Possible unconscious bias in recruitment and promotion and the need to promote equality

Geoffrey Beattie, Patrick Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Legislation to outlaw discrimination has existed for over forty years. The Equality Act (2010) states that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a candidate for a job because of their age, disability, race, belief, sexual orientation or gender in any part of the recruitment process--in job descriptions, person specifications, application forms, during interviews, in tests, or in short-listing. Anti-discrimination legislation has no doubt raised awareness and helped to challenge discriminatory behaviour, but is all of this enough to help prevent discrimination, exclusion and inequality? Many have argued more generally that racial inequality in recruitment between minority ethnic groups and the majority white population continues to represent a persistent source of social and economic injustice. After controlling for age, socio-economic status and number of years in education, research shows that minority ethnic groups still face a significant "net" disadvantage in terms of gaining access to and remaining in the labour market. In this article, the authors explore possible unconscious bias in recruitment and promotion, and discuss the need to promote equality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Equality and Diversity
  • discriminación


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