Intentions aren’t good enough

Just saw this new article in The Atlantic. It reminds me of our 4th strategy in Defeating Unconscious Bias – Act As If the Bias Doesn’t Exist.  Read here. “There are a lot of people who are very sincere in their renunciation of prejudice,” she said. “Yet they are vulnerable to habits of mind. Intentions aren’t good enough.”

The woman, Patricia Devine, is a psychology professor and director of the Prejudice Lab. Thirty years ago, as a graduate student, she conducted a series of experiments that laid out the psychological case for implicit racial bias—the idea, broadly, is that it’s possible to act in prejudicial ways while sincerely rejecting prejudiced ideas. She demonstrated that even if people don’t believe racist stereotypes are true, those stereotypes, once absorbed, can influence people’s behavior without their awareness or intent.

Now, decades after unraveling this phenomenon, Devine wants to find a way to end it. She’s not alone. Since the mid-1990s, researchers have been trying to wipe out implicit bias. Over the last several years, “unconscious-bias trainings” have seized Silicon Valley; they are now de rigueur at organizations across the tech world.

More From Our Blog…

Inclusive Hiring Practices

Inclusive Hiring Practices

These days, organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit, hire and retain employees. The pandemic has shifted the goalposts for millions of people, if not relocated them to entirely new playing fields (sorry to stretch the metaphors). That’s why...

read more
When Unconscious Bias Training Does More Harm Than Good

When Unconscious Bias Training Does More Harm Than Good

When I talk about our unconscious bias Workshops via Zoom or Defeating Unconscious Bias, our online e-Learning course, I always emphasize that our approach starts with raising awareness and then adds skills that everyone can practice to interrupt bias. So it was...

read more
Death by a Thousand Cuts

Death by a Thousand Cuts

What are the historical roots of microaggressions against Asian Americans? In this important article, published in “Health Matters,” psychiatrist Dr. Warren Ng lays out what microaggressions are and what its history is. The article is, unfortunately, timely because...

read more
The Business Case for DEI: Why Organizations Fall Short

The Business Case for DEI: Why Organizations Fall Short

It seems like there are new articles everyday announcing an organizations’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. You can see the statements on their websites. “We stand for….” or “Our commitment is to…”Many believe that creating a more diverse and inclusive...

read more
14 Microaggressions LGBTQ People Deal With All The Time

14 Microaggressions LGBTQ People Deal With All The Time

If I step on your toe, even if it was unintentional, it still hurts. This is a key point as we consider the challenge of microaggressions. Intention is only part of the story, and it’s not the most important part - impact is where we need to look. "When you’re an...

read more
Dr. Sue’s article in Training Magazine!

Dr. Sue’s article in Training Magazine!

Training Magazine has published Dr. Sue’s article, Disarming Workplace Microaggressions through Microinterventions. READ HERE. In the article, Dr. Sue defines microaggressions as the everyday slights, put-downs, insults and indignities that marginalized group members...

read more
Remote Learning and Microaggressions

Remote Learning and Microaggressions

In these COVID-19 pandemic times, we are facing a new area of concern with regard to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion—the remote learning environment. With so many children out of their physical classrooms and engaging in classes via online learning, many parents are...

read more