Opinion: There’s Nothing Unconscious About ‘Unconscious Bias’
The Washington Post asked 10 writers to nominate something we’re better off without. This is an excerpt from Kara Swisher’s contribution, “Unconscious Bias.” Swisher is a technology journalist and executive editor of Recode.
From The Washington Post.
You can’t throw a hammer in Silicon Valley these days and not hit a gender or race bias controversy. The problem is everywhere: Uber. Oracle. Google. And VC firms, so many VC firms.
The worst excuse is what is widely called “unconscious bias” — bias that kicks in automatically, with our supposedly unthinking brains making often-inaccurate snap judgments.
It’s pure laziness by some of the world’s smartest and most innovative people to pretend they are unconscious of something so glaringly clear. Training and classes … never seem to solve the problem, no matter how much money is spent. Studies suggest these programs may actually backfire.
Here’s a suggestion for tech execs: If you see 10 white men on a board of 10, or an engineering staff that’s 80 percent white and male, with no faces unlike your own, you’re not building a meritocracy. Instead, it’s a mirror-tocracy, and what’s reflecting back at you is neither pretty nor unconscious.
Read more at The Washington Post.
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