Nullify Biases

To nullify your biases, you first must be aware of them. We are on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The world is changing at rocket speed, but the conscious and unconscious biases haven't changed since before the First Industrial Revolution. Gender stereotypes are defined between 5 and 7 years of age. Here is a 2 minute video which illustrates this point. Kids assumptions toward gender roles are turned around at career day in school.

A recent study "Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children’s interest", by Lin Bian, Sarah-Jane Leslie, and Andrei Cimpian (January 27, 2017) had two major findings about children's perception of brilliance:

  1. By the age of 6, girls were less likely than boys to believe that members of their gender are “really, really smart”
  2. 6- and 7-year-old girls avoided participating in activities that were labeled for children who are “really, really smart”

A recent article Gender-Science Stereotypes Persist Across the World (May 18, 2015 - Northwestern University) discusses a new Northwestern University study “Women’s Representation in Science Predicts National Gender-Science Stereotypes: Evidence From 66 Nations” that includes data from nearly 350,000 people in 66 nations. This study, the largest of its type, shows that people associated science with men, and in all 66 nations studied.

What happens when girls grow up? Warren Buffet writes about his brilliant, dear friend Katharine Graham, former CEO of the Washington Post Co. in his article Warren Buffet is bullish... on women, He writes, “she had been brainwashed – I don’t like that word, but it’s appropriate – by her mother, husband, and who knows who else to believe that men were superior, particularly at business.”

In developed countries, women have made great strides, but they are still underrepresented in leadership positions despite research proving that female leadership offers a profit increase of over 60%. The Washington Post’s stock went up 4000% during Katherine Graham’s leadership, even though she didn’t think she was good enough.

Conscious and unconscious biases and stereotypes, program behaviour in early childhood – a major hindrance to gender equality – and then as adults, pass them on to the children. The worse the biases, the greater the Gender Gap.

De-programming/nullifying the brainwashing is vital for gender equality

Lean IN has a program for companies. They write, ”Gender bias is holding women back in the workplace. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it harder for women to get hired and promoted and negatively impacts their day-to-day work experiences. This hurts women and makes it difficult for companies to level the playing field.
Pairing a card-based activity with a short video series, 50 Ways to Fight Bias gives people the tools to address gender bias head-on.”

Educators and parents in particular, must learn to recognize and become aware of their own biases – conscious and unconscious, as biases become entrenched between 5 and 7 years of age. As soon as parents learn of the sex of their baby, the biases take over. The baby still has months to arrive, but the decor of the baby's bedroom is already being planned and started.

Educating the educators about the careers today and in the future and their educational requirements is necessary as in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, they are changing faster than ever before. Educators and curriculums around the world are not created equally. Education is not available to everyone, especially females – conscious bias, well known in male dominated governments.


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