- Implicit Bias in the Workplace
- April 13, 2017 | Author: Hilarie Bass
- Law Firm: Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Miami Office
Although women attorneys have made major progress in recent decades, we continue to face unique challenges to success in the workplace. In today’s world, the challenges are not typically reflective of explicit bias, but rather implicit bias, which in many ways is much harder to address. The reason: it is a bias that is hidden, unseen and unrecognized in each of us. Many of us do not even believe that this implicit bias exists, which makes it much harder to root out.
Neuroscience and examinations of the human brain continue to demonstrate that all of us have certain attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control. Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness. Women have biases as well, often the same conceived biases regarding how women “should” behave. They too grew up with the same influences and social expectations that help to create these inherent biases.
Harvard.edu has a popular implicit bias test that more than 5 million people have taken; the results indicate most people have an inherent bias against those who do not look like them. Any combination of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or age can affect that bias.