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Unconscious Bias at Work — Making the Unconscious Conscious

T.V Ramen, Enrico Bianco , Megan Smith, Brian Welle, Geoff Ho, Ben Treynor, Natalie Johnson, Kristin Gi | 4:01


What would the world look like if everybody were aware of the stereotypes that they have and the biases that they have? When we talk about unconscious bias, we're basically saying our worldview can actually exert and influence beyond our conscious awareness, and it creates ambiguity. You go to an engineer who's built something extremely innovative and you say, who do you think your user is?

This is where I have the most fun. My name is Stevie Ramen and I led our work on Android accessibility for three years. Write down everything that you think you know about your user with respect to abilities, inabilities, special abilities, disabilities. Almost every assumption that you write down on that whiteboard about this is the user.

I think I'm mill. It's questionable because our various unconscious biases define the boundaries. You are unwilling to expand these biases. They're the shortcuts that our brain has created so that we can deal with the information that we process every single day. Right? When we see anyone, whether we think about it or not, we are implicitly automatically making judgements about how warm and competent that person or thing is.

All humans need to make. And so we fill in the blanks because our brains are wired to do that. And we fill in with things we don't know, with, you know, past experience. Oh, you pattern map to someone I think I should hire, so I'm gonna hire you versus this person. Cuz they didn't map cause I can't fill in the blank cuz they don't look like me or they're not from my same background.

And so I can't see how they're gonna make the jump. Every single person is great at things that you may not expect them to be, but it's really hard for us to see that when we're so powerfully guided. Things we expect to be true in the world. I grew up surrounded with this conversation about what you can't do and what you won't be able to do.

My name's Enrico and uh, I'm an autistic software engineer. The first time I go through the performance review process. I was asked for five strengths. It was the first time that I had ever been prompted to think in that way about myself, and it was really a life changing moment for me. When we are working in our day to day jobs, we are still making judgements about the people around us, about the resumes we see about the employees that were trying to decide, you know, whether to put them on teams or not.

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