Bias is not something that people are dying to talk about. I sure do not want to think I am biased. After all, one of the most important things to me personally is supporting people to be their very best. I am committed to ALL people- so how could I hold biases? Exception, I do, like we all do. It is part of the normal human condition to judge, assess and see where we fit in. We do, after all, have a tribe mentality- always looking to belong. A well respected anthropologist recently said on a call that we are always searching for the answer to "Am I OK?" and "Do I Belong?".
Those fundamental questions of people call forth judging and assessing. It is how we survive in the world in many ways. However, much of our bias is hidden from our view. It is unconscious. We did not create it and intend it to do any harm, yet it does.
One area that a lot of attention is being focused is on the gender disparity in the United States. In my local paper today there was an article about the tech sector. The article was based on an EEOC report on lack of diversity in the tech sector. "" In a survey of female scientists showed: Two-thirds of women reported having to prove themselves over and over again, with their success discounted and expertise questioned. Three-quarters of black women reported this issue. Fifty-three percent of women reportedly reported a backlash from speaking their minds directly.
I was discussing this with a client who works in tech. She was unaware that she had not seen overt bias. However, the more we talked, she could see that there were many instances and circumstances of unconscious bias. She was simply used to it. You do not know what you are unconscious to. What you are unconscious to, you can not affect.
I think if we want to level the playing field, end gender disparity-we have to get awake to our own biases and we have to notice and call attention to those biases we observe. It is only with educating ourselves and each other that we have any hope of impacting the future.
I know this is not a simple or comfortable conversation, yet, I believe a necessary one. It is risky to consider change- people resist it, for the most part. We do like to be comfortable, so the status quo remains. I am going to keep looking at where I have unconscious biases and I invite you to do the same. Wake yourself and others up to bias and the damage it is doing. Education yields change. I invite us all to make a difference in our lives and the future by ending gender disparity.
Source by Janet Zaretsky