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‘Better by Design’ – Racially De-biasing Recruitment & Selection Processes; CIPD B&MK

CIPD Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Branch

Wednesday, 5 June 2019 from 12:00 to 17:00 (BST)

‘Better by Design’ – Racially De-biasing Recruitment &...

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Type End Quantity
Member (free) 1 Jun 2019 Free  
Non-Member 1 Jun 2019 Free  
CIPD Student 1 Jun 2019 Free  

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Event Details

There are well established arguments supporting how diverse workforces can be better at making decisions than homogenous ones leading to higher financial returns as well as contributing to creating cohesive, sustainable communities. Women are as good as men, disabilities are merely different ways of working and ethnicity/skin colour has no impact on a person’s ability to perform a job.


The purpose of this event is to safely explore how employers and their recruiting partners understand where these biases can come from, how they creep into the hiring process and some strategies for mitigating the negative effect at both an individual decision maker level and in the design of recruitment processes, with a particular focus on ethnicity/race. As part of the CIPD Code of Coduct we have a duty to mitigate both overt and covert/unconscious bias in a more proactive way than we have been doing.


Research reports from a range of reputable sources (UKGov, Nuffield College – University of Oxford, Business in the Community; Runneymede Trust; Professor Kalwant Bhopal, Professor Sonia Kang, findings in the Guardian’s ‘Bias in Britian’ Series in November 2018, etc) continues to support how hidden bias can stop ethnic minorities getting employment or progressing in organisations as evidence by disproportionately lower representation in key professions, leadership, certain sectors and concentration in precarious employment patterns feeding into the ethnicity pay gap and levels of poverty. This is despite higher levels of BAME in parts of the UK, like London with a 51.3% BAME population. Minority ethnic candidates have to send 80% more applications to get a positive response compared to white-British, especially job-seekers with ‘foreign’ sounding names getting fewer call backs for interview.

The homogeneity of in-house gatekeepers, recruitment partners, as well as existing employees who are rewarded for making personal referrals, can add a further barrier due to lack of diversity in our network of contacts. The failure to audit the recruitment process at each stage to measure the impact or seek evidence of the lived experience of BAME candidates means we are destined to maintain the status quo despite the aspirational statements of employer branding messages, increasingly sophisticated with the use of unrepresentative corporate videos, websites and recruitment literature.


We all have biases but the sensitive nature of racial bias can make talking about it particularly difficult, including understanding the added effect of intersectionality inherent in the employment prospects for Muslim women of colour who face a triple penality.


Whilst some BAME candidates attempt to mitigate the bias they expect to see via ‘CV whitening’ and other methods in order to progress, there is an urgent need for organisations to re-visit why their Diveristy and Inclusion interventions so far have not yielded measurable changes since the late 1960’s despite enactment of anti-discrimination laws 50+ years ago. Whilst discrimination is unlawful, it does not mean it does not happen and candidates fear the stigma of bringing race claims as well as the stress and cost of pursuing claims.


In many cases, recruiters may not even be aware of how unintended biases influence who they hire. Hirers often rely on the prototype of the last person in the role as a reference point for notions of successful workers. We are inherently drawn to people like ourselves, leading to risk-averse behaviours.


Key themes include

Session 1: Setting the scene: Evidence of racial disparity in recruitment

Session 2: Better by Design

  • Overview of Bias; Testing Recruiters for bias and strategies for mitigating negative effects
  • Basic overview of Bias Test construction and benefits of testing recruitment decision makers
  • Strategies and tips for racially de-biasing the recruitment processes – pros and cons: ‘blind’ CV’s/Job Applications, Job descriptions, notions of ‘cultural fit’ and the ‘right’ candidate; language used in advertisements, candidate sourcing, marking and scoring systems; interviewers’and sifter guides



Session 3: The lived experience of BAME candidates in recruitment and promotion processes

• Using Emotional & Cultural Intelligence assessment tools, training and coaching to de-bias recruiter decision making
• Risks and fears in giving candidate interview feedback
• Understanding how pay decisions at Recruitment stage feeds into the Ethnicity Pay Gap
• Accountability for an action focused approach to deliver measurable results



Session 4: Minimising bias in recruitment process and systems:

o Attracting talent from all corners of society;
o How to present an inclusive employer story to prospective applicants;
o How and when to use automation, video interviews and AI and still maintain fairness
o Gathering feedback and improving your process


Learning style:

  • Knowledge sharing with Expert Speakers; Q&A/discussion;
  • Networking to Share delegate challenges and solutions
  • Opportunity to complete an on-line Bias Test pre-event (link will be sent to booked delegates)
  • Handouts and further reading

Host:  Safia Boot – Chairman CIPD Milton Keynes Group & Founder Respect at Work Limited.  Safia has provided leadership to the CIPD MK Group for 15 years+. Safia is an experienced ET Panel Member, Advisor to Magistrate Judges on discrimination cases, Mediator and former CIPD Disciplinary Chair for the Professional Code of Conduct. She is highly regarded in the private and public sector as an independent HR/ER Consultant, Trainer, Mediator and Independent Investigator for complex/high risk discrimination, using a forensic methodology for making findings of fact relating to bullying, harassment and misconduct cases of a sensitive nature (including race, gender, etc). She has particular expertise in the practical application of diversity and inclusion and dealing with conflict management. Safia also serves as a Trustee with St. Francis Children’s Charity (Adoption & Fostering).


Speaker 1 – Dr. Pete Jones – Founder Shire Professional. Pete is a Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Scientist with a background in psychometrics and assessment. He is a former research manager at the UK Home Office. Pete is the UK’s leading applied subject matter expert on unconscious bias.  He has provided research, training and consultancy across the HEI sector from Faculty Exec. Boards, Student Union officers, researchers and support staff managers. He has delivered unconscious bias training for the Institute of Physics and the Society for General Microbiology. In the private sector he has provided research and consultancy services and trained board members and managerial staff in companies including Allianz, C A Technology, BAE, RBS Group, Goldman Sachs, ASDA, Atkins, and Babcock. He was the co-author of the 2013 Equality Challenge Unit report on bias in selection in HEI. Pete is the developer of an unconscious bias test platform for measuring unconscious biases and their likely impact upon decisions and behaviour at work. Pete talks openly about his own biases and his attempts to mitigate their effects.  

Speaker 2 -  Dianne Greyson, Director Synergised Solutions: Dianne is an entrepreneur, write and Author of ‘Business Culture Review’. Dianne runs a HR Consultancy and Mediation Service. She is a very well known HR specialist who has worked for the Private and Public Sector for over 20 years. Dianne is the Founder of the #EthnicityPayGap movement, bringing awareness of the issues that those with an ethnic background face in relation to pay. She has a passion for championing the benefits of a diverse workforce and has written several articles on this subject.  Dianne is a Board Member for a Certitude and a Board Advisor for Society of Emotional Intelligence (UK). She also gives support to A2iDyslexia Charity and is a Mentor for the Stephen Lawrence Foundation. She has recently signed up to be a role model for BTEG and nominated for ‘Entrepreneur of Excellence’ for the National Diversity Awards.

Speaker 3 -  Jacqueline Hinds, Director Synergised Solutions: Jacqueline Hinds is the Board Chair & International Liaison for the Society of Emotional Intelligence International and UK Chapter. She is a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach & Leadership consultant and, a Leadership Fellow with the Society of Leadership Fellows, St George’s House, Windsor Castle. She has over 25 years expertise within the HR, working with key corporate and public sector organisations. More recently she has been collaborating within the Cybersecurity areana as a Collaborative Partner and Adivisory Member of the SHe CISO Exec. Leadership programme. She is passionate about people; helping them to realise, unlock and release their true potential to be the best they can possibly be; whether its through coaching, personal development, emotional and cultural intelligence training and/or coaching including 1:1 feedback assessment. Her diverse skills and abilities, enable her to provide a bespoke service tailored specifically for her clients’ needs.

Speaker 4 – Adrian McDonagh, Founder Easy Web Group Adrian McDonagh founded EasyWeb Group in 2005. He oversees the training and technology teams at EasyWeb. His formal job title is “Chief Ideas Officer” which probably says more about his personality than what his job entails. The best explanation we could get from him was “Part-time trainer, part-time product manager, part-time business owner, full time online recruitment ninja” – make of that what you will.


[Please note: Timings: Themes; may be refined by speakers]


12:00-12:30     Delegate Registration, Lunch & Networking

12:30-12:45     S1: Introduction – Safia Boot

12:45-14:45     S2: Bias Testing and Racially De-biasing Recruitment Processes – Dr Pete Jones
14:45-15:00     Tea/Coffee Break

15:00-16:00     S3: The Challenges of Recruitment & Selection Life Cycle – Dianne Greyson and

Jacqueline Hinds

16:00-16:30     S4: Benefits and & Risks in recruitment automation: Adrian McDonagh

16:30-16:45     Speaker Panel Q&A/Plenary Review

16:45-17:00     Feedback forms/Raffle Prize/close

Further speakers may be included; themes may be subject to change – please check for updates



Professional photography and video production will be taking place at the event, and these images may be used on future promotional materials for CIPD. Please note that by attending the event, you are giving your consent for your image to be used on any CIPD promotional materials.

Do you have questions about ‘Better by Design’ – Racially De-biasing Recruitment & Selection Processes; CIPD B&MK? Contact CIPD Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Branch

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When & Where

Milton Keynes Conference Centre
Strudwick Drive
MK6 2TG Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

Wednesday, 5 June 2019 from 12:00 to 17:00 (BST)

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CIPD Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Branch

The CIPD Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Branch provides opportunities for its members to network with local HR and L& D professionals,

Embracing Championing Better Work and Working Lives, our programme of events promotes development and networking e.g. updates on employment law, skills development for the CIPD Profession Map and CPD supporting upgrading.

Our events are organised through two geographical groups, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes, together with our special interest groups Learning Matters and Mentoring scheme.


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