It’s funny the lessons diversity can teach you about blind spots. About your unconscious bias. Even when you don’t know you have them.
Yesterday, I posted an article on a tech conference I attended where there were no women speakers and where I thought there was a lack of persons of color presenters. I included a picture of a panel which I thought demonstrated this point. Except it didn’t.
Unquestionably, there were no women on the panel or presenting at the conference. But shortly after posting, one of my Asian friends pointed out that there was indeed an Asian American on the panel. Second from the right.
At first, my reaction was, well, that sort of doesn’t count. But it does. I either simply didn’t notice the guy or didn’t think he counted as a person of color for some reason. I am sorry.
But here’s the broader lesson. If I didn’t have an Asian friend who didn’t mind calling me out, it would never have occurred to me that I was being guilty of an unconscious bias. Had he not called it out, I wouldn’t have known that this is an important issue to Asian Americans or Asians in general.
A woman also commented on the fact that working woman have so many more demands placed on them than men that they either put their heads down and work or become more or less full time speakers that don’t necessary represent working women. Also a good point I hadn’t thought of.
Without that perspective of others who come from different background, sex and color, we don’t know how or why we are hurting others and we are perhaps not reaching those we want to reach.
And this is why diversity is important. Without that perspective of others who come from different background, sex and color, we don’t know how or why we are hurting others and we are perhaps not reaching those we want to reach. From a pecuniary-marketing standpoint, we can not be as successful as we want to be.
I made some revisions this morning to my post which helpfully corrected my errors. Thank God for Micah and Nina who raised their hands when they could have been silent. It made me write a better post and be a better person.
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