“I thought I didn’t have any unconscious biases.”

Danilo Boos, Department Lead - Sort/Pack, Erfurt Logistics Center

 

“What can this actually accomplish?” Danilo Boos wondered. The department lead at Zalando's Erfurt logistics center was initially skeptical when he heard about the unconscious bias training that Zalando offers for managers. He was convinced that he was already evaluating and treating others objectively – regardless of age, background, beliefs, gender, abilities, and sexual orientation. “I thought I didn't have any unconscious biases,” he says. He knew that rash judgments and one-sided ways of looking at things can be problematic, which he noticed in others, but not himself.

 

We must all be clear that these prejudices exist within each of us. We need to be clear about this before we make decisions, taking care not to jump to conclusions.

Danilo Boos
Portrait of Danilo Boos

The workshop in August 2021, however, changed the 43-year-old manager’s view: “The greatest realisations were brought about by the different practical examples of situations in which biases became apparent. These showed us that it’s possible to continually develop unconscious biases without noticing.” It’s true that it’s a completely natural and human process, but Danilo is adamant that it should not go unnoticed: “We must all be clear that these prejudices exist within each of us. We need to be clear about this before we make decisions, taking care not to jump to conclusions."

Danilo recommends that his colleagues take a closer look at the topic and also take part in the workshop. “The course was so interesting that I quickly let go of my initial skepticism. I am grateful to the two facilitators for supporting me openly, without pressure and without judgment, in confronting my own prejudices. "Danilo now wants to incorporate the knowledge from the training into his daily work as a department lead. Especially when it comes to leading and developing employees, subconscious ways of acting and thinking play a decisive role. To become more aware of these and to minimize their negative impact on work: these are the goals that Danilo has set for himself.