World Trust

Why is Google Addressing Unconscious Bias?

Posted by Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong on October 21, 2014

No racists, no problem. Right?
“This is a pretty genteel environment, and you don’t usually see outright manifestations of bias,” says Laszlo Bock, head of human resources at Google. Sound familiar?  

As a leader responsible for diversity and inclusion, you may have seen how “no outward manifestation of bias” can translate into institutional apathy about diversity education. If no one is engaging in overtly segregated hiring or using racial slurs, there is little urgency. So why is Google training all employees and pushing hard for a cultural shift?

Addressing the pipeline is not enough
Despite years of good intentions to hire a more diverse employee base, Google’s work force is just 2% black and 3% Hispanic, and 30% female. Google had begun to address the external factors years earlier, or so it thought, by sponsoring programs to increase the number of women and minorities who go into tech. At World Trust, we see this is common first approach across sectors. “What do we neeed to do to hire X percentage people of color?”

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Topics: Talk about Race, Unconscious Bias, Diversity Initiative, Tech

How Media Representation Feeds Unconscious Bias

Posted by Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong on September 2, 2014

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown - Media Representation
With news out of Ferguson, Missouri entering its fourth week now, media images have been one of the only ways that most of the country receives its information. But amid the tweets from reporters getting arrested and images of paramilitary squads of police on the streets, we were struck by this line offering another angle on the coverage:

Media treatment of black victims is often harsher than it is of whites suspected of crimes, including murder.

The #IfTheyGunnedMeDown hashtag, trending in the early days after the unarmed Brown was shot by a police officer, examined the way media outlets’ choice of image shaped or conformed to public opinion about the slain teen, and youth of color in general. With this Huffington Post piece, the ways in which unconscious bias affects media portrayal deserve a closer look.

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Topics: Unconscious Bias