Co-op insurance logoTo celebrate International Women’s Day Co-op Insurance created a week-long programme of events, which took place at their Headquarters in central Manchester.  The events, which were available to all employees to attend, focussed on inclusivity, diversity and equality.  As part of the week-long programme the Flourish team presented four workshops on unconscious gender bias to mixed audiences with men and women attending from a variety of roles and departments.

Lisa Hooley & Clare Shaw, HR Business Partners from Co-op Insurance Services said “We enjoyed working with Flourish to support delivery of a great programme of events  across the week for our colleagues.  The sessions were really well received, and colleagues enjoyed having their thinking and pre-conceptions challenged in a fun and engaging way.“

How the unconscious mind works

The aim of the session was to highlight how the unconscious mind influences our behaviour more than we think and how our gender bias plays out despite our values and conscious beliefs.  The sessions showed how our minds filter, categorise, delete and distort information in ways we are unaware of and shed light on why this is a subject we all need to be aware of.

We provided evidence based on research on how gender bias can impact organisations from a recruitment and performance management perspective, as well as promotion for women.  We also shared information on action being taken across the EU member states and highlighted where progress is being made, but also demonstrated that vastly more effort in this area was needed, especially in the UK.

Lorna Chudleigh, Co-Founder of Flourish, said “It was fantastic to see so many of the Co-op Insurance colleagues engaged in these events, the interactive discussions in each session were lively and insightful for all and there were many lightbulb moments where both men and women realised that gender bias exists in all of us!”

Using a variety of different media, we were able to illustrate how unconscious gender bias really does impact us all and offered up some actions that we might all want to take to help alleviate and reduce bias in our lives.

For more information about how we work with corporate clients on the subject of unconscious gender bias, or how we encourage and develop women and girls, please contact

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