Feminine gamification viewpoint: cognitive bias
At a SXSW interactive panel a Google Executive got called out for interrupting the female panellist regularly by one of his own former employees who headed up the unconscious bias team. We all go around the world with our own set of goggles, which have come from our experiences, our values, our education and the cultures we grew up. With that comes the fact that over time we all generate a number of ways of working which may be biased based on out own experience.
When it comes to gender differences there are a few things happening, which may indeed be more unconscious and if we aren’t aware of them it is also impossible to change them. The comment made at the panel was that it was probably unconscious for the panel members to interrupt the only lady panellist more often than they did to each other. I have been a panel member and haven’t actually experienced the same bias.
But in designing recruitment related solutions, research has shown that self-selection base on bias does take place for both men and women. Men will typically apply for a role if they are about a 30% fit and feel confident that they can acquire the other skills. Women on the other hand will typically apply when they fit all of the criteria.
On the other side of hiring men tend to get hired based on future potential and women tend to get hired based on past performance. So there is an element of unconscious bias at play, which is largely driven by societal perceptions or acceptance and the fact that for most people this plays out an unconscious level, so there is no deliberate action involved.
Thanks to the research bringing it into awareness, we can now actively design with this in mind. Until someone points it out and raises our awareness, this will be the case for other unconscious things we do when it comes to gender behaviour as well as life in general.
Where else have you observed unconscious bias with gender scenario’s?