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Bias and Overlooking People

A Lot of Thinking Was Done Today

I was thinking today about hiring practices that use software to weed out applicants based on a word or term, an event that holds its kick-off at a bar or pub, someone choosing someone else because of an acronym after their name, or some event or decision that excludes someone based on bias.

At some point, some great person, some great applicant, some possible positive addition to a team, or some eloquent speaker is overlooked because of a bias. It is exclusionary, no matter how I looked at it.

The people that aren't given a chance are the ones that could possibly bring value somewhere. Am I at an event and not talking to someone because they choose not to be at a social mixer at a bar or pub? Is your organization missing out on top-tier talent because of software? Is your event missing out on a speaker that could be giving an excellent talk?

Why Do We Insist On Staying the Course?

The exclusion was what was on my mind and the bias that keeps people from obtaining a position or a chance to do something they may want to do. Or it may be keeping someone from networking with others in their field because they cannot be in a setting they are uncomfortable in.

My opportunities this year have been many and that comes from a place of privilege. That I cannot deny and need to acknowledge. I have seen people that were passed up for many opportunities that deserve the chance, mainly in the employment area. I have seen people that were passed up for talks.

I see a lot of people doing two, three, or four talks at a conference. I see too many events at the bar or pub or nightclub when a small group would feel safer and more included at a bowling alley or some other place free of the alcohol factor. I see people passed up for a job and ghosted, or not even given a chance to speak to a human because of software.

What Does Paper Have to Do with It?

People passed up because certifications look better to clients or employers. A piece of paper does not make a person. I say this a lot. It is time to exorcise the perception that the more pieces of paper a person has, the more qualified a person is. Acronyms do not make a person look good, but is it a gauge of the person. You could have many acronyms next to your name, but you might be difficult to work with or work for.

Let's Change the Course

It's time to tilt the bias of tech. Without going into an in-depth definition and explanation, tech is political. Business is political. Many good people and great minds are excluded because of bias. Intentional or not, that bias needs to be erased.