‘Unconscious Bias’ Diversity Training Suspended In UK Government Following Study That Found It Ineffective And Harmful

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Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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The British government is abandoning its “unconscious bias” diversity training after a review found that they were ineffective and in some cases, harmful, the Telegraph reported.

An assessment of the training was carried out after Tory members of parliament (MPs) criticized them for being part of a “woke agenda” that only sought to enrich the consultants leading the sessions. The sessions are purported to teach workers about implicit prejudices they may have against others, often based on race or sex, and have cost taxpayers more than £370,000, or nearly $500,000, over five years.

Nearly 170,000 government employees went through the trainings, which became a requirement in 2014 and began to include multiple modules in diversity and inclusion. However, the government says there’s no evidence that it changes attitudes or behaviors or improves workplace equality.

A prior assessment also found that the trainings were not achieving their stated goals. “This training has been implemented even though some academic research and reports have highlighted the ineffectiveness, and even the negative effects, of UBT [unconscious bias training],” the Equality and Human Rights Commission reported in 2018. 

Neil O’Brien, a Tory MP, supported the decision to end the trainings, and told the Telegraph that “taxpayers would much rather see their hard-earned money on more productive, less divisive things.”

Similar trainings have taken place in public institutions across the U.S., including schools and federal agencies.

Sandia National Laboratories, a federal lab, reportedly hosted a three-day mandatory training for its white male executives where they were instructed to apologize for their privilege, along with other tasks such as acknowledging the connection between “white male culture” and mass killings. (RELATED: Leaked Docs Show US Gov Nuclear Facility Held ‘3-Day Reeducation Camps’ For White Men)

A San Diego public school district was reportedly requiring its teachers to attend similar trainings on “white privilege” where they were expected to recognize their roles in perpetuating racism. 

While some characterize the sessions as “sensitivity training,” President Donald Trump and his allies have referred to them as trainings on Critical Race Theory, which views interactions through the prism of race. In September, Trump ordered all federal agencies to end the sessions, calling them “divisive, anti-American propaganda.”