How can we reduce implicit bias ?

Social Diversity : Implicit Bias Part 3

Created on: October 05, 2017

Updated on: October 05, 2017

During part 1 we investigated how unconscious bias is an intrinsic part of unethical recruitment practices.

During part 2, we saw how conscious, unconscious bias and inauthenticity can turn a talk with aims to increase diversity in to one that aims to increase exclusivity in tech.

And we saw a shining example of diversity within the health and fitness area.

However today we will turn our attention to how we can reduce implicit bias within the tech world.

How we can reduce implicit bias today

I won’t say eliminate implicit bias this is because as humans we all have biases and they influence all forms of decision making.

We can do the following:

  1. Implement quotas to increase participation for women and non-white people. (Quotas have been proven to increase the visibility of minority groups in the US)
  2. Blind CV’s
  3. Mentor groups that cater for underrepresented groups such as black girl tech, women who code, transcode and the codebar.
  4. Competency based interviews with blind CV’sThis is a start, there are so many examples of people who have been blighted by the effects of implicit bias.

The above-mentioned policies can redress the balance between minorities who are currently disaffected by the system.

The love fest with diversity and inclusion

As Butch Wing (diversity activist) puts it “There’s a love fest with diversity and inclusion, but few companies are making any actionable, measureable progress".

Diversity groups are a relic of the past...

Meanwhile, recently we have heard about the downgrading of diversity groups apparently because they no longer achieve their purpose.

Deloitte has decided diversity groups for minority employees are a relic of the past.

Check out the link listed here:

Deloitte replacing diversity

The actions taken by Deloitte in the US by replacing these groups is breath-taking, it’s as if the struggles of 40 years have been airbrushed within a second.

Eugenics and tech

And more recently a tech engineer within Google had circulated a memo that went viral that harked back to a different era.

He claimed that biological differences with women are the primary reason why women do not feature within the development teams at top companies.

Check out the link here:

Google sacks author of anti diversity memo

These comments are reminiscent of the eugenics era in which openly racist ideas where applied to humans that resulted in the dehumanisation of subjugated people and their subsequent killings for profit. ### The thriving mid-atlantic cybertech sector

However, the cybersecurity sector within Washington DC is 17% black. I can confirm that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Affirmative action provisions such as quotas have helped spawn black businesses in the DC area and this is explored in great depth in the link listed below:

There is no excuse!

Excuses

We can find a whole plethora of excuses to project on to others when it comes to diversity. We can put together talks that silence us. We can use implicit bias within job interviews where cultural fit is used to reinforce stereotypes. We can blame minorities for our collective failure to engage with them.

Diversity policies are not enough...

Having a diversity policy isn’t enough, we cannot have our cake and eat it as well.

Organisations need to implement their diversity policies and reduce implicit bias so that marginalised groups are included in all areas of decision making.

We know what it’s like to be marginalised, have any of you noticed that I always start my videos with “We are breaking down the barriers”.

That is what we do…

It’s an action verb and it demonstrates we won’t put up with discrimination and it’s our main core value. It’s a shame that there are organisation's out there that actively discriminate against black and brown skinned people and women.

The future

There are a lot of capable people out there who apply for software development positions and are unsuccessful because these organisations have a very narrow remit as to who they want to bring in to their organisations.

Don't be put off by the discrimination that you endure. We need to work with each and build our own businesses together.

This is one of the reasons why the cybersecurity sector in Washington DC grew and if we focus on building positive meaningful relationships we will ensure that we can have a very positive and sustainable future for the hardships that we have faced.

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