Categorized | Blog

The he’s and the she’s of unconscious bias at work

You might have heard about this guy who was applying for jobs back in the 1990s in the management consulting profession without success. Turns out his first name is Kim and it dawned on him – after countless knock-backs without so much as an interview – that potential employers thought “he” was a “she”… So he added “Mr” to his CV and pronto! Within 2 weeks he secured his dream job.  Unconscious gender bias? He thinks so.

This (real) story generated over 2,000 comments and intense interest when it went viral around the world last week. A lot more interest – I suspect – than trying to explain unconscious bias from a woman’s perspective.

Now whether or not professional services firms have address some of this bias remains open for debate, though I know for sure that all of the big firms I work with have been proactive in recent times seeking out female experienced hires.  So maybe in today’s market, adding “Ms” will get you further, on some career paths at least.

Many women say they’ve experienced unconscious bias at work, but because it’s hard to prove it’s hard to remove. What if more men had experiences like Kim? Would that change things?

Maybe we need more stories like this one to really open up this issue and change the way men and women manage attitudes to gender balance, bias and work.  But how do we get more of the “he”s engaged with the “she”s in the gender agenda?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this one!

STAY CONNECTED VIA JENDALITZ.COM

* indicates required

Join Me On Facebook

1 month ago

Jen Dalitz

What are the lessons you’re teaching your kids? We took the opportunity of a holiday long weekend to visit my mum interstate as the timing of the trip coincided with my son’s favourite AFL team battling it out against my mum’s beloved team. Perhaps only those of you with the love for AFL will appreciate why we’d plan a long distance trip around a game of footy, but suffice to say it was a passion project! With every ounce of anticipation, the game was a tough, tight duel and could easily have gone either way. Yet when the final siren sounded, it wasn’t our team that was smiling. It sure is tough for a 10 year old boy to sit within a crowd 41,000+ people all cheering for the opposite side. It was tough for him to see the exhaustion and disappointment on the faces of the players he adores. And yet, it’s so important for him to learn that his team won’t always win. There’s so many lessons in that, but the one I chose to instil is that you won’t always back the team that wins but you’ll always back the team that you love. That’s why I asked him to wear his team colours home the next day, and show his support even when the chips are down. That’s the kind of commitment I want my son to learn and the kind of team player I want him to be. PS. #gotheGiants @GWSGiants #neversurrender ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 months ago

Jen Dalitz

I haven’t been here in a while as the writing has been on hold. But I was reminded today that there are things in our life that light us up. That might take us out of our comfort zone but, once you sit with it, bring you both joy and a sense of “I can do this” achievement. These moments are such a gift. So I’m curious, what’s your special thing that lights you up?

Despite (or in spit of) my professional career, these moments for me normally involve my horses. I’ll never be an equestrian Olympian, but I take great pleasure in all the lessons my horses teach me. They remind me that it’s a team effort, we’re in it together, and that if I’m prepared to give a little bit more, they will too. That’s true whether we’re on the ground taking care of their feet, or grooming, or when I’m atop riding as one. Two hearts one team.
It’s hard to describe the adrenaline and joy they bring to my life. But I’d love to know, what lights you up??
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

And so, maybe time does change some things. Or women do.

Skavlan Talkshow
– They let me go at 42 because they told me I was too old to represent women's dreams. #kvinnedagen

Watch our talk show interview with Isabella Rossellini here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRa7UptZ3qw
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook