63 members of QUB's School of Mathematics and Physics attended the unconscious bias workshop in January 2016.
Out of those, 54 completed the exit survey on which the following plots are based.
The participants attended a talk given by Dr. Katja Poppenhaeger on unconscious bias and performed an online self-test for their unconscious bias afterwards, using the Harvard Implicit Association Test for Gender-Science association.
Here is some information about the demographics of the participants:
Participants' role at the university:
Participants' affiliation with one of the research clusters at QUB's School of Mathematics and Physics:
Here are the results of the implicit association test. The test evaluated how strongly one associates the male or female gender with natural sciences. (Non-binary genders and their perceived association with science are not evaluated in this particular test.) Possible results ranged from a strong male-plus-science association to a strong female-plus-science association. The participants showed an overall tendency to associate the male gender more strongly with science than the female gender.
We also asked the participants if they were surprised by the result of the test. Overall, the participants' expectation and the actual result were similar.
The results achieved on the test were different for the female and male participant groups; overall, female participants showed less tendency to associate the male gender with science and were more likely to display no gender association with science at all.
We compared if the average age of the participants had an effect on the test result. Using the two largest participant groups, PhD students were used as the on average younger test group, and academic staff as the on average older test group. Both groups show a tendency to associate the male gender with science, academic staff slightly less so than PhD students.
This may be an effect of previous unconscious bias training; a larger fraction of academic staff members had already participated in another unconscious bias training compared to the PhD participant group.
However, the fractions of participants who had received previous unconscious bias training were roughly equal between the genders (about 13% of the female attendees had previous training and about 18% of the male attendees), even though the female participants showed less tendency for a male-scientific bias.
The participants generally found the workshop useful (90% rated the events as useful or very useful) and stated that they learned something new during the event (74%).
Similar workshops will be offered in upcoming academic years as part of the Athena SWAN initiative at QUB's School of Mathematics and Physics.