Citywide Training and Development, a division of the City of Columbus, Ohio, works with organizations to help them understand and identify the strong biases that are woven through the organization from the top down. The city does this because city leaders understand that implicit bias is a serious problem. When people don’t address their unconscious bias, they make serious decisions based on thought processes that are ineffective at best—and sometimes harmful. Columbus doesn’t do this because its people are more biased than other cities; its leadership simply realizes that all people are biased.
Here’s the big news: If you are human, you have biases. Implicit biases are attitudes and stereotypes that we unconsciously use to fill in gaps based on our experiences, and they help us make decisions. Biases reside in our deep subconscious, and they aren’t all bad—but some are faulty, and we have to address them because they affect the decisions we make, both professionally and personally. Everyone reading this article has had different life experiences. We’re all different.