Unconscious Gender Bias Is Real : Have You Checked Yours ?

gender bias
Most people are blind to their own unconscious (gender) biases.
Gender bias, whether intentional or unintentional, stymies progress toward gender equality. We have unintentionally inherited gender-based mental associations via our traditions, norms, values, society, and experience.
The issue is that it impacts decision-making and results in differing chances for men and women depending on their gender. Here are some strategies for dealing with unconscious bias that I’ve discovered:


1. Accept that we all have unconscious biases 

Biases, especially gender biases, is part of being human. We cannot address it unless we admit and own it. 

2. Take A step Back and Make considered decisions 

When you make snap decisions or act on the spur of the moment, unintentional bias is more likely, so take a step back.

3. Monitor Your Behaviours  

Keep a close eye on your behaviour. Question your first impressions and strong reactions to people. Consider any snap decisions you make (i.e., where they were made objectively or influenced by unconscious bias?) 

4. Broaden Your Social Circle   

Step out of your comfort zone and get yourself out there. Spend  significant time with individuals from all walks of life, including those from diverse cultural and academic backgrounds. This will increase your cultural awareness and help you understand others better. 

5. Establish Ground Rules For Behaviours    

Don’t allow interruptions in your team; ensure that everyone is given a fair hearing and an equal opportunity to express themselves.

6. Whenever you observe bias – speak up !     

If a male colleague speaks over a female colleague, politely point out that you want to hear what she has to say. Likewise, have a quiet chat with your supervisor if your boss exclusively assigns stretching assignments to the guys or your white coworkers.

7. Own it, be honest about it and do better !      

Apologise if you’re wrong. We can only cope with bias if we’re open and honest about our faults.
The change isn’t going to be easy — the progress will be incremental, the setbacks will be disparaging, and the victories will be constantly judged against other, bigger industry successes — but it is vital to transform the industry from within.
You can take actions to lessen the effects of your unconscious prejudices once you’re aware of them. We can all try to make the workplace more diverse and inclusive. Together we can #BreakTheBias !
You may also be interested in : 

Otherwise, It Persists : How To Interrupt Everyday Sexism and Racism