If you are human, you are biased.
From this fundamental truth, diversity expert Howard Ross explores the biases we each carry within us. Most people do not see themselves as biased towards people of different races or different genders. And yet in virtually every area of modern life disparities remain. Even in corporate America, which has for the most part embraced the idea of diversity as a mainstream idea, patterns of disparity remain rampant. Why?
Breakthroughs in the cognitive and neurosciences give some idea why our results seem inconsistent with our intentions. Bias is natural to the human mind, a survival mechanism that is fundamental to our identity. And overwhelmingly it is unconscious.
Incorporating anecdotes from today’s headlines alongside case studies from over 30 years as a nationally prominent diversity consultant, Ross help readers understand how unconscious bias impacts our day-to-day lives and particularly our daily work lives. And, he answers the question: “Is there anything we can do about it?” by providing examples of behaviors that the reader can engage in to disengage the impact of their own biases. With an added appendix that includes lessons for handling conflict and bias in the workplace, this book offers an invaluable resource for a broad audience, from individuals seeking to understand and confront their own biases to human resource professionals and business leaders determined to create more bias-conscious organizations in the belief that productivity, personal happiness, and social growth are possible if we first understand the widespread and powerful nature of the biases we don’t realize we have.
We are certain we are 'one' person, not a thousand different selves reacting unconsciously to thousands of different stimuli. Everyday Bias is an important guide to seeing oneself the way others might.
— Ken Burns, filmmaker
Howard Ross has done it again! Another gem that promises and delivers validated and practical methods for understanding our own biases. Everyday Bias explores those areas of bias that we all have and how it has meaningful, often negative impact for businesses, schools and society in general. For the casual interested reader or the chief diversity officer of an organization this book stands out as an invaluable guide to recognizing one’s own biases and how to effectively interrupt our usual patterns of thinking and behavior. Moreover, it offers fresh thinking through vivid examples of promising practices to disrupt unconscious bias by organizations and corporations. Howard is the unique writer that can blend evidence based data, rigorous analytical research and invaluable personal knowledge to ensure every reader finds a new and important insight.
— Marc A. Nivet, Chief Diversity Officer, Association of American Medical Colleges, Inc.
Table of Contents:
Blinded by the Light of Our Bias
If You are Human, You are Biased
Thinking about Thinking
The Many Faces of Bias
Life, Death and Unconscious Bias on a Rainy Night
Like Water for the Fish: Networks of Bias in Everyday Life
Shifting to Neutral: How We Can Learn to Disengage from Bias
Incubators of Consciousness: Creating More Conscious Organizations
A Brave New World, A Grand New Journey
About the Author:
Howard J. Ross is founder and chief learning officer of Cook Ross Inc., a diversity consulting company. He is one of the nation's leading diversity consultants and a nationally recognized expert on diversity, leadership, and organizational change.