We live in a world where our minds constantly process information — in fact, it’s probably happening to you right now! How many of you have multiple tabs open, are reading this in the middle of writing an email or are waiting for your child to put their pajamas on so you can tuck them in?
We do A LOT without being fully and consciously aware. The world that we live in is a fast one — and when we’re operating at full speed, unconscious biases flood our thinking and interactions, influencing the ways we participate in the workplace, our social groups and elsewhere.
Man or woman, young or old, affluent or lower class, we all have unconscious bias. It doesn’t make us bad or evil, it simply makes us human. We’re taught to trust our instincts, but sometimes in doing so, we take shortcuts and the trajectory of our decision making and our thought patterns end up (mis)judging people.
Unconscious biases are formulated and reinforced by the multitude of facets that make up our cultural norms, our personal experiences and our environments. But it’s time to lift the veil.
Leading social justice scholars believe that unconscious bias can lead to gender discrimination and negative racial stereotyping, prompting discriminatory attitudes and actions towards women and people of color. So they, too, are working alongside corporations and entities in addressing unconscious bias to ensure it doesn’t undermine daily operations, strategic planning, hiring and promotions.
Google is talking about it. Geena Davis is talking about it. It’s a significant topic, and we want to start a discourse with our community on it. We will continue to unpack unconscious bias, and will be taking the topic all the way to Emerging Women Live, October 8-11, in San Francisco, where Rosalyn Taylor O’Neal will be discussing it alongside Erica Fox and more.
To get a head start, check out this video: Making the Unconscious Conscious. And let us know your thoughts in the comments below!