I’m a 25 year old white male. My co-founder is a 26 year old white male.
Since launching Unplugged I’ve meet 3 or 4 people whom I’ve thought would be a great hire when the time comes. What do they happen to have in common? You guessed it mid-twenties white males.
What’s going on here?
There are a number of factors that cause this phenomenon. Environment does play a part- it’s not surprising that a disproportional number of our acquaintances are from a similar demographic.
Fundamental, however, this is a case of implicit (or unconscious bias). We unconsciously judge others based on their demographic. We tend to have an easier time rating someone similar to us because it is easier for us to imagine their strengths.
This is a big problem!
Not just ethically (and to tick the diversity and inclusion box), but also because diversity is good business.
So much of business is making decisions in the face of massive uncertainty and our ability to do this is hugely boosted by different perspectives.
By surrounding ourselves with people who have both different experiences and a different view of the world, and creating a safe space for people to voice those perspective, we gain a much richer insight in to the problem at hand.
We have a tricky road ahead. The struggle to not fill our office with clones of ourselves is real. I hope this article is the start of the journey towards completing that goal.