When it comes to unconscious bias, the bad news is that the game is rigged–against women, people of color, introverts and others that don’t fit a certain “success” stereotype that is often male, white and extroverted. But the good news is, it’s not really a game so there are no rules you can’t modify and break, if necessary.
Recent research has identified thirty individual biases that work together to disadvantage women in the workplace. Myriad other research shows that managers reliably exhibit biases based on gender, race, education, ability and sexual orientation, to name just a few. And there is also evidence that bias negatively affects men in their careers, as well.
The bottom line for all of us is that no matter who you are and what you look, sound or act like, you encounter unconscious bias that either works for or against you–and sometimes both.
And–not to let any of us off the hook–we all exhibit some combination of unconscious biases when evaluating ourselves and other people we work, live and play with.
So what do we do? How can we work to better understand and deal with the fact that the deck is stacked against us?
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