What are Biases and where do they come from?
In this complex world, we do not have answers for everything, and often take clues from our past experiences or go by random childhood rules forming assumptions and prejudices. We consider these assumptions and biased decisions to be objective and legitimate to solve society's biggest problems. We all fall prey to this complex world’s assumptions and biases and yet never realize it.
Growing up, we all come across certain faiths and beliefs which we accept as norms and condition ourselves. Thus, allowing the unconscious bias to reign slowly and rule the next generations.
These biases and prejudices often appear as an invisible wall, separating and discriminating against us now and then. For women, the battle of bias begins right from the time being born as a girl. At times for just being a woman or a woman of color or being an assertive, ambitious, or caring woman. They keep fighting this battle as they navigate through their careers to become strong leaders, which has never been easy.
These battles of bias, prejudice, and inequality did not emerge in our lives, workplaces, and society overnight hence without conscious efforts they will not diminish.
As the saying goes... Just because we do not see them does not mean that they do not exist.
Let’s #BreakTheBias to Acknowledge our Biases to rebuild a world without bias.
Women have been dedicating their lives to creating an equal world. This International Women’s Day is therefore an opportunity to amplify and strengthen the purpose of identifying and responding to everyday biases for the equality of everyone, for all individuals and communities to respect and accept everyone for who they are and whom they love to be.
Let us be that catalyst of change for ourselves, to understand our biases and raise awareness. We can act for ourselves and include others too in this purpose to accelerate equality today for a more sustainable tomorrow. Paying attention to our thoughts helps us to examine and reflect on our beliefs to identify the assumptions we must have held for a long time.
Here are a few questions that need to be paid attention to and reflect our beliefs.
Do I empathize with others' situations and spend time understanding or does it not impact me?
Do I look forward to seeking feedback about work from everyone involved in the team or only a select few who have similar perspectives to me?
Do I voluntarily network with diverse groups within and outside my work area or are they similar people like me?
Do I engage with my team members who find it difficult to communicate and are quieter or do I ignore them thinking to might have nothing to contribute?
Do I allow form assumptions about people at the first meeting or look forward to spending more time with them to know better?
Do I question someone’s success story or look forward to learning from them?
Do I look indifferently at my colleagues when they are not able to perform or do I look for an opportunity to support them to come out of this phase?
Do I ignore people whom I am not friendly, or do I ensure to behave professionally and treat everyone with respect?
Do I respond differently to my male or female colleagues or treat them equally?
Do I respect the pronouns of individuals and accept them for who they love to be?
When we reflect and challenge our assumptions at times it can be uncomfortable but making a conscious effort is always appreciated if we want to live in a world where differences are valued and celebrated.
Let us act on our own biases to create a diverse and inclusive world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
It is never too late to give up your prejudices – Henry David Thoreau
Author- Priyanka Mishra, Global Delivery Process Expert for Talent Acquisition & Talent Management, Hitachi Energy
A Human Resources professional with 14 years of progressive experience in Talent, Diversity & Inclusion, Change Management, and HR operations combined with strategic HR Business Partner and continuous improvement expertise. Self-driven and passionate about learning something new every day to give back to society.
I am passionate about my job and the function of Human resources. However, before being successful at work, it's essential for me to be a better Human Being to passionately impact the lives of people I engage with every day for a better tomorrow.
Read more on the Women's Day Special...