Equity Challenge Day 3

Day 3: Personal Biases

Thursday, January 6

“Worse than being less than you, is if you are perceived as a threat” - John A. Powell

We all have bias. But often, we are not aware of the biases that we subconsciously hold.

Image 7 - Bias.png

Research shows that years of structural and cultural constructs have deeply embedded stereotypes into our culture, and consequently, into our own subconscious. For example, according to a recent study, companies are more than twice as likely to call applicants of color for interviews if they submit “whitened resumes” than candidates who reveal their race. “Discrimination still exists in the workplace,” says Katherine A. DeCelles, the James M. Collins Visiting Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. “Organizations now have an opportunity to recognize this issue as a pinch point, so they can do something about it.”

But research also shows that we can actively rewire these neural associations by being more intentional about acknowledging our biases.

Today’s focus is on personal reflection. You may uncover some of your own implicit biases and reflect on how you can take control of these unconscious constructs.

Today's Challenge: Do one or more of the following...

OPTION 1: Read the article Cognitive Biases: What They Are and How They Affect You". Cognitive biases affect every area of our life, from how we form our memories and how we shape our beliefs, to how we form relationships with other people. In this article, you will understand why we experience cognitive biases and find out what you can do to mitigate them. 

OPTION 2: Workplace biases and behaviors cause underrepresented groups to run into “the glass cliff”: taking on a leadership role only to find that your chances of success have been limited before you've even begun. Listen to the Ted Talk “The rigged test of leadership” (13:15) by equality activist Sophie Williams to learn what can be done on a personal and organizational level to address these biases and correct harmful behaviors.

OPTION 3: Take one of Project Implicit's Hidden Bias tests, created by psychologists at top universities, to uncover some of your own unconscious biases. Remember, having biases doesn’t make you a bad person—it only makes you human. TIP: Proceed as a guest to access their library of tests and find out your implicit associations about race, gender, sexual orientation, skin tone, and other topics.

OPTION 4: Begin practicing these nine de-biasing tactics brought to you by ChangeWorks, LLC to ensure your actions line up with your intentions.

OPTION 5: Journal

  • What are some of your biases (positive or negative)?
  • When was the last time you recognized one of your biases? What happened?
  • What will you do going forward to be more aware of your biases?

← Day 2: Systemic Racism

→ Day 4: Intersectionality & Privilege

Equity Challenge Main Page