Introduction to GBA+

Individual assumptions affect public policy

We often assume that our work or our policies apply to everyone equally and there are no gender or diversity issues to consider.

GBA+ helps us recognize and move beyond our assumptions, uncover the realities of people’s lives, and find ways to address their needs. But we can only know if a group is affected differently if we explore it using GBA+. Incorrect assumptions can lead to unintended and unequal impacts on particular groups of people.

Think big! Think big! Want to explore your own unconscious biases? According to their website, Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaborative network of researchers investigating implicit social cognition — thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. Project Implicit is the product of a team of scientists whose research produced new ways of understanding attitudes, stereotypes and other hidden biases that influence perception, judgment, and action. They offer a free test that will help you explore your implicit associations about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other topics! As an external link, this website is available in English only.

Challenge your assumptions by asking

Challenge your assumptions by asking

  • Do I believe that the issues I work on are gender neutral? Or culturally neutral? Ability neutral? Is this based solely on my own experience?
  • Is it possible that my assumptions prevent me from asking questions and hearing or understanding answers that are outside my own experience?
  • How might attitudes and norms – my own, those of my organization, and those of the institutions and society that surround me – limit the range of policy options I consider and propose?