If you have turned on the television within the last few months, you may have witnessed the “end of days” being portrayed on every major news network in the U.S. As the country is trying to address and recover from the worst pandemic in modern history, we find ourselves embroiled in a social challenge, which shows just how little we have progressed in the 155 years since the U.S. Civil War or the 60 years since the Civil Rights movement.
I recognize that a great deal of the current racial tension and civil unrest lies at the hand of law enforcement, and the argument of unequal treatment of the minority communities throughout the U.S. I am not going to debate the issue in this column, as I realize this is neither the appropriate platform nor time for these discussions. What I would like to talk about, however, is how the underlying issue of implicit bias extends beyond the confines of the criminal justice system and is present in every community, business, and person in this country.
Almost no one likes to think of themselves as being prejudice. We probably believe ourselves to be ethical and unbiased, too. In the workplace, we probably think we are good decision makers, capable of objectively deciding about a job candidate or employee’s performance and reaching a rational and fair conclusion about any business problem or situation. Yet it is clear from more than two decades of research that we all have bias.