What Implicit Biases Are and Whether Interventions Are Effective (Part Three of Four)

Even though personnel at fund managers may reject explicit stereotypes, they may still hold unconscious biases associated with particular groups, which can influence their behavior. Those implicit biases can be dangerous, infiltrating decisions about prospective candidates for a position or affecting services provided to clients. Can those associations or biases be controlled? Research indicates that certain interventions may be effective at reducing biases in the short term, although it is unclear how durable those effects are. This article, the third in a four-part series, explores implicit biases, their harms and whether they can be reduced in both the short and long term. The first article discussed the lack of diversity within the financial services and alternative investment management industries and explained why fund managers should focus on diversity. The second article analyzed diversity training; performance ratings and hiring tests; grievance procedures; and specific actions managers can take to promote diversity and inclusion. The fourth article will evaluate methods for constraining decision making and review the role that legal and compliance leaders can take to promote diversity and reduce implicit biases. See “IMDDA Offers Fund Managers a Blueprint for Conducting Sexual Harassment Due Diligence” (Aug. 2, 2018).

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