Beyond Unconscious Bias: Empowering inclusiveness in European leadership

The quality and impact of decision-making is key for the development of organisations, for society and for the wider economy. Managers’ decisions have a great role in shaping investments, employment and policymaking. As evidenced by neurosciences, decisions are often affected by unconscious biases as a part of human cognition. While conscious and inclusive leadership practices can enhance the quality of decision-making processes, its role has remained limited on the mediatic, political and academic agenda. Against that background, CEC European Managers has launched a new EU Project to move beyond unconscious bias in EU management.

The EU currently counts around 10 million managers who make millions of decisions every day, affecting the sustainability of our economy, society, and environment. Whether organisational development, investments, recruitments, regulations, or dismissals – leaders’ decisions have far-reaching consequences. While competent management will carefully consider the needs of the organisation and its wider environment, decisions are always influenced by unconscious processes. All people have biases, and biases of all kinds are part of our unconsciousness.

Against that background, CEC European Managers highlights the importance of enhancing the quality of decision-making processes in leadership. With its new 18-month EU Project “Beyond Unconscious Bias: empowering inclusiveness in European leadership” (BEYUNBI), CEC will study the prevalence of unconscious bias among managers in the EU and develop an EU pilot training scheme on unconscious biases and ways of moving beyond it. How can we learn to be aware of our unconscious biases and which kind of guidance can help us in benefitting decision making, particularly within the European labour market and for delivering on the SDGs?

The project will develop leadership guidance and promote managers’ skills to identify and overcome unconscious bias in their professional practice. In this way, managers can contribute for instance to gender equality and fighting discrimination on the workplace, improving working conditions for all by establishing more open and welcoming working environments, while creating quality opportunities for all workers to express their full professional and human potential. For the EU to deliver on diversity and inclusion, gender equality and other priorities, it is key to improve the quality of managers’ decision-making.

The EU project is co-funded by the European Commission (DG Employment) and CEC European Managers as project leader. The project partners are Lederne (Denmark), CFE-CGC (France) and Eurocadres (EU). Among the deliverables count an EU study on unconscious bias in management, an EU training scheme, public conferences and a project website. To reflect CEC’s value of transparency and as a way to limit potential effects of unconscious biases, CEC has decided to publish three calls for tenders for the project: for the research, project consulting and graphic design.

More information and call for tenders

BEYUNBI project description
Call for researchers
Call for consultants
Call for graphic designers