University of Toronto

Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life

Unconscious Bias Education

“Unconscious bias” in academic HR refers to the influence of implicit or unconscious assumptions in the assessment of candidates and faculty. For some groups (women, racialized and Indigenous faculty, faculty with disabilities, among others), patterns of bias contribute to underrepresentation across an institution, in particular fields, or in particular stages of the academic life cycle. Faculty members and committees tasked with making decisions about academic careers or activities can undertake unconscious bias education to more effectively (1) identify and (2) mitigate instances of unconscious bias.

Explore Unconscious Bias Education resources below:

Unconscious Bias Education Talks

Faculty members across the University are available to deliver talks and support for faculty groups (e.g., search committees) on the issue of unconscious bias. Please contact unconscious.bias@utoronto.ca for more information. As an example of one of these talks, Prof. Maydianne Andrade, Canada Research Chair and Vice-Dean, Faculty Affairs & Equity at UTSC, speaks on unconscious bias and challenges to fair assessment:

Overview of Unconscious Bias in the Academic Life Cycle

This document synthesizes research on unconscious bias relevant to the academic and U of T context, providing an overview of common biases in academic decision-making and what those biases look like in action.

WISELI Workshop Materials

In 2016, the University invited the Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to offer a workshop on unconscious bias in faculty hiring and evaluation. Designed for academic administrators and provostial, decanal, and School of Graduate Studies assessors, the session drew about 90 attendees. View materials from that workshop (username: hiring; password: diversity).