The Diversity Series: Bias & Prejudice
Everyone is unique and by challenging our assumptions, we can promote inclusive healthcare.
Speaker 1: Diversity is about recognizing that everybody is unique. When it
comes to embracing diversity, an important step is to understand our
own biases and prejudices, because we all have them.
Have you ever spoken a little louder to someone who appears older?
Have you ever spoken a little slower to someone who appears to
come from a different country, or made assumptions about
someone’s relationships? As healthcare professionals, rather than
treating everyone equally, we should treat people fairly.
It’s important to understand the context of a person’s situation as
well as their perspective. It may be different to your own.
You must make sure you are conscious and respectful of how people
wish to interact, including whether to shake hands or make eye
contact. Use inclusive language. For example, rather than saying, “Do
you suffer depression?” why don’t you say, “Are you living with
depression?” placing the person, importantly, before the condition
and removing any negative connotations?
Challenge your assumptions. Remember, many older people can use
modern technology. If someone isn’t engaging with you, don’t
assume them to be rude, as they may just not be able to hear you, or
perhaps eye contact is not appropriate.
Questioning your assumptions is not always easy. We all have
unconscious biases. It’s natural for our brain to categorize our first
impressions of someone based on characteristics like their age,
weight, gender, or skin colour, which can sometimes lead to incorrect
assumptions. It’s important to remember that individual
characteristics do not define a person. Rather, it is the combination
of these traits that makes each person unique and special. Let’s work
together to raise awareness of bias and prejudice to celebrate
diversity in its broadest sense, remembering always that we are more
alike than we are different. Visit our website to learn more about