Cultural Bias Examples

‘Cultural bias’ refers to perspectives, attitudes, and behaviours based on the standards of one’s own culture. Examples of cultural bias include linguistic interpretation, understanding of right and wrong, and racial discrimination, among others. 

These can manifest in multiple ways. For instance, in workplaces, cultural bias might happen during the hiring process if a human resources employee chooses or rejects a candidate based on their ethnicity.

Removing cultural bias is an important aspect of fostering a culturally safe environment. An effective way to help people be more aware of their biases and how these may impact how they behave in the workplace is to engage them in Indigenous training workshops, such as the cultural competency programs offered by Evolve Communities.

What Is Cultural Bias?

Cultural biases are deeply ingrained–and often unconscious–assumptions that one might have based on their own culture. These influence how a person sees and acts towards another who may be culturally different from them and can manifest in various forms, including prejudice, discrimination, and appropriation. 

Cultural Bias and Cultural Safety

Removing cultural bias is an important part of fostering cultural safety. But what is cultural safety in the first place? Cultural safety is a state in which an environment is safe for everyone, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait people, to express and practise their culture. It’s defined by the principles of cultural awareness, competency, sensitivity, and humility. 

A culturally safe space is one where members recognise their own cultural biases and understand how these affect their perceptions and actions so that they can consciously minimise the negative impacts these may bring and work towards promoting inclusivity.

Examples of Cultural Bias

Cultural bias comes in many forms. Here are some examples:

In the Workplace

In professional settings, cultural bias can manifest in multiple ways. One of the most common examples is during the hiring or promotion process when one candidate is preferred over another due to cultural similarities–or alternately, when one candidate is rejected because of cultural differences. Cultural bias can also be seen in instances of workplace violence, like when colleagues discriminate against another when they practise their beliefs openly in the office.

In Public

People often don’t recognise it when they’re affected by their cultural biases in public settings. Often, this happens when people judge others for their behaviours in public because it’s deemed incorrect in their own culture. 

For example, certain hand gestures might be perceived as rude in one culture while acceptable in another. If it’s rude in your culture, you’ll naturally take it as a sign of disrespect, but if in the culture of the other person, it’s completely fine, then there may be a disconnect in the interaction that could cause conflict.

In School

One of the most common ways cultural bias occurs in academic settings is when people assume that everyone is at the same educational level. People from different backgrounds typically have dissimilar schooling experiences, which can affect how they perform in school. This isn’t not to say that one is better than the other; it only means that there are cultural differences.

Risks of Cultural Biases

Cultural biases can be harmful as they perpetuate inequalities and injustices. Some negative consequences of cultural biases include:

  • Misrepresentation: Minimising the complexity of cultures, leading to misinformation, which includes creating and believing in stereotypes
  • Prejudice and discrimination: Perpetuating negative attitudes towards specific cultural groups, contributing to discrimination, unfair treatment, and social exclusion
  • Miscommunication: Hindering effective communication, resulting in conflicts
  • Insensitivity: Withholding understanding of one’s culture, leading to disrespect, appropriation, and offensive behaviour
  • Division: Contributing to tension among different groups, hindering social cohesion
  • Discrimination: Treating others unfairly due to cultural differences

Overcome Cultural Biases with Evolve Communities

Overcoming cultural biases starts with self-awareness. It stems from conscious recognition of one’s biases and acknowledgment of how these may impact one’s perspectives and behaviours. To encourage this reflective practice, it’s important to undergo cultural competency training.

Evolve Communities is dedicated to creating a better and more inclusive Australia by providing organisations with cultural competency training programs. Explore the different courses available and let us help you build a workplace that’s void of cultural biases. Get in touch with Evolve Communities today!

Previous Post
Cultural Safety Principles for All Organisations
Next Post
What Is Cultural Safety?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed