A while ago I received a phone call from our CTO – I was super flattered because I am such a huge fan of his and didn’t even think he knew my name. He was calling to apologise. He said “Michelle I am so sorry” whilst I gasped for breath he continued on “I just watched our internal unconscious bias training, and I also watched your Tedx talk and I realised that I’ve been doing it too”. I managed to get a few words together “What do you mean James? You are the most even-handed person I know!”
He then told me the story of how he realised he had been doing it with his kids. He has two, a boy and a girl. If the boy would ask him what he was doing when he was working from home, he would tell him a little bit of what he was doing, maybe explain some of the stuff on the screen and why it was important. If his little girl would ask he would say “Daddy is busy now, I’ll come and play later when I have finished my work”. He had also started teaching his little boy to code, but he hadn’t asked his little girl because he just assumed she wouldn’t be interested.
After watching the video’s he sat down with his little girl and asked her if she would like learn to code with them, and she said she would – and now all 3 of them are coding together.
Even the best of us have unconscious bias within us. Watch out for it and embrace the opportunity to change your world.