Let’s be honest, we all have biases. Often times they seep in unconsciously given the society into which we are born. The role of men and women, for instance, is societally reinforced by a host of cues, behaviors and modeling. Bias affects the individual who has to overcome someone else’s sense of who they are based upon the weight, height, skin color, gender or other factor irrespective of their unique qualities. While it can rob an individual of opportunity, it also can deny fields of talent, companies of ideas and cultures of progress by not recognizing the gifts a person can bring. Diversity training is the default mechanism for trying to help people unpack their prejudices, but it is in no way sufficient for the task of undoing unconscious bias. Jessica Nordell, author of “The End of Bias”, has been studying bias and its many manifestations for years and reminds us that there is a lot of work to be done and more creative approaches to the problem are being unlocked. The first element is accepting that biases of one kind or another reside in each of us.
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