Uncovering Your Bias

We all have bias, but when we don't know it's there, how can we learn to operate outside of our bias?

Everyone has biases, some known and some unknown, that effect the way we live our day to day lives. Bias is impossible to eliminate, but being aware of our bias can help us to live unrestricted from such biases and subsequently create more inclusive and accepting worlds around us. The danger of implicit bias is that it is inherently invisible to those who have it. Our implicit bias is constantly running in the backgrounds of our minds, altering the way we not only perceive but interact, with the world. Implicit biases can exist towards members of a specific religion, gender, race, skin-tone, disability, weight, sexuality and more. Unbeknownst to us, unconscious bias is making decisions without our awareness. Women who consider themselves feminists may be less inclined to like a female boss than a male boss because of underlying biases that tell them women nag and are bossy. Harvard has created an implicit bias test, designed to reveal such biases.

According to Project Implicit, "People don’t always say what’s on their minds. One reason is that they are unwilling. For example, someone might report smoking a pack of cigarettes per day because they are embarrassed to admit that they smoke two. Another reason is that they are unable. A smoker might truly believe that she smokes a pack a day, or might not keep track at all. The difference between being unwilling and unable is the difference between purposely hiding something from someone and unknowingly hiding something from yourself.

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about. For example, you may believe that women and men should be equally associated with science, but your automatic associations could show that you (like many others) associate men with science more than you associate women with science.”

The IAT works by asking you background information, mostly specific to demographic, and then testing your attitudes towards members of specific communities. According to their site, “When doing an IAT you are asked to quickly sort words into categories that are on the left and right hand side of the computer screen by pressing the “e” key if the word belongs to the category on the left and the “i” key if the word belongs to the category on the right.” Implicit bias tests are available on more than eight different subjects. The opportunity to become attuned to bias can be a powerful tool in reclaiming control of the way we interact with the world and people around us. Allinium encourages anyone interested in creating a more enlightened and inclusive mindset to take an IAT.  

Allinium is committed to building inclusive corporate cultures. Companies have invested time, energy, resources and a genuine commitment into building diversity into their culture. Yet, the dial isn't moving with any significant velocity. We need to take a look at what's really going on in the background. You may discover things in your organization that are standing in the way of the results you want. If you and/or your organization are interested in an open, honest, straightforward conversation and are ALL IN for creating an outstanding culture, we’d love to hear from you to determine if our methodology is a match for your commitments and concerns.

 You can take the test here.



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