Flip it to test it
Following on from yesterday’s article where I admitted my own discriminatory weaknesses, today I’m sharing a talk from a woman leader who discovered her bias against women leaders.
Kristen Pressner is an HR Executive at Roche who tells the story of two colleagues coming to her to talk about compensation. One was a man and the other was a woman. She responded accordingly and only when she got back to her desk did she realise that her responses to the same request had been different.
Our brain looks for patterns and filters accordingly
She’d told the man that she’d look into his request. But told the woman that she thought she was good – as in she had enough.
This was possibly down to unconscious bias. And she beautifully explains what that is.
Our brain has to handle way too much information. So to help us handle it all our brain looks for patterns and filters accordingly. Our brain takes shortcuts which can really help us. But there’s a downside. They create patterns based upon everything we’ve been exposed to throughout our lives. The process happens in the back of our minds so we’re not even aware it’s happening. This can cause us to behave in a way that’s not true to who we want to be.[clickToTweet tweet=”Our brain takes shortcuts which can really help us. But there’s a downside.” quote=”Our brain takes shortcuts which can really help us. But there’s a downside.” theme=”style6″]
Like I mentioned yesterday, she points out that many people think they can outsmart the unconscious bigotry by saying things like “I don’t see race” or “I just hire the best person”. But that’s simply not realistic.
She suggests a way around this: flip it to test it.
Take your response to a situation and test it by mentally flipping the individual with someone else. Does applying those assumptions to someone else feel weird? If it does then there’s something wrong.
Sounds good to me. Watch the talk and give it a go.https://openforideas.org/blog/2017/03/10/flip-it-to-test-it/https://i0.wp.com/openforideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/kristenpressner.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/openforideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/kristenpressner.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Diversity & Divergencybigotry,sexism,unconscious bias
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Great piece Dave, thanks for bringing this important topic to the forefront