Unconscious Bias is built into our genetics, it is survival technique we evolved back when we were living in caves and we needed to know whether the furry animal approaching us was friend or foe.
Our brain deduces that because the thing approaching us does not look like us, it has fur and sharp teeth, it does not speak our language and has does not behave like us, we must distance ourselves from it. In this case, running away is probably the right decision and it was made in a split second so we have time to make a hasty exit before it gets too close.
Therefore, unconscious bias is completely natural. However, we still use this decsion making process in modern day society, from when we were picking our friends at school to now when we are decision makers in businesses and we have to choose who to hire and who to promote. Ultimately, unconscious bias decides who we want to be the people that surround us on a daily basis.
Despite the fact that logically, we know that just because someone doesn't look like us or sound like us, doesn't mean they won't do the job just as well as someone who does look like us and sound like us, our unconscious bias pushes us in that direction nonetheless.
As a result, I think it is vital that business leaders are educated about ways to manage unconcious bias so that diversity has the chance to fluorish in todays society. Fundametally, businesses will be more successful and innovative with a bigger talent pool to choose from.
Overall, I found the program’s attempt to be educational (rather than managerial) effective. One point that stuck with me was made by Jean Malpas, a faculty member of the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City, who noted in one of the course’s videos just how gender norms have changed over time. “In most cultures, men are supposed to wear pants and women are supposed to wear dresses, but it was not always the case,” he said. “Look at Louis the 14th—he was wearing tights and high heels and makeup and a wig and a velvety cape. That’s how he expressed masculinity and power.