Thinking a lot about unconscious bias these days (ok, everyday) and the gendered kind, in particular.
A friend passed along this episode of the Freakonomics podcast which focused on gender barriers and, while I would have liked to hear some men who study this interviewed too, they did a nice job giving a basic overview for the uninitiated. I thought their point at the end about how data is changing the way we make decisions and how we need to design solutions that take into account human behavior as it exists now (not an ideal version) was especially good.
We may be entering an era in which more firms use more data to understand how to get the most out of their employees and how to make their employees happier and more productive. But there’s also this: human nature being what it is — a bundle of cognitive biases and adherence to social norms — you can’t solve every problem according to logic. Sometimes you need to design a solution that factors in all these biases and norms.
I do think they tried to tackle a few too many topics (e.g., hiring practices, equal pay, language) in only 30 minutes but I get that they were trying to give a range of examples. For those who are still reading this, kudos. But seriously, I recommend checking the episode out and giving it a ponder.
Where does gender bias show up in your own life? You might think it's a bunch of malarky but decades of research by real life scientists have proven unconscious bias exists. Want to take a not-so-fun quiz? Test your unconscious bias here. I guarantee the results will surprise you. So what can each of us do better?