It seems as if there are articles everyday about unconscious bias and its impact on the workplace. April 14 in the Washington Post, an article by Joe Davidson outlines the issue quite well:
As dangerous as it was, battling overt segregation during the civil rights era was in some ways easier than combating today’s insidious racism.
At least you could see the “white only” signs and you knew who was behind them.
Those signs are long gone, but racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination didn’t go with them. They are among us, often hidden, yet potent. The perpetrators of this prejudice would never call themselves bigots and might not even realize they act like one.
Beth Cobert, the acting Office of Personnel Management director, is urging federal officials to confront this unseen, but not unfelt, discrimination.
“As many of you know, one of the most challenging barriers to diversity and inclusion is unconscious bias,” she said at OPM’s diversity and inclusion summit at the Coast Guard headquarters Tuesday. “It’s difficult to grapple with because it is unconscious — not as obvious as calling out someone for using improper language or overtly passing someone over for a promotion. Probably the most unconscious bias exhibited during the hiring process is the ‘like me’ bias. The ‘like me’ bias means leaders and managers typically look to hire or promote people who look like themselves. A white male will select a white male, for example.”
Our new program, Defeating Unconscious Bias, shows the impact of bias in the workplace and teaches 5 skills anyone can use to counter their own personal bias.