A bizarre BBC training workshop tells managers to keep up their blood sugar levels – because tiredness could lead them to drop their guard and racially profile job candidates, the Daily Mail can reveal.
The in-house programme to tackle ‘unconscious bias’ – a discredited technique – also tells senior staff not to organise team drinks unless they know everyone can attend because someone may feel ‘left out’.
And it says employees must accept they are all capable of ‘micro-incivilities’ which have a ‘huge impact’ on colleagues’ wellbeing.
The BBC has issued new training guidelines to managers so they avoid unconscious bias
The BBC was forced to hand over details of the course by the Information Commissioner’s Office after twice declining freedom of information requests by the Mail.
The corporation is continuing to run the programme despite the Government Equalities Office finding ‘no evidence’ that unconscious bias training improved workplace equality. The Civil Service dropped such sessions last year after citing work by psychologist Patrick Forscher showing they didn’t work.
All managers must sit the course and the BBC has said it aims for 95 per cent of staff to participate.
Presentation slides reveal bosses are instructed to ‘take a deep breath’ and consider whether they are about to commit a ‘microaggression’ – or unintentionally discriminate against someone – before making any decisions.
Guidance to bosses interviewing job candidates advises them that if they feel tired they may pick someone based on unconscious racism.
It states: ‘When you’re recruiting, ensure your blood sugar levels don’t become low. Low energy, tiredness and low blood sugar increase our reliance on assumptions and bias.’
A ‘riddle’ asks staff to guess the identity of a surgeon and anyone who assumes they are male is labelled as having a ‘gender bias’ – despite 80 per cent of UK surgeons being male.
A training video includes examples of racist and sexist behaviour BBC employees have endured, with actors voicing complaints made by anonymous victims
A training video includes examples of racist and sexist behaviour BBC employees have endured, with actors voicing complaints made by anonymous victims.
An Asian man says: ‘I’ve been called loads of names in the office, like Rishi, Raj, Sandeep as well. None of them are even my name.’
And a northern woman says she is asked in meetings about ‘how we do things ‘up North’. She adds there is ‘an assumption that we’re a bit provincial or parochial … especially from people who have never ventured far from the South East’.
The BBC said: ‘Some of this may seem obvious or straightforward, but it deals with every day occurrences and is only a small part of the training package. That said, making sure as many of a team as possible can take part in an event doesn’t seem like terrible advice.’
Source: Daily Mail UK