What does … an unconscious bias trainer do?

Job Title: Manager Business HR / Unconcious Bias Trainer

Name: Anna-Maria Friedrich

Age: 34

Education: Business Administration (Bachelor)

Company: Avanade Germany GmbH

What do you do as Unconscious Bias trainer?

I work at Avanade as Manager Business HR. Avanade is an international IT service provider focused on the Microsoft ecosystem. My daily job is to attract the most diverse talents for my employer, and of course there is a strong focus on employer branding. We care a lot about the composition of varied and colorful teams and therefore my role as Unconscious Bias trainer. This means that I sensitize employees to recognize and overcome unconscious biases or prejudices. These can be divided differently. For example, when similarities or stereotypes as well as stereotypes influence the thinking and actions of HR decision makers.

How did you come to this task?

Avanade offers comprehensive initiatives and training to recruit female professionals and help them progress to management positions. Gender justice is just one facet of diversity. The company is training accordingly. The associated unconscious bias training has been part of a training program that I have completed in London for three years. That’s how I came to it.

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Which feature helps you the most in your everyday life? Why?

It’s a mix of instinct, creativity and perseverance. Creativity for generating ideas, a sure instinct to place new topics in the right places and to gain supporters for them. Perseverance is important because my subjects often mean a big change for people and bring with them many stakeholders and expectation management.

What is most important to you about your job? What is the most fun?

From the point of view of the Unconscious Bias trainer, the most important thing for me is that everyone in the training should take something positive with them and, hopefully, reflect on their own prejudices in a sustainable way and consciously work against them. And that both in the professional and in the private environment, although there are also positive bias effects – the differentiation between unwanted and helpful is also very interesting. The exercises and examples that are very simple for me, but which also open my eyes very clearly, are the most fun for me. Often I can see the participants as they catch themselves at a bias and discover their own patterns.

Describe as clearly as possible a project that has particularly impressed you.

The “Train the Trainer” training in London, together with the European colleagues, was already very exciting. Also, the exchange on an international level and experiencing cultural differences inspired me very much. As part of the Emotion Women’s Day, I worked with several colleagues this year to develop a workshop that focused on how we women sometimes get in the way of our own prejudices. For example, women often see exciting job advertisements, but they do not bid because the job is not advertised part-time – without asking if that would be an option at all.

More about: “Women have to do more”

My job is indispensable because …

… it helps to make our company more diverse and unbiased. And by the way also more successful, because diversity has a positive effect on the business. Therefore, I can also say that my work is an important component or contribution to the fulfillment of our business vision. We want to be THE digital innovator. This is only possible if open hearts and social skills are combined with know-how and expertise.

If you were not an Unconscious Bias trainer, what would you be?

While I enjoy my job, if I did not have to work anymore, I would probably fulfill my dream of a houseboat and sail across the rivers of Europe. Otherwise, I would like to be an inventor who drives the development of the self-driving and emission-free car with a big breakthrough. But since we also have large projects in the automotive sector, I can at least contribute to this by winning the right employees.

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