relatively basic and only part time. It basically queried why I had even bothered applying! It made me think that the person had not read my covering letter and clearly had a very certain type of person that they coveted for the role. It’s a certain “unconscious bias” if you will.

I know plenty of very capable mums who have taken roles far below their capabilities just so they can be the main carer for their children. City lawyers and accountants who have taken work in administrative roles closer to home. However, should these roles not be open to all? I’m sure the company who told me that “I don’t feel it is a good match as a longer-term solution for either party” will fill the role adequately, but as always, I’m left to feel that roles should be filled by the best person for it, not the one that you think will hang around the longest.

We’re quickly approaching the holiday season, so that means a house full of family and food. I would love to say it’s a chance to recharge the batteries, but with two young children in the house, the chances of that are low. We’ve also got both sets of parents to welcome, so it’s going to be a busy, noisy, but most importantly enjoyable and loving time. I like to take this opportunity to think about what is important to me and to refocus all my efforts in ensuring I do all to help achieve those aims in the New Year.

Wishing you and yours all the best wishes of the season!

*Dad in the park is Richard Cahill.

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