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  • Writer's pictureMichele Evanson

Unconscious Bias ~ do you have one?

Several organizations are recognizing the policies and systems they've put in place to address the challenges of unconscious bias in their workforce is not sufficient. Despite what are their best attempts, barriers still exist which may keep them from getting, maintaining, and creating a workforce with the diversity they want.

Our mind develops subconscious bias in everyday life, often at a young age, inducing people to make automatic conclusions based on attention, are in danger of stereotyping, or intentional blindness. Interaction with individuals affects each of us in various ways, and it might be a person with good intentions making wrong conclusions based on subconscious processes functioning in the mind in a biased condition. The capability to manage interpersonal relationships is hampered resulting in lack of what's called emotional intelligence. Here are 10 samples of accidental prejudices obvious to bystanders, but that may go unnoticed by people participating in making unconscious conclusions resulting in prejudice. Selecting a neighborhood based on racial preferences. People unconsciously decide a neighborhood is not great enough for them or their families according to irrational logic. As an example, a Hispanic group of people usually stay with each other to assist with language issues and establish strong community link. Nevertheless, there’s that a 50-50 chance that a White Native American is most likely to move to a black dominant neighborhood. A latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll results printed by CNN revealed racism has never really faded off and subconscious bias creeps in at each juncture. Children are predisposed towards retaining unintentional prejudices found in parents. We each must evaluate our own distinctive identities and background and create a conscious effort to socialize with another’s community members. Research has found kids suffer in schools where some get less attention than others because teachers are victims of subconscious bias. Children are most likely to develop more skills when part of a large community with less discrimination and division on racial lines. Historically, females are frequently told at a young age they're most likely to excel in the arts, while mathematics can be a bit tough. Performance suffers as they grow up. By the time they reach college, accidental blindness has taken its toll, and results indicate that a lower rate below par as when compared with other subjects. We tend to believe people in higher positions are usually right. For example, passengers travelling in a plane listen to messages over the intercom. By the time the flight is ready to take off and the captain comes to apologize for a delay, passengers are astonished it wasn't a flight attendant making the announcements, but the captain. Resentment appears to fade away. Assumptions might lead to consequences affecting even intelligent people. Take the example of people listening to music on their iPhone. The general hypothesis is an African American are more inclined to listen to rap music. Unintentional bias develops by watching a host of talented African American musicians excel in rap. Similarly, we presume people with tattoo designs are rebellious, and frequently seen in dangerous situations. Unconscious perceptions govern many of our important decisions and have a profound effect on the lives of many.

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